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Researchers: “Geeky” Stereotype Deters Girls from STEM Classes

Researchers from the University of Washington believe there are two social factors that are keeping girls away from computer science classes. The first is the perception of who belongs in the field, namely, “geeky” boys, and the second, who has the ability to succeed in the field.

We showed pictures of two computer-science classrooms to Seattle-area high school students. One classroom showed a stereotypical image of computer science, featuring things like science fiction posters. The other one challenged that image with things like art and nature posters.

Girls were three times more likely to want to take computer science when the classroom was non-stereotypical. The alternative classroom didn’t deter the boys, who were just as interested regardless of the classroom design.

Read the full story from the Washington Post.

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