Role models are vital to sparking a girl’s interest in science and technology careers. Girls need role models to inspire them to dream big. Do you remember the people in your life who inspired you to follow your dream? Sometimes that inspiration comes from a short conversation with a caring adult. Specifically, role models:
• Dispel stereotypes about science and technology careers—pocket protectors and solitary jobs.
• Illuminate the real word applications of careers.
• Increase the number of career options girls are considering.
The perks of role model visits go two ways. Being a role model can remind you why you chose your career in the first place, provide you and your co-workers time to connect and build teamwork, and can help you develop your leadership skills.
Keep girls’ interest by setting a fast-paced and varied schedule. For club visits and field trips we offer these suggestions:
Prior to the classroom visit and field trip, learn more about the girls from the facilitator and send your kid-friendly bio and pictures to the facilitator. Making this effort will give you a head start building a rapport with the girls.
Start the visit with an interactive, fun icebreaker to get everyone talking and set the tone. This can be as simple as introducing yourself by name and sharing an interesting fact or playing “Telephone.”
Make it personal. Girls are eager to hear about what you were like when you were their age, a humorous story from your childhood, or how you overcame adversity. Girls need to connect to you in order to connect to your career.
Dive into a hands-on activity. This helps keep girls engaged. Before you know it, your visit will be almost over.
Make time for any final questions and ask for input. Find out what the girls liked and how can you improve next time.
Think about why you love your job. Why you get up every day and go to work.
Take time to dispel stereotypes about the job.
Share what makes you, YOU! What do you do for fun? How do you balance work and family?
Keep PowerPoints and Lectures short—youth like to keep active.
Breakout Sessions—use stations with different activities and give girls the opportunity to meet more role models.
Take a Tour—tours let girls see different work settings.
Research shows that women choose careers in which they feel they can make a difference. Sometimes girls don’t see how engineering or technology careers help people. So share how your work helps make the world a better place.
No one gets through college alone: Tell the girls about how advisors, study groups, tutors, and friends can help you.
Share your personal story. Explain how you overcame a challenge to get to where you are.
Can you work from home? Do you get to travel? Can you bring your dog to work?
Share what the starting salaries are for people in your career.
How did you pay for college?
Share why advance math and science classes are important
Encourage the girls to explore careers in age appropriate ways
• Job shadowing and summer internships for high school students
• Summer camps and volunteering for younger girls
The above content is an abridged version of the Techbridge Girls publication- Get Involved…Make a Difference: A Guide for Classroom Visits and Field Trips for K-12 Students. By Jeri Countryman, Linda Kekelis, and Jennifer Wei