Keeping Girls in STEM: 5 Engaging Math Projects

Now that students are back in the school routine, it is the perfect time to ramp up the energy in your classroom with PBL. October 11th is International Day of the Girl Child and it provides a good opportunity to make sure your female students are engaging in STEM and being exposed to STEM careers.

Even though the US is the best place in the world to be a female in 2022, females make $.82 on the $1.00 compared to males with the same education and experience. In STEM fields females earn $.98 on the $1.00 and companies are actively recruiting female problem solvers. According to the National Science Foundation, the major reason girls do not enter the STEM Pipeline is their lack of math mastery, especially in terms of fractions and Algebra 1.

Female students desperately need to see a purpose for math and once they have a reason to do so, will work hard to master the concepts.


5 Projects that Engage Students in Real-World Math: 

Grades K-1: The Robot Designer PBL

This project-based lesson provides an opportunity for students to think about how they can use their own experiences to create robots to solve problems that matter to them. This PBL focuses on the concepts of measurable attributes and traits and puts that content in a real-world problem.

Grades 2-3: The Entrepreneur: Lemonade Stand PBL

This fun project provides an opportunity to work on content with money, data and time as students begin to see themselves as business owners and entrepreneurs

Grades 4-5: The Digital Escape Room Designer PBL  

In this PBL, students are given opportunities to master standards in place value, comparing/ordering as well as patterns and expressions. They will see how their math standards and technology combine to create fun experiences that could become a business.

Grades 6-8 The Community Garden Coordinator PBL

This project provides an opportunity for your students to master standards in rates, ratios, and percentages. In this career, they will create a scale drawing that requires them to combine much of what they have learned in math previously and a guide for families that works on their communication skills.

Grades 9-12: The Architect: Creating a geodesic aviary PBL

This project provides an opportunity for students to experience the relevance of similarity and congruence standards and shapes to architects. They will learn how architecture needs to take into account the needs of the inhabitants and see how art is intricately connected to math.

Defined Learning’s PBLs provide the resources, a timeline, and the rubrics you need to make these experiences meaningful for your students. The only people who can help our young girls take charge of their future and maximize their potential are their K-12 teachers. Have fun helping them explore the possibilities!

About the Author: 

Dr. Cindy Moss is currently the VP of Innovation for Defined. Dr. Moss brings over 31 years of experience in district leadership, classroom instruction, and inquiry-based learning to her work as a champion for STEM engagement and career & workforce readiness.


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