According to one researcher quoted in the article, closing the gender gap in engineering “is not a ‘woman’s issue’” but is “about creating a good work environment.” Do you agree? Why or why not? Do you think the same issues exist in other STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields?
To close the gender divide in engineering, researchers say a system-wide change needs to be implemented from the top down. How would you begin this process? What would you change? Why do you think it must come from the top down?
The 5,000 female engineering graduates interviewed for the study cited in this article earned their degrees over the past 60 years. Sixty years is a long time. Do you think the older respondents faced the same issues as women starting their careers today? How might the work environment be better for recent graduates? How might it be worse? Which problems have never gone away?
- Cut a piece of paper into strips. You’ll need one strip for each student. Label one-third of the strips as “Past,” one-third as “Present,” and the remaining third as “Future.” Put the labels in a paper bag.
- Select a topic. Inform students that they will each create a poster related to the past, present, or future of this topic.
- Invite each student to pick a strip of paper from the bag. Once they know which path to follow, encourage them to identify an important person, place, or event in the appropriate time period. Students must each select a different subject for their posters.
- Instruct students to conduct research and compile information. Advise them to include as many details and examples as possible.
- Give each student a piece of poster board and access to art supplies. Encourage students create posters that reflect the most important or interesting aspects of their subject.
Arrange students’ posters chronologically in the classroom to create a timeline about the topic. Invite other classes to visit and tour the exhibit. Encourage students to answer visitors’ questions about their posters.
CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:
After students complete their research, instruct them to create an outline to organize their ideas. Tell students to use the outlines as a guide as they determine what to emphasize and what to illustrate on their posters.
After students complete their research, instruct them to create an outline to organize their ideas. Tell students to use the outlines as a guide as they determine what to emphasize and what to illustrate on their posters. Explain to students that these posters are not a random collection of facts. Discuss how they can use design to highlight the main idea and show connections to supporting facts.
Explain to students that the main idea of their posters should be easy to comprehend. All supporting facts and details should have a logical connection to that idea. The style they use should be consistent and appropriate for the subject matter covered in their posters.
Challenge students to select a style, tone and format that complements the subject matter of their posters. Encourage them to be selective in the information they include and creative in how they incorporate that information into their presentations.