Most of the new, high-paying jobs require knowledge of both math and science.
Yet, too many girls give up on these subjects. Females who have been strong students in elementary school sometimes “bail out” of tough courses in middle and high school. Parents have an important responsibility to encourage teenage girls to continue their study. Here are suggestions:
Have high expectations for girls. Tell girls they can do just as well as boys in science and math—because they can. Even a well-meaning comment (“Your mom wasn’t good with math, either”) can be discouraging. Say, “I know you can do better. Let’s talk to your teacher to see what you need to do.”
Insist that your daughter take science and math. Encourage her to take algebra as soon as she can. If she wants to drop math and science after tenth grade, don’t let her. Tell her she’s limiting her future earning power.
Out-of-school activities can help. Look for programs that encourage young women—local museums, 4-H, Scouts, summer camps, and colleges may all sponsor programs.
Look for female role models in your community. Whether it’s the woman dentist or the woman who just opened a computer store down the street, many women have jobs that involve math and science. Someone may be willing to talk to your daughter, or her entire class, about what she does.
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