O'Reilly's Nat Torkington has some good commentary on a Scientific American article on gender bias in science and math, in which he makes a great suggestion for getting more girls involved in science in school:
And we do select "the best at math"--the article talks about kids choosing disciplines based on what they're best at. In general, boys and girls look at their abilities and if they're better at numbers go into sciences and if they're better at words go into arts. So there are girls going into the arts that have better math skills than the boys going into sciences (the girls just happened to have even better verbal skills). This will always be true in individual cases, but the studies show this is an overall tendency rather than anecdotal evidence from specific cases.
What does this mean? I think it shows we need to do a better job of emphasizing that science and technology can be verbal as well as numerical: Larry Wall, the creator of Perl, is a linguist by training, and there's a similar elegance in great code as in great poetry. If we finally acknowledged that science and technology are fields where words are critical and a keen mind for meaning can go far, rather than pretending it's all math with syntactic sugar, we might get better computer programmers not to mention a better gender balance. And finally, first year classes should have catch-up skills-building options for those boys and girls who weren't at the top of the curve.
There’s still magic in the world, as evidenced by this fairy’s-eye view of Children’s Fairyland, that charming 70-year-old storybook theme park in Oakland, California. You might remember that when I’m not blogging, I work with Fairyland. WELL… months before we were mandated to shelter in place, a local photographer, Stephen Loewinsohn, contacted our team at […]
We’ve been writing about Lea Redmond since 2009 here on Boing Boing. She’s just one of those kind of people who consistently makes neat things — a real Happy Mutant! Well, her latest creative venture is Home Sweet Home, an activity deck for kids (and the young at heart). It offers inspiring prompts for whimsical, […]
Listed at $159,900 this 1,075 square-foot home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is bland on the outside but features rooms with outer space, submarine, tropical island, and moonbase motifs. The owners put a lot of work into it!
You’d think the biggest complaint that can be leveled about a pair of earbuds is that they just don’t sound all that great. Granted, there are plenty of cut-rate headphones that fall under that category, but we’d wager the pet peeve that makes most users throw away earbuds in frustration is when they just don’t […]
Father’s Day is June 21st, otherwise known as the roughest shopping day of the year. Don’t get us wrong, Dad deserves an awesome gift for all the great things he gave you. But let’s be honest — buying for your father is often a chore. Your gift has to take into account what he already […]
Even in horrible economic times, a few simple rules hold unshakably true. And one of those rules is that if you possess an in-demand skill, you’ll always find work — and often, at a top market salary, to boot. If you understand Big Data and how to find order from the chaos of massive stockpiles […]