COLUMBUS — The American Association of University Women of Ohio received a proclamation from Gov. John Kasich designating this week as Computer Science Education Week to highlight the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education for women and girls in Ohio.
“We are pleased and honored Gov. Kasich proclaimed the week of Dec. 9–15 Computer Science Education Week,” said Deborah Wooldridge, AAUW of Ohio state president. “The AAUW of Ohio supports strengthening STEM education, especially for girls and other underrepresented populations. These efforts will increase America’s competitiveness by reducing barriers that deter women from pursing academic and career goals in these fields.”
Barriers to girls’ progress in STEM begin during their K-12 education, starting with messaging in schools, according to the 2010 AAUW research report, “Why So Few? Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.”
In a 2006 survey, 44 percent of girls and 38 percent of boys agreed with the statement, “the smartest girls in my school are not popular” and 17 percent of girls and 14 percent of boys thought that it was true that “teachers think it is not important for girls to be good at math.”
AAUW has been a leading voice promoting education and equity for women and girls. AAUW of Ohio has more than 1,500 members in 44 branches throughout the state, and provides STEM programs for sixth through ninth-grade girls. Computer Science Education Week is observed each year in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper on Dec. 9, 1906, who received AAUW’s Achievement Award in 1983 at the AAUW national convention in San Francisco.