Sci-Tea Meets SciGirls: Children's attitudes about careers & getting kids excited about STEM.

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Dr. Barbara Billington is an instructor, researcher, and writer for SciGirls, a Twin-Cities PBS project encouraging girls to get involved in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). She teaches at the University of Minnesota in the College of Education and Human Development supporting pre-service K-12 teachers to incorporate student-centered, culturally relevant, gender-equitable, and inquiry-based science practices in their daily teaching. Her goal is to guide teachers to provide equitable teaching practices throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area and beyond. She has also assisted in the development of a gamified app, which is designed to help students understand cellular respiration and photosynthesis.⁠

Leah Defenbaugh is STEM Outreach Manager for SciGirls, a television show and outreach program out of Twin Cities PBS that aims to change how girls see the world and how the world sees girls. ⁠Leah develops and implements STEM programs (science, technology, engineering, and math) for schools, museums, and afterschool programs. Her goal is to ensure that youth from all backgrounds have access to engaging, relevant STEM learning opportunities.⁠


Join us (Nanci and Ryan) in a conversation with Dr. Barbara Billington & Leah Defenbaugh about getting kids excited about STEM. We thank our guests for their work with SciGirls and review how we used their materials for our own study! We talk about how Dr. Billington got into this line of research and the ideal ages to get kids excited about STEM. We also hear from Leah about the power of role models, the importance of flexibility both when bringing STEM to kids in different settings (e.g., schools, museums), and we all talk about the general importance of flexibility and a growth mindset while learning!