This Wired article discusses how robotics can get girls more interested in STEM jobs. The statistics are amazing – just 12 percent of engineers in the United States are women.
Dr. Amanda Sullivan, a researcher at Tufts University, is included in the article describing gender differences in Science and technology. The article reads: “So Sullivan decided to test the effects of a specifically non-gendered robotics kit called Kibo. Kids program the rolling robot by stringing together blocks that denote specific commands. It isn’t marketed specifically to boys or girls using stereotypical markings of maleness or femaleness. It’s a blank slate.“
In Dr. Sullivan’s ressearch, before playing with KIBO, boys were significantly more likely to say they’d enjoy being an engineer than the girls did. But after, boys had about the same opinion, while girls were now equally as likely to express an engineering interest as the boys.
Dr. Sullivan states, “I think that robots in general are novel to young children, both boys and girls…I think robotics kits like KIBO bring an air of excitement and something new to the classroom that gets kids psyched and excited about learning.”