Question Sheet: Toy Challenge
- If you were inventing a plaything to get young children interested in science, what sort of toy or game would it be? How would you go about creating and testing it?
- Think of the most enthusiastic science students in your class. Are these students mostly male or female? Why do you think this is the case?
- What makes you excited (or unexcited) about math and science?
- Who is Domenico Grasso and what does he do?
- Give two reasons why a girl might become less interested in math or science as she gets older.
- How are women in the science field helping girls stay involved with science? Pick one example from the article and describe its importance.
- How would you change your science class to make sure that girls stay interested?
- Although the number of girls studying science is rising, the number of women in science, engineering, and technology in general is still very low. How would you explain this circumstance?
- Get in a group of four people (with at least two girls per group) and make a list of ideas for a toy for TOYchallenge. Choose the one idea that you think would work best. What materials would you need? How would you build this toy? What would the toy’s user learn?
- What do you think is the best way to keep girls interested in science? Pick one of the initiatives in the article or create your own and write a proposal for why your group should get funding. (Hint: It might be helpful to use the statistics from the article to make your argument more persuasive.)
- Strasburger says that the Sally Ride Club “gives girls the sense that science isn’t a little gray-haired lady with a lab coat and 3-inch-thick glasses on.” Is that how you picture a female scientist? If not, what image do you have of a scientist? Where do you think that image comes from?
Suppose there are 125 girls in the fourth grade at your school. At present, women make up only 9 percent of all engineers. If this level stays the same for the next few decades, how many of these fourth-grade girls would you expect to become engineers when they grow up?