NJ teacher tries to recruit girls to science class

Schools failing to make science and engineering study a compelling track for young women.
Written by ZDNET Editors, Contributor

At a high school engineering class in New Jersey, students are busily taking apart cheap plastic toys to see how they work. But something is wrong with this picture — there are no girls in this class, reports North Jersey.com

Along with taking the toys apart, the students, design and build their own planes, catapults and electronic circuits. But girls are shying away from these classes, preferring to take multimedia, and computer graphics and animation classes instead.

"America is continuing to import a lot of our engineering talent from abroad and that's a huge issue. One of the glaring things we can do to address that is to encourage young women to enter technology fields. I don't think girls lack aptitude in math and science," said Dave Janosz, a teacher at Northern Valley Regional High School.

Experts don't know if the reason is that young women lack confidence in this area or they just don't see it as suitable and open to women. In New Jersey, girls make up about 20 percent of science students statewide, said Janosz, who is also executive director of the Technology Educators Association of New Jersey.

Janosz does what he can to encourage girls to take engineering classes. Along with personally recruiting girls, he also worked with the Girl Scouts in hopes that running robotics classes for girls will spark a lifelong interest.

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