Despite the fact that science has a reputation for being a “boys club,” new research shows that the gap between the genders in science and engineering is reaching an all-time low. Middle and elementary school girls seem to be catching up to their male counterparts in those fields according to new achievement test results.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress just released the results of their 2015 science exam.
According to The Huffington Post, Peggy Carr, the commissioner of the NCES (aka the National Center of Education Statistics) is particularly proud of the science achievement gap closing between female and minority students.
Carr said, “Minority students and girls are making greater gains to narrow these gaps. This is exactly what we like to see: all students improving, but students at the bottom of the distribution making faster gains.”
In fact, fourth grade female students are basically scoring on the same level as their male classmates, which is really exciting to see. Eighth graders are also increasing their overall scores, though they’re not yet performing equally like their badass younger peers.
Unfortunately, 12th grade female students are still performing an average 5 points lower than their male counterparts, a number that has not changed statistically in six years.
There would have to be many more comprehensive social studies done to even begin to assess how or why these scores remain so different as women get older. The good news is, though, there seems to be more interest in science since the assessment did show that more classes than ever are being taken by students.
Even though the STEM workforce remains heavily dominated by men, we’re hopeful that these results in young girls can spur a scientific revolution amongst women everywhere.