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“Females Don't Need to be Reluctant:” Employing Design Thinking to Harness Creative Confidence and Interest in STEAM

Tue, April 16, 1:30 to 3:00pm, Hyatt Regency, Floor: Bay (Level 1), Bayview B


There is a great gender gap in mathematics and science among countries around the world, but the gender gap is one of the largest in Japan. In order to address this issue, we designed an educational intervention to empower the next generation of girls by employing design thinking to ignite their interests in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) fields. In this article, we explain the rationale for our intervention, describe the unique three-day curriculum employing design thinking, and share the results from our intervention. There are four key findings of our study. After participating in the workshop, the middle school girl students showed greater interest in STEAM fields, had increased levels of creative confidence, cultivated a greater sense of empathy for others, and exhibited greater appreciation for collaboration. This study highlights the possibilities and opportunities for using design thinking to encourage girls to become more interested in STEAM fields.