Gardening provides meaningful interaction with nature that can be a gateway to pursuing science as a career choice. Under the direction of female mentors, Dirt Girls engage in garden-based service learning while developing problem solving skills, teamwork, and independence.
The world needs more female scientists, but school science is not always inclusive or equitable. Female youth are intelligent, passionate, thoughtful beings capable of making the world a better place through science, but they need extra encouragement to develop--and sustain--an interest in the scientific enterprise.
When youth engage in scientific practices early age, they develop scientific identities and habits of mind. Dirt Girls empowers young women to develop growth mindsets while also increasing their agency, confidence, and self-efficacy. Girls begin to see themselves as scientists who can have a positive impact in their communities and the world.
Women make up only 29% of the STEM workforce. Women are more likely to consider a STEM-related career tomorrow when they are engaged solving problems of today in gender-specific ways. Dirt Girls inspires young women and girls to become future scientists, thus aiming to close the gender gap in STEM.
Dirt Girls Program Webpage
Blog Post: Dirt Girls to the Rescue
Blog Post: Return of the Dirt Girls
Presentation: Gender Equity and Empowerment