I was disturbed this week at the space camp field trip.
The parents were trained to run stations and explain the topic to the students and help with a project related to that topic (not disturbing). One of the projects was making space vehicles with food (not disturbing). When it came time to volunteer for stations, the majority of the parents said "I don't want to do the food." (a little surprising) Thanks to the SOTW Activity guide, I have made a Parthenon from graham crackers, I can help kids make space vehicles with candy and frosting.
As the groups of kids came through my station, the majority had never made anything from food (not disturbing). Several had no idea how to model anything in three dimensions (a little disturbing). Some even refused to try (a little disturbing). The group that was mainly girls, knew far less about space than the groups of boys (disturbing). Most of the boys knew what the communications satellite looked like and what it was for (not disturbing). Most of the girls didn't know (disturbing). Most of the boys knew that the solar array was for power (not disturbing). Most of the girls just thought it was a mirror (disturbing), and when I explained that it was for solar power many of the girls didn't understand why it was necessary (disturbing).
I have been thinking hard about science. Are we failing our girls? Disturbing.