Free Resources for FairerScience
(and Math) Classrooms:
An Annotated List

The international symbol for 'No Dollars'.
Free is one of our favorite words at Not only are the following resources free; advocates and others should find them very useful. Suggestions for other free resources to include are always welcome and should be sent to Pat Campbell at

What Can I Do? Making Engineering Classrooms: More Effective for Women (and Men) Students
Campbell, Patricia B. (2007). What Can I Do? Making Engineering Classrooms: More Effective for Women (and Men) Students. Groton, MA: Campbell-Kibler Associates.
Eight research based strategies to improve classroom effectiveness in engineering classrooms (and other classrooms as well). Also included are summaries of the supporting research for each strategy. Strategies range from the immediately implementable (Periodically stop talking and pause) to those that take a little more planning (Provide research experiences for undergraduates [and others]).
How to Create a Woman's Initiative
University of Washington Women's Initiative (UWWI) (ND). How to Create a Woman's Initiative. Seattle, WA: University of Washington.
This website is designed to be a resource for beginning and maintaining a women's initiative (WI) outreach program like the ones at the University of Washington and MIT. It includes an Introduction section to get familiar with the program and how to use the website, a First Year of the Program section which covers all the ideas necessary to get your program up and running, a section on Maintaining your program. It also includes a section of Materials and links to existing women's initiatives across the country.
Diversity in the College Classroom: A Guidebook
Pawley, Alice. & Pfund, Christine (with contributions from Jo Handelsman and Sarah Miller Lauffer). (2006). Diversity in the College Classroom: A Guidebook. Madison WI: Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL).
This 160 page guide is intended to encourage and support faculty and others in teaching a course that challenges science and engineering instructors to think about diversity differently. It includes week by week plans, course handouts and assessment and evaluation activities.
Reducing Stereotype
Stroessner, Steven & Good, Catherine (2008). Reducing Stereotype Threat: What Can Be Done to Reduce Stereotype Threat?
Stereotype threat is "being at risk of confirming, as self-characteristic, a negative stereotype about one's group." In English it means that, for example, as a woman, if you are in a situation where it is made clear that women aren't as good in math as men; there will be a tendency for you not to do as well as you would have otherwise. The site provides seven research based strategies to reduce stereotype threat including "reframing the task", by, for example, telling female students that a test is gender-fair. The website also includes summaries of research on stereotype threat and discusses unresolved issues and controversies in the research literature on the phenomenon.
Lessons I've Learned in 22 Years of Working with Teachers About Girls in IT
Sanders, Jo (2005, August). Lessons I've Learned in 22 Years of Working with Teachers About Girls in IT. A presentation to Crossing Cultures, Changing Lives: Integrating Research on Girls' Choices of IT Careers, Oxford, England.
All of the lessons in this 12-page paper are useful; however the section, What Seems to Work (pp 7-10) is of particular value. As the author explains:
I have no idea if what works for me works for everyone, and I also know that nothing I have tried works with all teachers. Nevertheless, just as I have learned many things about what tends to discourage computer teachers from tackling gender equity, I have learned a few about what seems to make some of them, at least, want to.
Lifting the Barriers: 600 Strategies that Really Work to Increase Girls Participation in Mathematics, Science and Computing
Sanders, Jo. (1994). Lifting the Barriers: 600 Strategies that Really Work to Increase Girls Participation in Mathematics, Science and Computing. Seattle, WA: Washington Research Institute.
This 84-page book provides teachers and others with 600 K-12 teacher-developed strategies all developed by K-12 teachers. Strategies cover such areas as Contests and Competitions, Counselors, Curriculum, Scheduling and Resource Allocation, Spreading the Word, and Teaching Techniques. Evaluation found that projects implementing the strategies had significant increases in girls' participation.
Whose, Responsibility Is It? Making Coeducation Work In Math & Science
Campbell, Patricia B. & Storo, Jennifer. (1994). Whose, Responsibility Is It? Making Coeducation Work In Math & Science [Brochure]. Newton, MA: Education Development Center.
Although 12 years old, this 8-page brochure is still timely, providing activities for school counselors and administrators to determine if there is a problem in their schools and listing a variety of suggestions for things they can do to improve diversity in advanced math and science courses.
Why Me? Why My Classroom? The Need for Equity in Coed Classrooms
Campbell, Patricia B. & Storo, Jennifer. (1996). Why Me? Why My Classroom? The Need for Equity in Coed Classrooms [Brochure]. Newton, MA: Education Development Center.
This eight-page brochure focuses on the rationale for equitable classrooms as well as providing activities to define and assess classrooms for equity.
Making It Happen: Pizza Parties, Chemistry Goddesses & other Strategies that Work for Girls and Others
Campbell, Patricia B. & Storo, Jennifer (1996). Making It Happen: Pizza Parties, Chemistry Goddesses & Other Strategies that Work for Girls and Others [Brochure]. Newton, MA: Education Development Center.
This eight-page brochure is full of teacher-generated strategies to involve girls, and boys, in math and science. While the strategies reflect individual teacher styles and personalities, they do reflect some common beliefs including:
  • the classroom environment must be respectful of individuals, both students and teachers.
  • all students should participate in class.
  • classrooms need to incorporate multiple modes of learning.
Outreach-in-a-Box: Discovering IT
National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). (2008). Outreach-in-a-Box: Discovering IT.
Outreach-in-a-Box includes everything an IT professional needs to prepare for and deliver an engaging presentation for middle school age kids -- including a presentation, hands-on robotics activity, and program guide for how to use the materials. The materials are positioned from both the perspective of the guest speaker and the program leader. All of the materials are available for download. The kit includes PowerPoint slides, hands-on activities, guides for implementation and a leave-behind brochure.
Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day
2006 is the sixth year for the National Engineers Week "Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day." The website provides downloadable information and resources to support professional engineers, scientists, and technologists as they reach out to students in grades K-12 with a particular emphasis on reaching young women. Resources include:
Expanding Your Horizons
Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) licenses and coordinates conferences. The website provides tips and tricks on how to design a fun workshop that will engage young women and help them have a positive experience doing a science activity. A typical conference takes place on a Saturday at a local college or university and is attended by 200-500 young women from nearby middle schools and high schools. The schedule includes a keynote address encouraging girls to persist in mathematics and science courses as well as workshops. For a fee, ($150 for new sites) EYH provides sites with technical assistance, conference and planning materials, coordinated publicity, public relations posters, and buttons.
Making the Connection
Metz, Susan Staffin. and Samuelsen, Karen. (2001). A Making the Connection and Mathematics. Denver, CO: WEPAN.
Making the Connection provides experiments, games, and other activities designed to: highlight the contributions engineers make to improve the quality of our lives; dispel stereotypes of engineering as a field for "white males"; make the connection between students' math and science courses and engineering; and explore the skills and interests needed to become an engineer. Materials include:
  • presenter's guide (20-pages) assists speakers with a variety of backgrounds and expertise to communicate effectively with students at all grade levels.
  • CD-ROM with 12 hands-on engineering based activities for students in grades 3-12
  • Connections newsletter: five colorful newsletters (one for each of five different age levels).
Engineering Girl
The Engineer Girl website is part of the Celebration of Women in Engineering project presented by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE). This project tries to bring national attention to the opportunity that engineering represents to all people at any age, but particularly to women and girls. Included in the site are a series of downloadable engineering projects as well as information about engineering and women engineers.
Guidelines For A Gender Equity Workshop
Sanders, Jo. (2003). Guidelines For A Gender Equity Workshop.
This 10-page handout provides some basic rules for a gender equity presentation, including suggestions of ways to reduce hostility and increase buy in. It also includes an annotated outline for an introductory Gender Equity Workshop covering preparation, awareness, education, and labor market statistics, local findings about gender equity, gender equity solutions, and action planning.
Engagement, Capacity, and Continuity: A Trilogy for Student Success
Jolly, Eric, Campbell, Patricia B., & Perlman, Lesley K. (2004). Engagement, Capacity and Continuity: A Trilogy for Student Success. St. Paul, MN: Science Museum of Minnesota
This 32-page report and 8-page summary analyzes why successful individual reform efforts have not led to broader increases in students achieving at high levels nor entering science and math-oriented careers and identifies three components necessary to increase success in quantitative sciences including engineering: Engagement - an awareness, interest, or motivation (the spark) Capacity - the knowledge and skills to advance in increasingly rigorous subject matter (the skills) Continuity - opportunities, resources, and guidance to support advancement (the pathways) The report gives recommendations based on the ECC Trilogy for what educational policy makers, sponsors, curriculum/program directors, evaluators, district/school administrators, teachers, museums, and other informal science institutions can do to bring about student success in the sciences and quantitative disciplines.
Taking Stock, Where We've Been, Where We Are, Where We're Going.
Clewell, Beatriz Chu, & Campbell, Patricia B. (2002). Taking stock, where we've been, where we are, where we're going. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 8, 3/4, 265-284.
This 29-page overview examines minority women's and White women's progress in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET) over the past decade. Starting from an exploration of participation and achievement data, the authors move on to cover the theories behind SMET gender differences, including those based on testing, biology, social-psychology, and cognitive sciences. Looking at practice, as well as theory, the authors explore the impacts that interventions and contextual influences, such as societal change and education reform, have had on efforts to achieve gender parity in SMET. The article concludes with the recommendation of logical next steps to preserve and expand the gains made by women in these fields.
Gender and Technology in Education: A Research Review
Sanders, Jo. (2005). Gender and Technology in Education: A Research Review. In Chris Skelton, Becky Francis, & Lisa Smulyan (Eds.) Handbook of Gender in Education. London: Sage Publications.
This 30-page review concludes that most research has focused on female deficits: their lower experience levels, less positive attitudes, and failure to persist and perform well in educational programs, as compared with males. However, it was also found that there is no question about women's capability in the field. The issue for education, the author suggests, is to remove the barriers that are interfering with girls' and women's access to technology and success in it. Her review of the research identifies many ways that barriers have been removed, usually on a small scale, and suggests ways they might be removed on a wider scale in the future.
Title IX and Science and Engineering
Sevo, Ruta. (2008). Title IX and Science and Engineering.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, says "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." While Title IX has been primarily applied to sports, this website provides resources on applying Title IX to science and engineering education including suggestions of what high school and college students and teachers/professors and others can do to use Title IX increase women and girls participation in science, mathematics, engineering and technology (STEM).