If we compare the number of male and female graduates in STEM degrees across Europe, we would discover that just half of the male average is made by females. There are differences between countries but the scenario is overall similar.
A recent research by Dr Anesa Hosein, from the University of Surrey, states that girls aged 13-14 years old who played over nine hours of video games a week were 3.3 times more likely to study STEM (physical science, technology, engineering and math) than those who do not play video games. “This was the case even after accounting for their socio-economic background, their ethnicity, past performance and how good at their chosen subject they felt they were.” (ISFE).
In an interview with the Interactive Software Federation of Europe, Dr Anesa Hosein explains that girls from a lower socio-economic background have a lower uptake of girls pursuing STEM careers.
“Without women and girls, we miss out on the innovations and fresh perspectives that people from different backgrounds can bring to the science and engineering field that can not only help solve global societal challenges but create innovations that meet their needs and represent them.”
Playing video games teaches and enhances girls problem-solving, spatial reasoning, creativity, strategy and digital skills, which are all crucial for STEM subjects.
“If teachers can identify girls who like to play video games, then teachers can support and encourage girls to explore and identify whether a STEM career is appropriate for them.”
Furthermore, Dr Anesa Hosein explains that teachers role is much more relavant if we consider the leacky pipeline. At each stage of education, there are more girls dropping STEM subjects than boys, even though their performance is similar to boys, suggesting that girls need more mentoring and encouragement both from parents and teachers.
By ALL DIGITAL