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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Maybe having more girls taking STEM courses isn't the biggest gender problem

    Today many efforts are being made to get more girls to take an interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) courses. Girls have been directed to the "softer" fields that are traditionally seen as the "helping" careers. This is a worthwhile effort to expose girls to areas that haven't traditionally been thought of as "feminine" pursuits.
   Recently I heard about an entrepreneur who had developed a product called  Goldie Blox that will develop girls interest in engineering and science.   This got me thinking.  Why don't we have any efforts to get boys to explore the humanities, community service and the helping professions? When I was in high school I was only offered advanced courses in science and math and most of my classes were predominantly male.  Only being exposed to these areas I entered college planning to major in engineering. I quickly found out that my interest took me to the areas of political science and psychology.  Fortunately I discovered this early enough to make the changes and still graduate on time.
    For me solving social problems and developing programs that helped people was so much more satisfying than designing a building or a bridge. After spending a career in human services I know that most boys are infrequently given an opportunity to identify their possible interest in working with people.  Men build things, women help people.  That stereotype works to the disadvantage of men as much as it does to women.  Maybe with all the problems men seem to be causing in our world having a little more exposure to those "feminine" choices might make the world a little better place.

Dog park coming to Columbia.  From the Columbia Association:

      "Columbia’s first dog park is expected to open this fall, providing a great space for dogs to play or relax — and for their people to join them.
      In July, the Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning approved the site plan for Columbia Association’s (CA) Columbia Dog Park. The CA Board of Directors has approved $135,000 in funding for the dog park, which will be located on 2.7 acres off Rivendell Lane, adjacent to the Columbia SportsPark in the village of Harper’s Choice. The Harper’s Choice Village Board has also expressed its support for the project.
      This will be only the second dog park in a county that has plenty of dog lovers, a community that has made CA’s Dog Day Afternoon a popular annual event. The Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks operates the Worthington Dog Park on Hillsborough Road in Ellicott City, and it is also planning on opening a dog park in Blandair Park in east Columbia.
       Construction is underway. Most of the features will be complete by late September, weather permitting, and Columbia Dog Park is expected to open in late fall. Columbia Dog Park will have a two-acre area for large dogs and 0.7 acres for small dogs. Registration requirements will be announced at a later date and are anticipated to be similar to those for Worthington Dog Park."

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