Tracy Rexroat Champions Science and Mathematics Education for Young Women

Tracy Rexroat Champions Science and Mathematics Education for Young Women
By: Scitech Arizona
PHOENIX - March 15, 2014 - PRLog -- It is no secret that men have outpaced women in the fields of science, math, and engineering. Yet, recently, women have slowly been closing the gap in education and interest in these subject areas. This closing of the gap can be attributed to the efforts of educators across the nation. Tracy Rexroat is one of those educators who has worked tirelessly to help girls in grade school maintain their interest in the hard sciences and subsequently achieve success in a science career.

The GapHistorically, women have been underrepresented in the fields of engineering, science, math, and technology according to many policy makers and scholars. To increase the diversity in these fields, scholars continue to explore the reasoning behind the existence of this gender gap. The achievement and attitudes of young women in science and mathematics are influenced by a multitude of factors according to studies. Some of these factors include

• High school achievement in science and math

• Curriculum content

• Encouragement from parents

• Resources available at home

• Hands on laboratory experience

• Interaction with science and math teachers

The age at which the attitudes about science and math diverge in girls and boys vary depending upon which study you look at. In general, there are few differences in attitude toward the hard sciences by sixth grade. Any divergence is believed to happen after that.

Research into biological differences between boys and girls causing the gap in abilities in the sciences and math have shown that there is no difference in how girls and boys are wired that cause one sex to be better than the other in these fields. This has led researchers to put more emphasis on studying possible social-psychological explanations.

Motivation, performance, and discrimination have long been studied by psychologists. One possible explanation is heuristics. To make decisions, people will use cognitive shortcuts called heuristics. When making decisions in social situations, people often employ a type of heuristic called a stereotype, or a commonly held belief about people in a certain group. So, when someone mentions a scientist or mathematician, one may use their heuristics to assume it is a man. This then propagates the stereotype that these fields are for men. (

Discrimination also comes into play. Since math and the sciences are generally considered male fields of study, female applicants may be unjustly discriminated against as unqualified for positions simply because of their sex. Because of research pointing to this problem, it is clear that changes need to be made.

Encouragement Comes from Leaders Like Tracy Rexroat

Tracy Rexroat has been a defender and promoter of young women in the fields of engineering, technology, mathematics, and science her entire life. She is one of the success stories with a background in mechanical technology and experience working for the Air National Guard for two decades as an aerospace ground equipment inspection and repair trainer and supervisor. She is one of the best educators the West has to offer, and she serves the State of Arizona and its future female scientists well.

Science Tech Arizona
Tags:Education, Tracy, Arizona
Location:Phoenix - Arizona - United States
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