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Teach Her to Raise a Goat, And She Just Might End Up a Scientist

January 24, 2014
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Teach Her to Raise a Goat, And She Just Might End Up a Scientist
4-H member Gretchen Staubach tends to her rabbits at the Hamilton County Fair, August 2, 2005 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mike Simons/Getty Images
Girls in 4-H are more likely to study science, a new study shows.

If you want your daughter to study science or engineering in college, maybe you should start by enrolling her in an organization that can teach her how to raise a prize pig, put together a photography portfolio, or sew a quilt. Membership in 4-H, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture-sponsored organization for kids and teenagers (a staple at county fairs), has been shown to increase girls’ participation in science and technology activities. A Tufts University study found that 10th grade girls in 4-H are two times more likely to take part in science programs, and 12th grade girls in 4-H are three times more likely to do so. Now 4-H has joined the Million Women Mentors initiative that aims to match a million mentors with specialties in science, technology, engineering and math to girls across the country. Women make up 48 percent of the workforce, but only 24 percent of them hold jobs in STEM fields, numbers that 4-H aims to improve with this program, along with continuing to help kids raise some prize-winning goats.

MORE: When People Said Minorities Weren’t Interested in Science, This Guy Proved Them Wrong

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