Engineering is a heavily male-dominated field and females are significantly less likely to choose an engineering-related major or career path. At the age of six years old, females start believing that their male peers are smarter than them, leading them to pursue less ambitious careers. The children's book Lyla B. An Engineering Legacy was created to encourage more young girls to discover their own potential and pursue engineering as a career. To explore the efficacy of the book on its target consumers, a pilot study was performed with first and second grade children. The participants' engineering knowledge; fixed and failure mindset beliefs; STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) interest, competency, and career aspirations; and stereotype beliefs were evaluated before and after being read the book to determine if the story has a positive impact on children. Additionally, the satisfaction of the participants towards both the book and main character were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. Overall, the results of the study suggest that the book has a positive impact on the interest and competency of STEM fields and the stereotype beliefs that the children had towards engineers. The study also suggests that the book decreases fixed and failure mindsets and that the participants were satisfied with the overall concept of the book and main character, Lyla.
- Promoting Gender Inclusion in Engineering Through Children's Literature
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