The number of women seeking degrees in science and related fields at Iowa’s three public universities is on the rise, Iowa Board of Regents data show.
This fall, 11,388 women, or one in three female students, enrolled in science, technology, engineering and math majors at University of Iowa, Iowa State University and University of Northern Iowa. That’s a 13 percent increase from three years ago; total female enrollment during that time grew 2 percent.
University officials credit the burgeoning interest in STEM studies to outreach efforts directed at girls well before they reach high school, as well as a statewide and national emphasis on those disciplines.
Today there are more college students like Alyssa Miller, an ISU senior in physics, visiting K-12 classrooms around the state. She dropped by Harding Middle School in Des Moines last week, where she helped groups of students in competition to build sturdy structures out of wooden sticks, plastic straws and paper.