The goal of this dissemination project is to develop a model public service ad campaign that will advance the participation of women and girls in SMET through effecting a positive shift in attitudes among parents, educators, students and others in the community regarding girls' pursuit of interests / careers in SMET. The projects lead institution is Stony Brook University and collaborating organizations / institutions include the Long Island Fund for Women and Girls, Briarcliffe College, and television stations WLIW21 (PBS) and WLNY55.
This informal education project will develop a series of dynamic television spots, to be disseminated through local television broadcasts and through online links. The target audienceconsists of parents, educators and other authority figures, as well as peers, who have a great deal of influence over young peoples' perceptions of their educational and future professional options. Spots will reflect research findings that illustrate current gender inequities in SMET education and careers, and "de-bunk" some of the commonly accepted beliefs regarding gender-related causes for these disparities; information about often ignored or unremarked historical and current contributions of women in SMET; and national statistics on professional shortages in the SMET employment pool.
This video campaign will attempt to re-shape public attitudes regarding the gender appropriateness of girls' SMET pursuits. Using psychosocial research as a guide, the project will disseminate information in ways that may directly alter attitudes among individuals in the targeted groups, as well as encourage new behaviors that may then trigger compensatory attitude changes. This is a novel approach which combines technology-based applications, marketing strategies, and psychosocial research to target change in specific underlying public attitudes that hinder the participation of girls and young women in SMET.