Using Free and Open Educational Resources to Support Women and Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math

Mountain View, CA and Cambridge, MA – Creative Commons and the OpenCourseWare Consortium announce the formation of a task force to determine how open educational resources (OER) can support the success of girls and women in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in support of the Equal Futures Partnership, announced on September 24 by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“The gender gap in participation in STEM areas around the world is significant”, said Cathy Casserly, CEO of Creative Commons, “We need to address the barriers to girls’ success in STEM to ensure that the future is filled with bright, ambitious, well-educated people of both genders who are able to contend with future global challenges”.

The OER-STEM task force will examine how OER can attract and support girls in STEM education, including additional support services necessary to insure high levels of success.  OER are high-quality educational materials that are openly licensed and shared at no cost, allowing learners and educators to use, adapt, change and add information to suit their education goals.  The task force will include experts in STEM education for girls and women along with experts in OER to determine specific projects that will advance achievement in these important areas.

“We are seeking innovative support solutions for girls to succeed in STEM subjects using open educational resources”, said Mary Lou Forward, Executive Director of the OpenCourseWare Consortium, “Since OER can be accessed freely by anyone, anywhere, and modified to fit different cultural contexts and learning needs around the world, we are looking at this issue from a global perspective”.