top of page
  • Writer's pictureDonna Milgram

🌟 Step into the Future of STEM Education with Virtual Reality! 🚀

Revolutionize STEM Diversity for Women

Last week I presented at the statewide CCCAOE conference (California Community College Association for Occupational Education) on “Empowering Women in Auto & Diesel: Join A Game-Changing Session for Educators.”

I am still loving being in person and during the breaks I enjoy visiting the exhibitors. In this photo you see me using a virtual reality headset that shows how to repair an assembly line in a manufacturing plant. I got to weld for the first time (virtually). It was so cool!

This is a great career exploration and recruitment tool because it helps the user to understand what they would be doing on the job if they were to pursue this career pathway and it’s done in a very interesting and engaging way. I’m also happy to say that some of the characters were female. 

It’s also a retention tool because it’s a bridge step to help prepare students for the actual hands-on lab. This will be especially helpful to those with less of a STEM background and that will be disproportionately women and students of color. Often women are fearful of breaking equipment: having the opportunity to see how it works before actually using it should increase their comfort level and their grades and persistence.

I met a manufacturing instructor at the conference and described the Virtual Reality scenario i had experienced - praising it - and he said he wasn’t interested as his class is back in-person and nothing can replace hands-on learning and using the actual tools. He was very closed-minded and not interested in this new innovative technology. What a shame.

Please be open-minded. I urge you to check it out -

I really think it could be a game-changer for your female STEM students.

Maybe you could write it into your next STEM grant proposal.

Need some help with Recruiting and Retaining STEM Students?

Maureen Devlin Clancy Makerspace

The WomenTech Educators Training was very eye-opening and it provided a vehicle and framework to focus our efforts. The most valuable aspect of the training was building our team! Getting a group of people focused and thinking about retention was a good thing. Getting the institutional buy-in is critical. While top-level management needs to know what's going on, it's the faculty—the people actually doing the work—that you need to get on board.

~ Dr. John Henshaw, Dean of Workforce Development at Mount Wachusett Community College and Project Director for Massachusetts Advanced Manufacturing TechHire Collaborative brought a team to a 2015 WomenTech Educators Online Training. Female enrollment went from only 1 female student to 9 out of 13 the next semester. Retention of both female and male students went from 50% to 100%.



bottom of page