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Sophia Santillan

Associate Professor of the Practice in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Outreach & Engaged Scholarship


Bass Connections Team Leader - Assessing and Improving Girls' and Women's Math Identity · 2023 - 2024 Projects & Field Work flag North Carolina
Bass Connections Team Leader - Assessing and Improving Girls' and Women's Math Identity · 2021 - 2023 Projects & Field Work flag North Carolina Education & Human Development located in Durham, North Carolina
Bass Connections Team Leader - Improving Girls’ Math Identity through Problem-solving and Mentorship · 2020 - 2021 Projects & Field Work flag North Carolina Education & Human Development
Bass Connections Team Leader - Spatial Reasoning and Problem-based Learning to Improve Girls' Math Identity · 2019 - 2020 Projects & Field Work flag North Carolina Education & Human Development
Bass Connections Faculty Team Leader - Problem-based Learning to Improve Girls' Math Identity · 2018 - 2019 Projects & Field Work

Primary Theme: Education & Human Development

Women continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields in the United States. The gender gap in STEM fields exists at all levels, from childhood through career selection, and there are many causes for female underrepresentation found in recent research on the topic. Two major causes are students’ math identity—their beliefs, attitudes and emotions about math—and societal views around gender as it relates to fields of study. Because many people see math as a “masculine” subject, women and girls tend to feel they must overachieve in the field to be competitive, or even comparable, with their male counterparts. Additionally, the pervasive stereotype that STEM fields are “for men” can have a negative impact even on those who actively reject the stereotype.