The math and science coursework taken in high school helps prepare students to pursue an engineering degree. The gender gap in earned high school math and science credits has shrunk over the past few decades, with girls earning approximately the same amount of course credits as boys.
Source: Nord, C., Roey, S., Perkins, R., Lyons, M., Lemanski, N., Brown, J., and Schuknecht, J. (2011). The Nation’s Report Card: America’s High School Graduates (NCES 2011-462). U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
However, fewer girls than boys are taking Advanced Placement exams in STEM-related subject areas, including calculus, physics, and computer science. Students that take Advancement Placement exams are typically interested in either obtaining college credit for those courses or in better preparing themselves for college. Lower rates of AP exams in math and science among girls may indicate a lack of interest in pursuing a STEM degree in college.
Source: The College Board, AP Program Participation and Performance Data, 2016. National Report.