Penn State Researcher: College-Level Math, Science Classes Should Teach Students How to Sew

Stephanie Vasko, a Senior Research Assistant at the Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State, believes that changes need to be made to STEM classes. Specifically, she believes that the courses, which focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, should include teaching students how to sew.

Dr. Vasko reasons that sewing, as well as “knitting, weaving, crochet, [and] jewelry-making,” could be useful to STEM students, as knowing how to do such things could incorporate technology into things such as clothes.

Much of the focus of her article, however, is that things like these could help STEM students learn about social justice.
Dr. Vasko
Many STEM students are “white, privileged, and male,” Dr. Vasko writes. Teachings things like sewing will stop “organizations being set up to tell young women and young brown and black men that they should aspire to be young white men.”

Dr. Vasko also writes that teaching “low-tech crafts” will also help get rid of “gendering” in STEM.

“The combination of sewing, crafting, making, and STEM offers educators a critical opportunity to explore ethics and social justice with students,” she explains. “From discussions around the ethics of copying patterns to the sourcing of fabrics to conditions for garment workers to the use of craft as a form of activism, there is no shortage of topics for discussion to help students gain a broader conceptualization of ethics in crafting, making, and STEM.”

The article concludes, “If those of us who pursue activities across the spectrum of crafting, making, and STEM acknowledge our identities publicly and host events and/or engage with different communities, we can create opportunities to educate and inform.”


Founder and editor of the Social Memo

  • Facebook
  • Image
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


  1. Does she hear herself talk? She claims to be a feminist, but literally just said "There aren't enough women in STEM, so lets make it less about science, technology, engineering and medicine, and make it more about making it about pretty clothes and jewlery and and easy things that girls will like" This is the most sexist thing i've ever heard.