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Morton Bast

editorial coordinator, TED

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Open thread: Having grit means living life like a marathon, not a sprint. Share your story of grit, and how it made a difference.

As a seventh-grade math teacher in New York, Angela Lee Duckworth quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled.

We'd like to start an open discussion on the idea that "grit" is one of the main factors for success in school and beyond. Does this ring true, in your experience? Have you ever seen grit make the difference between failure and success?

Topics: success
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    May 16 2013: I loved this talk so much, especially because, as someone extremely involved in STEM education, this something I notice frequently in peers and colleagues. As an engineering student, I see grit everyday in the students, especially students who struggle, who continue to persevere through their hard classes. Currently, 50% of incoming college freshmen engineering majors do not graduate as engineers. I think the students who stick with engineering are the students who have enough grit to stick out the hard classes where test averages are as low as 13%. These same gritty people are the ones who pursue internships and receive lucrative job offers at the end of the senior year of school.

    I'm also a girl in engineering, which means I'm a minority in most of my classes especially physics and computer science. I think that girls pursuing STEM fields are the grittiest because they must pass rigorous classes while also dealing with negative judgement from sexist ideas. So my proposal is that one of the best ways to encourage engineering majors to continue to pursue engineering instead of changing majors and to encourage women to pursue STEM careers is to develop grit students. With grit, these obstacles can be overcome and students will be on their way to success. I use my grit everyday to continue obtaining my engineering education and overcome others' misconception that as girl I can't be an engineer. I'd love to see this idea spread throughout more students like me.
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      May 16 2013: Hi Morgan,
      There does seem to be a high drop out ratio for engineering students....especially girls/women, and it is the "gritty" ones who continue, generally have good jobs, and enjoy their life/work circumstances.

      My daughter knew as a junior/senior in high school that she wanted to be an engineer, and several people tried to talk her out of it. She got scholarships, attended Clarkson, where the ratio was 80% men, 20% women at the time....20-25 years ago. Not only did she compete with the guys in classes...she also played sports with them, often being the only woman on a team. She is one of the grittiest people I know!!!

      You hang in there Morgan, and I'm sure you will do GREAT by following your heart and doing what you love doing:>)

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