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The end of the STEM gender gap?

Prashant Patel, Senior Producer @prashantCNBC
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Throw out the myth that boys are better than girls at engineering. A new study of technology and engineering literacy by the so-called Nation's Report Card shows girls outperforming.

The results showed 45% of girls scoring proficient or better at technology, compared with 42% for boys. More than 21,000 eighth-graders from more than 800 private and public schools took part in the test in 2014.

It was the first test by the National Assessment of Education Progress to investigate how U.S. students will compete in a modern world, using technology to trouble-shoot real-life problems. Tasks ranged from solving water pollution problems, determining how lane width and speed limits affect road safety to helping an Iguana from getting too cold in his cage.

The report is also likely to add fuel to the debate over private versus public schools. Sixty percent of students at private schools were at or above proficient in engineering and technology literacy. That's compared with 42% at, or above proficient at public schools.

But where do U.S. students stand on the global stage? A recent report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, (OECD), ranking school performance across 76 countries showed 15-year old U.S. students falling behind their peers in mathematics and science, with the U.S.ranking 28th.

The top 10 countries were:

1. Singapore

2. Hong Kong

3. South Korea

4. Japan

5. Taiwan

6. Finland

7. Estonia

8. Switzerland

9. Netherlands

10. Canada

Source: OECD