September 14, 2018
Did you know that girls begin losing interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects as early as middle school? Because of this, there are less than 25% of women working in STEM fields. However, do not feel defeated quite yet, this week’s news is packed full of women making strides in STEM fields to inspire the next generation of girls to study STEM, whether it’s through advertising, writing or donations.
The Advertising Council, in collaboration with GE, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Verizon have launched a new public service campaign to get girls involved in STEM.
This ad campaign is unlike any other out there – it provides girls with real-life STEM role models that reflect themselves. Let me repeat this for the millionth time: representation matters. Before I start raving about the campaign and all its glory, you can check it out here. The She Can STEM website provides all different aspects of the campaign from TV advertisements to social media posts to young girls sitting down and interviewing rocket scientists to civil engineers. Very much so like the GoldieBlox mission, this entire campaign is encouraging girls ages 11 to 15 to see the endless possibilities (see the world as their toolbox) involved in STEM, from offices to hard hats, to creating and inventing. By taking young girls role models – Karina Garcia, Olivia Rodrigo, Alyssa Carson – along with organizations making huge strides in engineering – Girls Who Code, ChickTech, Black Girl Code – the Advertising Council is hoping to inspire girls to know that “If she can STEM, so can you.” New York Times
From brownie to rocket scientist, to the CEO of Girl Scouts, Sylvia Acevedo has written a book to inspire the next generation of girls.
Sylvia Acevedo grew up in poverty, living paycheck to paycheck with her family. She never knew she had a knack for engineering or anything STEM related but an experience at Girl Scout camp changed her perspective, and it’s truly amazing how her journey has come full circle. Being a Girl Scout is more than just selling cookies, it’s about empowering young women to see their full potential and understand that you can pave your path no matter what anyone tells you. Acevedo faced exactly that growing up: discrimination for being a female and for being Hispanic. She faced those challenges and ended up getting a master’s in engineering from Stanford University, then became a rocket scientist with NASA, and is now the CEO of Girl Scouts. You can read all about her experience and purchase her book here in English or here in Spanish. NPR
Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, an extraordinary British Astronomer, was awarded £2.3M for her discovery and what she is choosing to do with the money is incredible.
Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell was awarded the Breakthrough Prize for the discovery of what’s known now as a radio pulsars. Believe it or not, in 1974, the Nobel prize for physics was awarded to this same discovery but instead of Bell Burnell being recognized, her male collaborators were. Fast forward to 2018 and Bell Burnell has finally been given the proper recognition. Instead of keeping the winnings for herself, she is donating the money to help fund women, ethnic minorities, and refugee students to support them in becoming physics researchers – just like herself. Bell Burnell actually contributes being a minority to her success. She believes that since she didn’t feel as though she belonged she was extra particular and careful in research, resulting in her discovery of the very, very small signal. However, no one deserves to feel as though they do not belong and her donation will make sure that the future of women in physics are overshadowed by the majority. Global Citizens