Welcome to the SmartyWomyn blog, a continuing exploration and promotion of getting girls to study and practice STEM careers. While pondering the problem over the last year, I’ve decided to take an engineering approach. Which means form a hypothesis, test it and adjust as necessary based on the data gained during the test. Talk about eating your own dog food!!
So…hypothesis numero uno:
Girls (and boys) have no real concept of what scientists and engineers do. I sure didn’t when my dad constantly harangued me about becoming an engineer. It was easy to brush him off because I envisioned a bespectacled man hunched over a drafting table with a slide rule. Certainly not what I wanted to do!
What will happen if we provide consistent opportunities for girls to do fun and collaborative projects that demonstrate what people in STEM fields do?
When girls do show an interest in STEM subjects, they are not encouraged. At least not enough to combat the subtle messages our society constantly dumps on them that girls don’t do math, science, etc. Thus the dramatic drop off in girls’ interest as they enter adolescence. Included in this hypothesis could be the misogyny demonstrated by some adults against women in certain technical fields. Adolescent girls hear about this problem and may decide it’s not worth fighting.
What happens if we amplify the volume on encouragement and dampen the negative antics of a minority of technologists practicing today?
There is not enough celebration of the women who have accomplished great things in STEM areas. While researching women in science for the SmartyWomyn products, I’ve been amazed at all the notable women I’ve never heard of before who have done great things!
What happens if we spread the word of these women? Let girls know that not only is it okay to lead a life of inquiry and exploration, it’s fun, lucrative, and very fulfilling?
Stay tuned as SmartyWomyn explores these hypotheses and reports back our findings!