“A system that values obedience over curiosity isn’t education and it definitely isn’t science.”—
A beautiful rant about misguided public science education and how the fear of punishment kills curiosity, especially for minorities because they tend to receive harsher punishments, and for the poor because punishments end up being harsher on them when something like bail ends up putting their families even farther in debt.
“You know how women are better at empathizing and men are better at math? Yeah, that’s actually not true at all. Harmful stereotypes like these are more influential than we usually care to acknowledge, often leading to a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even in areas where actual performance is equal, when a certain group is reminded that they are supposed to be bad at something, their performance weakens. Now imagine that the message of “women are bad at science, men are bad at feelings” is subtly expressed to everyone starting at birth. A test of social sensitivity or math only finds gender differences because the participants are aware of how they are expected to perform. Playing with gender identity has a huge impact on success at skills usually thought to be better suited for the opposite sex. When a group of people are asked to write a first-person story from the perspective of someone named Ashley, they perform significantly worse on tests of math skills than a control group. It’s not enough to stop teachers from making gendered statements about math and science. The children are getting that message every day as they interact with society. The myth has to be actively dispelled. Until we stop subconsciously teaching our daughters that they are less intelligent or capable than our sons, they will go through their academic lives with an unfair handicap.”—Sara Wofford, Women And Men In Science: We Can Close The Gap on Feminspire.com
“Our ultimate goal is to create a STEM-aligned video game badge for the Girl Scouts of the United States of America. Creating this badge will get young girls excited in technology and science and let them know that they, too, can have a career in the video game industry. — Amy Allison, vice president at Women in Games International on the new Game Development badge being worked on for the Girl Scouts.”—Girl Scout Game Development Badge | The Mary Sue
“Among wealthy nations, the United States ranked 23rd in science and 31st in math in standardized tests. Our high-school seniors competed poorly in advanced math and physics. We rank 27th in college graduates with degrees in science and math.”—
Moreover, women represent 50 percent of the American population and capacity for innovation, but represent only 24 percent of the STEM workforce, according to the Association for Women in Science.
Here at The Huffington Post, we believe a more diverse group of scientists in STEM is necessary for our nation to stay competitive, and push the boundaries of innovation. That’s why we want to extend a digital helping hand to the future female leaders of STEM.
Join us in our new STEM mentorship initiative, in which we connect high-school- and college-age girls with an interest in science and engineering to female leaders in these fields.
Want to know what gets an analytical chemist fired up about her work? Want to learn how the developers of sites like Facebook and Twitter got where they are now? Maybe you’ve been taking apart cars since you were 10, and you aspire to become an automotive engineer. Or perhaps you wonder what it’s like to work with monkeys and rats as a technician in a neuroscience lab. Whatever curiosities strike you, our STEM mentors (in any and all fields) are here to help you explore your interests.