Celebrating Women In STEM

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The International Day of Women and Girls in Science falls on February 11th.  To celebrate this, over the next two weeks WSKG will be highlighting women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) in the Women in STEM project!  This spotlight will start with women involved in the sciences and continue to shift through each letter of STEM.  Each day women achieve greatness in their fields, and it is important to acknowledge that.  Showcasing the work of 24 women of varying backgrounds and ages demonstrates this capability and serves as a means of increasing the female presence in STEM history. 

Young women should be able to see someone who looks like them succeeding in the professional world. This creates STEM identity, which is the power of representation and sense of belonging creating purpose and sense of worth in associated fields.  This can benefit future generations as more people feel comfortable to explore their interests.  The Women in STEM project aims to demonstrate that there is no one “face of STEM”, it is ambiguous.

Dr. Caitlin Light in her lab at Binghamton University.

Each of the branches of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math are expansive. Within this project spanning the next two weeks we will traverse through STEM exploring the works of many women in a variety of fields.  The Science section of Women in STEM will be populated by microbiology, ecology, organic chemistry, astrophysics, and social sciences.  Following Science is the Technology portion.  This consists of women working in architecture, information technology, and aerospace.  After this, the Engineering section will showcase the work of civil, software, mechanical, environmental, and electrical engineers.  Women in STEM will close with a look into the achievements of women in Mathematics.  This includes statisticians, programmers, operational researchers, and actuaries.

SciGirls learning to code Sphero bots.

The power of representation in education cannot be understated.  It is so significant for young women to understand that people like them have done great things.  Representation allows for a girl to feel like she belongs, whether it be in the classroom learning math or in the lab experimenting with microscopes.  There are many barriers to success for women including race, religion and societal preference toward their male colleagues.  There are men who have done and will do great things for STEM fields, but there are also women whom history has hidden.  These standards in society need to be actively combatted, and this is what the Women in STEM project seeks to do.  By increasing the visibility of both current and past women achieving greatness in STEM, young women can feel confident in their capabilities and know they belong.

Watch the WSKG Science Instagram highlighting Women in STEM. 

– Written by Julia Diana, WSKG Science Intern