Today we have an inspiring guest post from Ashley who’s in 10th grade at school in California and blogs at Fun Science Experiments. Ashley is a Girl Scout who wants to make a difference in the world.
She’s particularly passionate about the lack of female representation in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math).
Why don’t more young women go into careers like that? What do you think?
Here’s what Ashley’s got to say on the subject:
Someone once told me “You can’t be what you can’t see”. These words come to my mind when I think of the gender disparity in science, technology, engineering, and math (aka STEM) workforce. History shows us how there were very few female scientists in the past; women like Roseland Franklin or Marie Curie are usually the only two that come to mind whenwe think of this. Although the numbers are not as grim today, women make up only 24% of STEM jobs.
When young girls cannot see other females in STEM careers, they lack passion towards science because they don’t have any role models to look up to. I began to realize this immense situation when I joined the Technology and Engineering Focus group, which is a program at my school that helps students follow their career path. When I found out that I was the only girl in the program, I felt intimidated and hesitated in joining. But I finally realized that fear shouldn’t control my dreams and goals in life, so I joined the Focus Group and haven’t regretted my decision since.
As a Girl Scout, I have a passion to make a change in the world. I recently began my Gold Award Project, which is a project where a Girl Scout solves a problem in their community to earn the Gold Award. The Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout can achieve. For my project, I’m focusing on the issue on how there are a lack of women in the STEM fields by creating a program to do fun science experiments with third grade girls to spark an interest in science and math, which is how I became interested as a child. While completing the program, I arrange to give science or engineering toys to the younger girls to continue their inspiration in these subjects. Furthermore, I created a blog for kids that teach them how to complete fun and easy science experiments at home.
I know what I’ve done are very small steps in making a difference, but if we all work together to increase the passion of science to younger girls, then the minority of women in S.T.E.M. careers will not be a problem in the future. This is not only a woman’s issue; it affects everyone because of the advances women could make for the world. I urge all of you to think about how you can change the stats. If we all look within ourselves and make a conscious effort to inspire girls the same way we inspire boys to look at STEM, then we can ensure gender stereotypes will not have a say in the future career choices of our young girls.
To find out more, visit Ashley at Fun and Easy Experiments for Kids.