Empowering girls in STEM: What Does a Scientist Look Like?
If you asked your daughter what a scientist looked like, what would she say?
Although today’s society embraces more women into traditionally male-dominated career fields, there is still a gap between genders in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.
Many of us want our daughters to feel empowered and excited about using their skills and talents to build a better world. Unfortunately, girls still face stereotypes and discrimination in their quests to be scientists. Even further, a large number of girls lose interest in STEM-related career paths at an early age.
It’s crucial to instill confidence in girls and build up the next generation of female scientists. Many women have excelled in science and have made ground-breaking discoveries that have changed the lives of many.
In the 1900s, African American chemist Alice Ball developed a leprosy treatment at the age of 23. In 1964, British chemist Dorothy Hodgkin became the first British woman to win the Chemistry Nobel Prize. There are countless other women we could list, but these front runners’ accomplishments show that girls can be anything they want to be.
How can you describe what a good scientist looks like to your daughter? Let’s look at a few characteristics:
A scientist is smart and has an active imagination. They can take in the world around them and use their surroundings to formulate new ideas and solutions. Scientists also have a wealth of knowledge on scientific principles and other relevant subjects, like math, physics, biology, calculus, etc.
A good scientist is creative. Creativity allows a scientist to think outside the box and create things that haven’t been thought of before.
A scientist is a critical thinker and can analyze problems with an open mind.
A good scientist has a lot of curiosity and wants to know about the world around them. From understanding how electrical currents work to knowing the principles of velocity, there are many ways to explore like a scientist.
Innovation is at the heart of being a scientist. A scientist needs to bring forth new ideas and promote them with the faith that they can do the work.
As we can see, gender does not define a real scientist. They possess qualities that many young girls have. We have the power to prevent more young girls from missing their calling and not using their skills for science and other STEM fields.
Remind your daughter that a scientist is intelligent, innovative, passionate, creative, and curious. She has or can develop the same qualities needed to be a scientist. Then sit back and watch her fly.
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