This editorial, which the NY Times ran this week, is a bummer, to put it lightly. The statistics, facts and anecdotal proof rattled off here are hard to ignore. As in, more than half of this country’s science majors quit the discipline before they finish their studies because it is dull? What? Ugh, that is not good.
Take a read
We can do better than this. You can do better than this. Allow us to sound like a broken record girls. The future is in your hands. Demand better, more exciting, more open minded approaches at studying science and engineering. Seek out schools, employers, teachers and mentors that share our beliefs (and the reality) that engineering is cool, lucrative, fun, engaging and stimulating. That it is not one stereotypical thing but a wide ranging field with many possibilities and paths. That engineers are cool and that most of the cool “stuff” in our world is in fact the result of engineering’s power.
You know what? Thinking about this article more, and putting a positive spin on it we realize this: that these facts are indeed a big bummer, but that they also present one big, huge thing: POSSIBILITY. Scholarships, cool jobs that are just waiting for smart girls like you to fill them. It’s all wide open.
To change this, to fill in the holes our country is facing, and to be secure the future of engineering WILL happen if we stick to it.
We can do better than this. We know it, because we have you as the future of engineering. Take on the challenge. Dream big Love what you do. Engineer Your Life.
It's been a big week for our friends here at WGBH. On Monday, the president, yes THE president of the United States, hosted a science fair at the White House to promote and celebrate science and engineering in our nation's schools.
Cool, right? Well we were invited to the party. Our friends at Design Squad, WGBH's reality based show that pits two teams of budding engineering minded young people together in a series of design challenges, recently hosted a contest that asked kids to submit an idea on how to turn "Trash to Treasure." The winner? Check it out:
Student Develops "Smarter Toilet" That Conserves Water. A freshman at Rome Free Academy High School, MaryAnn Bulawa hails from Ava, New York and won the PBS Design Squad Trash to Treasure competition for her invention. She used bubble wrap, plexiglass, and PVC piping to develop the Smart Toilet, which displaces water inside the tank to reduce the toilet's water and energy consumption. The PBS television series Design Squad challenged kids aged 5-19 to reuse recycled materials by engineering the green invention for their Trash to Treasure competition. The competition aligns with Design Squad's mission to engage kids in engineering and illustrate how it can make a difference.
Great idea, right? The president thought so: the idea got these budding engineers the big invite to the big white house in Washington DC. It was a great day for WGBH, the USA and science and engineering buffs all over.
Take a read at some of the other winners and their equally great ideas. Round of applause all around.
Dream big. Love what you do. Engineer Your Life.www.engineeryourlife.org
Now THIS is cool. Astronauts and spacesuits and rockets oh my. Well, sort of. It’s NASA, and NASA has always been, and will always be cool in that spacecamp sort of way. Well, we came across something that NASA is offering to engineering minded ladies (and gentlemen) like you, and we wanted to share it. The program, called the RealWorld-InWorld NASA Engineering Design Challenge, is aimed at high school students interested in STEM related careers; i.e.—YOU. Here’s more from the site: This is a unique education initiative that targets students in grades 9-12 and encourages them to explore and build skills essential for successful careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) through two phases of project-based learning and team competition. Best of all? It is free to be a part of. Talk with your teachers and rally a team together to compete with teams from all over the country. The competition should be fierce so put your best engineering head into it and move on to the finals to compete for engineering glory! More here: http://www.nasarealworldinworld.org/Home.aspx Let us know how you do. We’ll gladly blog about your progress along the way if you like! Keep us posted ladies…
There’s been a lot of chit-chat this week about the term STEM, which us girls know to mean “Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.” Some (like the NY Times writer Natalie Anger in this article say the term is “odious” and put much blame on the term itself for the underdog persona these disciplines sometimes (sadly) get branded with.
Ok. We hear you. STEM is not the flashiest term in the world. It doesn’t roll off the tongue like Bieber fever, tweet or Twihard. And branding is everything, right? But, let’s not go bashing the engine, er term, that has made strides (yes arguably small and debatably sluggish but strides nonetheless) over the last few years. The government is paying attention (read a recent report here ). Our schools are paying attention. Potential employers are paying attention, and, most importantly, young people are hearing more about the possibilities and potential in these fields.
It is progress. It is movement in the right direction. And there’s lots of good that can “stem” from that.
What do you think? Is the term STEM really to blame?