If asked to draw a scientist, who do you think you'd draw? A "recent study of fourth graders showed that 66% of girls and 68% of boys reported liking science...By second grade, when students (both boys and girls) are asked to draw a scientist, most portray a white male in a lab coat. Any woman scientist they draw looks severe and not very happy. The persistence of the stereotypes start to turn girls off, and by eighth grade, boys are twice as interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) careers as girls are."** How dos this happen? Where is the breakdown happening? Perhaps it's because kiddos are often shown one type of scientist.
This is why GIRLS CAN! CRATE exists! We want to change the perception of what kids think of when they hear scientist, inventor, advocate, and more. We want them to know the diverse group of women who've changed our world! To start, here are 4 amazing and fearless female scientists kiddos could draw instead:
Mary G. Ross
This month's GIRLS CAN! CRATE featured lady, Mary's love of math led her to work for Lockheed-Martin. While there, she discovered a love for engineering that eventually led to designs that made interplanetary space travel possible!
"To function efficiently in today’s world, you need math. The world is so technical, if you plan to work in it, a math background will let you go farther and faster."
Thanks to Marie Curie, we have radiation treatments for diseases such as cancer, modern x-rays, and more!
"When radium was discovered, no one knew that it would prove useful in hospitals. The work was one of pure science. And this is a proof that scientific work must not be considered from the point of view of the direct usefulness of it."
Dr. Mae Jemison
Dr. Mae Jemison became really interested in science when she was a young girl. She is proof that the stern stereotype of female scientists isn't accurate. Not only did she go to space, but she's also lived in Sierra Leone practicing medicine with the Peace Corps, made an appearance on Star Trek, and is an accomplished dancer and choreographer.
"In fourth grade, I was interested in all areas of science. I particularly loved learning about how the earth was created."
Marie Van Brittan Brown
A trained nurse, Marie transformed herself into an electrical engineer when she saw the need for a home security system, studied up on electrical engineering, and created the first closed circuit television security system!
These women prove that there is no one way to be a scientist. There are so many areas in science worth exploring and so much left to be discovered. Let's encourage girls to think outside of the box about science. How can you do this? Introduce her to all of the women who've contributed to science. Representation does matter; when we see others who look or think like us doing something great we, in turn, think that we can do that as well. Who knows what she may come up with!
GIRLS CAN! CRATE believes that real women make the very best heroes and every month, we deliver them! From astronauts to artists, from chefs to computer scientists, we want girls to know the fearless women who've gone before them and done BIG things so that they can do BIG things, too! Join us today at girlscancrate.com!
** Read more of this fascinating article at Livescience HERE.