Russian female cosmonaut gets angry at ‘hair’ question in space press conference
Yelena Serova, the first Russian woman to go to the International Space Station, gets visibly annoyed when she is asked about make-up and hair at a pre-flight press conference.
At last year’s Cleveland Maker Faire, where 9th-grade Lauren was sharing her skills with other students, she stumbled upon a computer scientist from NASA who invited her to intern on his team. She worked all summer exploring the potential of low-cost computing devices for NASA. This year, she’s taking AP Computer Science and recently won a NCWIT Ohio Affiliate Award. Wow.
Representation Matters: Doc McStuffins
As you know, I am such a fan of media representation for women in STEM, but I haven’t given fair credit to the amazing Doc McStuffins! I feel like I’ve been living under a rock, but this little girl is absolutely perfect. She’s the daughter of a doctor and takes the things she learns from her mom and applies them to her own practice, Her toy practice! She’s smart, curious and according to show creator Chris Nee, she’s also a “strong, assertive character who’s going places in life”. In one episode she was struggling with a diagnosis for one of her patients, but that didn’t get her down. “I won’t give up, until I figure it out!” she cried! She is just the role model pre-school kids deserve.
While she’s teaching kids about health and hygiene, she also making a huge impact. Doc McStuffins is a top rated-program for the 2-5 age group. Little boys and girls love her; merchandise of the show garnered more than $500 million in sales last year. I can’t go to a restaurant or a grocery store anymore without seeming some kid toting her doll around. She’s everywhere!
While she’s awesome and adorable, most importantly she’s a great role model for young girls, especially for girls of color. There is a disproportionately low number of women in STEM, but there’s an even less women of color in STEM fields. Women of color make up about 7% of employed scientists and only 1.9% of the nation’s doctors.
“It’s so powerful to show representation of somebody who’s not usually on TV”, show creator Chris Nee spoke of this importance in a recent interview with MSNBC. Representation matters. Women, especially young people, need to see themselves in the characters they see. It gives them to the chance to say “I could do that, I could be that”. Even Disney executives admit the power media has on the way people, especially kids, see the world. So for a character like Doc McStuffins, a little girl of color who is interested in STEM, to have all the force of the Disney brand behind her, is something to truly celebrate!
We love Doc McStuffins!
I’m currently a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, VA and my interests lie at the intersection of computer science and medicine, particularly in interdisciplinary fields such as computational neuroscience. I love research and have been involved…
Women in Science: Call for personal experience essays “Surviving the Sexodus: Practical advice from women in science” Edited book Rutgers University Press, 2016 (tentative)
Many young women dream of a life in science, inspired by the opportunity for a meaningful and rewarding career involving…
If it is published, this book should be an interesting read! Fingers crossed 😀
My summer co-worker, (former) roommate, and friend, Mel Johnston, wrote an article for Brooklyn Mag about this awesome thing in NYC called the Kitten Coding Club.
Free coding classes that are cat-themed — a refreshing change from printing “Hello, world!” three million different ways.
Here's the article my friend wrote, and here’s Kitten Coding Club’s website.
Go forth and learn how to do computer things.
Cat-themed free coding classes?? SOLD.
Sylvia is one of my favorite young women in STEM (or STEAM, as she likes to call it - adding ‘Art’ to the equation); she’s the host of a show called Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Maker Show! I first learned about her from her excellent exploration/tutorial on squishy circuits (I was a bit nervous about building my first circuit…) and now she’s bringing a cool painting robot to life through kickstarter. It’s like a CNC router, but instead paints what you draw on the computer with watercolors!
I really, really hope lots of young girls are seeing her videos on youtube and maybe making some of their own experiments at home or at school! She’s a great inspiration for makers of all shapes and sizes and skills!
The TechGirls are so great. They came to Tumblr HQ yesterday and our engineers answered their questions about Tumblr, about tech, about being a woman in tech, about the future of tech, oh, all kinds of stuff. “Totally the happiest panel ever,” according to alittlespace.
Pictured, left to right: moderator everydaycaitlin; engineers reneeejp, sarahhnyc, hoenr, kiestra, and forklady42.
Look at all these cool ladies!
Heartening news of the day: Stanford’s Maryam Mirzakhani becomes the first woman to win the Fields Medal, the “Nobel Prize of mathematics.” In some distant galaxy, Maria Mitchell’s heart is bursting with joy.
Huge news for women in mathematics! Congratulations to Ms Mirzakhani!
Poor father sells all his land so 13-year-old daughter can enroll in microbiology master’s program in India
In a country where many girls are still discouraged from going to school, Sushma Verma is having anything but a typical childhood.
The 13-year-old girl from a poor family in north India has enrolled in a master’s degree in microbiology, after her father sold his land to pay for some of his daughter’s tuition in the hope of catapulting her into India’s growing middle class.
Verma finished high school at 7 and earned an undergraduate degree at age 13 — milestones she said were possible only with the sacrifices and encouragement of her uneducated and impoverished parents.
“They allowed me to do what I wanted to do,” Verma said in an interview, speaking her native language of Hindi. “I hope that other parents don’t impose their choices on their children.” (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)
It’s my hope that in the future, women of color will be able to forge careers in STEM without the necessity of sacrifices or financial hardship. Sushma Verma’s accomplishments can hopefully light our way forward.