STEM: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These four categories go together like peanut butter and jelly, throw women into the mix and you’ve got peanut butter, jelly, and banana. Sounds a bit weird but it’s really delicious…just give it a try. I fancy myself a female in STEM, I don’t technically get paid for it, but the majority of my free time is spent researching and reading about science and technology. When Twitter started trending #overlyhonestmethods I thought I died and went to heaven, a bunch of researchers and scientists tweeting about funny things in the lab? What a win.
I find STEM extremely interest but the fact is I’m a rare breed: Among wealthy nations, the United States ranked 23rd in science and 31st in math in standardized tests. Our high-school seniors competed poorly in advanced math and physics. We rank 27th in college graduates with degrees in science and math. That’s the fact. No wonder we’re so behind in the times.
Rebecca Searles and Brittany Binowski have started a STEM mentorship program in the hopes of getting girls interested in STEM. Brinowski also asked for people to tweet what they think it means to be “a woman in STEM” here’s a taste:
Usually society doesn’t think of women as scientists. The women in STEM are doing a good thing to inspire young women to help them with achieving their goals.
Women in STEM are pioneers. They are trekking in uncharted waters and loving what they do. They go against the grain and emerging just as successful as they gender counterparts. They are my role models.
I know that there are not a lot of women in STEM fields; I think those that are are probably more confident than average, as most girls tend to doubt their mathematical abilities.
Women in STEM are people who are unafraid of challenges and want a life of innovation.
When there’s a lack of women, there’s a lack of female input, and a chance that as a country, we’re not performing at our highest potential.
Perceptions? A woman in STEM is like a man in STEM except the woman identifies as female while the man identifies as male.
How exciting is that? A bunch of teenage girls talking about math and science? It’s oh-so-cool to pretend to be a geek now-a-days but ask one of these hipster-looking-Buddy-Holly-glasses-wearing-I-swear-I-am-a-geek-cause-I-watch-big-bang-theory-and-want-to-be-revleant jerks to explain the big bang theory or a HADRON collider and watch their eyes glaze over. Heck, ask them what JPL is. My money is on the fact that they don’t know. I don’t want fake geeks, I want real geeks. I don’t want you wearing glasses ‘cause you think it’s cute, wear them because your eyes get tired from reading too much data!
We need to step up in this country when it comes to STEM. We’re a celebrity culture and I think that “playing pretend” has leaked into every aspect of our world. Don’t pretend to be smart—be smart. Don’t pretend to be interesting—be interesting. You can still be a real geek and real cool, just ask this guy: