Women have come a long way in trying to break through the STEM glass ceiling, but they are still facing challenges in this male-dominated field.
According to a report by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), negative stereotype affects girls’ interest in STEM subjects. The report also highlights a number of recommendations to overcome this problem — from introducing successful women role models to girls, to educating students about the stereotype threat, to mentoring.
The event at the White House featured a panel of inspiring women: Dr. Cady Coleman, who is a retired NASA astronaut; Jocelyn Goldfein, the director of engineering for Facebook; Dr. Jean Hernandez, who is the president of Edmonds Community College; and Bianca Bailey, president of the Howard University Chapter of Engineers Without Borders
In fact, NASA has a virtual mentoring programme that allows young women to learn more about the field of study they’re interested in, and ask questions to the women at NASA. One of the goals of this project is to reach out to young women who are contemplating a career in STEM, and hopes to inspire and encourage them to do so.
The event also showed a screening of a video titled “Girls in STEM: A New Generation of Women in Science”. This video features clips of a variety of projects created by girls who took part in the 2012 White House Science Fair, such as a UV light lunch box that kills bacteria on food.
Girls in STEM: A New Generation of Women in Science
If you are interested in getting to know other female role models in STEM, check out Huffington Post UK’s interview with Commander Camilla Corona from NASA, or watch AAUS’s “Wonder Women in STEM” webcast on April 26, Thursday!