Girls in Science Day, Inspiring Future Scientists

Posted on 06/15/2017 at 10:01 amViewed 576 times

In 2011, a US government survey showed that women made up 48% of the total work force. However, women represented only 24% of the work force in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)*. Lack of female role models and bias towards males in these careers are some of the reasons for this underrepresentation. Now, more than ever before, efforts are being made to encourage young females to pursue careers in STEM and to increase awareness around the cultural stereotypes that create barriers for females following these career paths.

 

On May 18th and 19th, Herring Gut Learning Center was proud to host its first annual event showcasing remarkable local women in the fields of science and technology. Over the two days, girls attending RSU #13 sixth grade came to the Herring Gut campus and met incredible female scientists who led hands-on lessons on such topics as lobster biology, plankton identification, wind technology, water chemistry, and aquaculture engineering. Beautiful weather on both days made it possible to eat lunch on the beach following an intertidal exploration inspired by the famous ecologist, Rachel Carson. Additionally, Herring Gut Staff facilitated activities that inspired sustainable actions, explored remotely operated vehicle (ROV) technology, encouraged the melding of science and art, and provided examples of women throughout history who overcame barriers in STEM.

 

As evidence of the day’s success, smiles were plentiful as the girls boarded the bus to go home, and many commented on how much fun and learning took place throughout the day. Some even thought they could be more likely to consider a career in science or math as a result of the day’s activities. This event was made possible by the caring scientists who gave their time and energy, and also by the generous support of Siemens Corporation (http://www.siemens.com). With this event and others like it in the future, Herring Gut Learning Center hopes to help close the gender gap in STEM fields, and encourage young females to be resilient, innovative, creative, and use science and technology to solve problems facing society.

 

Herring Gut Learning Center, a non-profit education center in Port Clyde, partners with local schools to present hands-on classes in aquaculture and marine science, offers professional development opportunities for teachers, and presents summer programs for children and the public. For more information please visit www.herringgut.org.

 

*http://www.esa.doc.gov/sites/default/files/womeninstemagaptoinnovation8311.pdf

 

 

 

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