2 Motivational Lessons from STEM #Sheros

Women STEM professional typing code on a computer.

Girls face an uphill battle to pursue STEM, and it’s not for lack of good grades and talent. They need help combatting negative gender stereotypes that prevent them from choosing STEM fields. Women STEM professionals play an important role in encouraging and building confidence in the next generation of STEM women. Women advocates can help mentor girls to overcome feelings of invisibility that they may be facing in school and are likely to face as they continue breaking barriers in male-dominated fields.

What should STEM advocates teach girls in STEM?

According to award-winning engineer Alexis Scott in her TEDx talk, women need to teach girls to:

  • Be bold
  • Embrace your talents (no need to hide your gift to make others feel comfortable that you fit their gender stereotype)
  • Have no fear

Watch Alexis Scott’s TEDTalk on “The Hidden Women of STEM” by clicking here.

Exploring the unique barriers women of color face in STEM

In 2024, when Jedidah Isler earned her Ph.D. in astrophysicist at Yale, she was the first black woman to do so during the school’s 312-year history. Her journey to become an astrophysicist was not easy. In her TEDed video, she talks about how after completing her bachelor’s in physics, she didn’t immediately enroll in her master’s program for lack of guidance. She attributes a poster by the American Physical Society encouraging people of color to become physicists that kept her dream alive. The poster stood out for her because of the image of a black girl studying physics equations, underlying the importance of representation in STEM to encourage the next generation of girl scientists and engineers. Once she was accepted into Yale, she thought she had won the battle of achieving her dreams, but she went on to face racialized gender bias, a problem the majority of black women face in STEM.

Watch Jedidah Isler’s TEDed video “The Untapped Genius that Could Change Science for the Better” by clicking here.

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4 Classroom Tools that Matter for Girls’ Success in STEM




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