What's STEM 4 Girls?

The Four Strands of STEM are Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Science

We all know what science is. Girls learn
about science in school, but what they often
don't learn is how exciting things like
physics can be. Don't believe me? Take a ride
on a roller coaster and then let's talk about
potential vs. kinetic energy! The science
strand includes:
Biology
Chemistry
Physics
Earth, Atmospheric,
and Planetary
Science

Technology

This strand is a little trickier to understand. We depend on technology in our dayto-day lives, as the
occasional power outages prove. But using technology and putting technology to
use in new and exciting ways are two very different
things. The technology strand includes:
Computers and microchips and the thousands of ways they sneak into
everyday life

Engineering

Think it! Draw it! Build it! Then change the world!
Engineers do everything from designing earthquake proof skyscrapers to making superstrong high
heels. The engineering strand includes:
Mechanical
Chemical
Biological
Aero/Astro
and Civil Engineering

Math

In school we learn to add, subtract, multiply and
divide. We learn decimals and fractions. What we
don't learn is how math and music go hand-inhand.
Why jewelry designers and graphic artists depend on math principles. How math can save the world. The math strand includes:
Statistics
Probability
Geometry
Percentages
Economics

 

Making today's Girls Top Girls! Inspiring girls to pursue the skills they need to change the world! athlete

The Science of Color

Finding the colors of the rainbow

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Science that is fun!

shopping

Power in Numbers

Get ready to change the world!

Takes the things girls are most passionate about and links them to Science, Technology,
Engineering and Math in
a fun-filled and innovative way

Why STEM for Girls is so important

Quick! Picture a Scientist!

malescientist

Before STEM4Girls

If you were asked to draw a picture of a scientist, what would you draw? Think about it for a minute. When faced with this question, most people
picture somebody who looks like Albert Einstein. University of Michigan professor Jacquelynne Eccles says, "Young people have an image of scientists as eccentric old men with wild hair, smoking cigars, deep in thought, alone."

femaleScientist

After STEM4Girls


Is it any surprise that girls and women at all levels are lagging behind their male counterparts? Girls are opting out of STEM (Science, Technology,
Engineering and Math) classes in school, and as a result, men far outnumber women in technical fields. Even though the number of women earning highlevel degrees in STEM fields has increased, men still far outnumber women in those workplaces. Tenured faculty in four-year institutions in those fields are few (see NY Times graphic below). As the National Coalition of Girls' Schools (NCGS) puts it, "the problem is in the pipeline."

graph

Filling the Pipeline

Women are making remarkable contributions
to the world through their efforts in STEM fields,
but young girls in school aren't getting that
message. Many hear the words math and science
and simply tune out. And why blame them? They
need to understand that working in a STEM field
means much more than sitting in a lab with a
bunch of beakers and microscopes.

 

Making Today's Girls Top Girls

If girls could see all the cool things that can be done with a knowledge of the STEM fields—from designing performance
sports equipment to protecting endangered animal populations—it would seriously change the way they think about these subjects in school. We need to get girls hooked on these fields early in their lives, before the moment passes.


TOP GIRLS links Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to all the things young girls love: from pop music and computer animation to sports, shopping at the mall, pets, and even fashion. They'll grasp gravity and how it impacts the flight of a soccer ball. They'll explore the fascinating links between
music and math. They'll learn about materials science and how it's being used to fight fires, save lives, and make cuddlier
fleece.


Along the way they'll be inspired by dozens of "Top Girls"— some famous, some not, who are making life more fun, more interesting, safer, and healthier for the global community.

The goal? When asked to picture a scientist, we want girls to picture
somebody who looks just like them!

 

Written by a true STEM girl with a little help from her STEM sisters—all recent graduates of the prestigious Massachusetts
Institute of Technology

Dozens of hands-on projects and experiments that will nurture a love of science, all done with
common household items

girl

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SAMPLE ARTICLE

Hair Raising Adventures

Two of us are curly-girls. Two have straight hair. One of us has perfect waves. I look at my
straight-haired buddies and drool with envy.Why is curly hair curly and straight hair straight? It
all starts with a little biology. Hair is made from a protein called keratin, which in turn is made
from sulfur atoms and mini-molecules called amino acids. Sulfur atoms don't like to be lonely. They like having lots of other sulfur atoms to hang around with. Party in Tish's hair! As the sulfur atoms link up they form disulfide bonds, but in order for them to get close enough to form these bonds, the keratin has to bend. This is what makes curls. Curly girls have lots and lots of disulfide bonds. Straight haired girls have far fewer bonds so the keratin goes longer
distances before bending. To change this you need chemistry.

Curl-Mastering Chemicals

Thanks to science, we now can temporarily change our disulfide bonds. Ever hear somebody talk about getting a "perm?" It's short for "permanent wave" (big secret…it really isn't permanent). Straight-haired girls can use a special combination of chemicals that create extra disulfide bonds. The result? Lots of curls! Curly-girls do the opposite. "Relaxers" are chemicals that bust apart the disulfide bonds. But hair's true nature can't be changed. As chemically treated hair grows out, new-growth hair will still be your true hair. Curly. Straight.Wavy. You're stuck with it.

 

Geneticist

What goes into making a girl like you?

An exciting new way to encourage girls to become a part of the STEM community and
change the world as a result.

Making Today's Girls Top Girls

If girls could see all the cool things that can be done with a knowledge of the STEM fields—from designing performance
sports equipment to protecting endangered animal populations—it would seriously change the way they think about these subjects in school. We need to get girls hooked on these fields early in their lives, before the moment passes.


TOP GIRLS links Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math to all the things young girls love: from pop music and computer animation to sports, shopping at the mall, pets, and even fashion. They'll grasp gravity and how it impacts the flight of a soccer ball. They'll explore the fascinating links between
music and math. They'll learn about materials science and how it's being used to fight fires, save lives, and make cuddlier
fleece.


Along the way they'll be inspired by dozens of "Top Girls"— some famous, some not, who are making life more fun, more interesting, safer, and healthier for the global community.

The goal? When asked to picture a scientist, we want girls to picture
somebody who looks just like them!

Go STEM!!!

pointer

Solving Crimes with New technology

Be your own CSI agent

Engineering

Which bridge is best?

About Tish Scolnik

A True STEM Top Girl

Tish Scolnik holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. In 2009 she was named one of Glamour Magazine's Top Ten College Women and awarded the Truman Scholarship for Public Service. As a co-founder of MIT's M-Lab—an organization devoted to designing and developing mobility aids and prosthetics for the developing world—she travels extensively sharing STEM inventions and developments with those who can benefit the most. She has also been a guest speaker at the STEM for Girls Think Tank, an annual gathering of educational leaders from around the country who are passionate about educating young women. And be careful! To this day she can still talk your ear off about her
fourth grade science fair project.

…AND HER MIT "TOP GIRL SISTERS"

Emily Onufer

has a Bachelors of Science in Bioengineering from MIT and is currently
earning her Masters of Public Health from Dartmouth College. When she isn't in the lab,
you might find her playing fairy godmother at the Massachusetts General Hospital children's
wing—proof that tiaras and science do go together. Starting medical school this fall, Emily
hopes to be a pediatric oncologist.

Katie Smyth

has a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and is
currently working toward her PhD in the same field. You can always count on her to have a
few riveting scientific textbooks in her huge backpack, along with snapshots of her sparkly
"glitterbot" robot.

KC Binder

a Commissioned Officer in the US Navy, holds a Bachelors of Science in
Mechanical Engineering and minor in Management Science from MIT. Probably the most
glamorous Navy Officer in America, you're likely to find her up in the clouds, where she is
training to be a fighter pilot.

Laura Aust

holds a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from MIT and is currently earning her Masters in Management from the London Business School, where she is charming the Brits with her clever abilty to speak geek.



Want to be a Cosmetics Chemist?

Here are a few tips!

  1. FALL IN LOVE WITH CHEMISTRY
    Test tubes and bunsen burners are your best buds. When you get to
    college, major in chemistry or chemical engineering.
  2. KEEP ON LEARNING
    Get an advanced degree. This will make cosmetic companies
    lick their lips and drool over hiring you. Very desirable!
  3. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE BRAND?
    Try to work for a company whose products you love to use.
    There are thousands of companies that need cosmetic chemists.
  4. WHAT DO LIKE TO DO BEST?
    Mixing? Testing? Selling? Figure out which part of the process is the most fun for you. You could be a formulator who invents the new products, or maybe an organic chemist who finds brand new combinations of chemicals that can do
    something amazing, like curing baldness. Some Top Girls figure out how to engineer better mascara wands or pump-bottles. Lots to choose!
  5. AND WHY WAIT?–
    Keep experimenting! Fill small jars with the exact same amount of water. Cover
    each with a piece of identical fabric held tightly in place with rubber bands. Now
    rub a layer of several different skin creams over the top of the fabric. Label each jar
    with the brand name. Put the jars in a safe place out of direct sunlight and wait four
    days.Which jar had the most water left? The one with the most water had the cream
    that worked the best at keeping moisture in. You just did some cosmetic chemistry!

Makeup Case Meets
Chemistry Set

Think about your favorite shampoo or that yummy lipgloss you love. Now think about this. Someone had to figure out how to make it. If you use chemicals in the wrong combinations scary
things can happen, but cosmetic scientists know exactly how to mix them so you don't end up all blotchy and splotchy. Just as a baker mixes ingredients to come up with the perfect
cake, cosmetic scientists tinker with chemicals until they find a "recipe" that will have you looking your best. They are constantly working to invent new products. And thank goodness for that! Makeup in
the olden days was gross. Can you imagine smearing charcoal mixed with pig fat on your
eyelids? Or rubbing crushed cochineal beetles on your lips to make them red? That's what stylish women did in ancient times. Today, thanks to
cosmetics chemistry, we have safe products that smell good and don't taste like dead bugs.

Defying Gravity!

Physics! Gravity, Entropy and More!

Contact Us

Want to find out more about STEM4Girls? Email us and we'll get back in touch soon!