USA Science and Engineering Festival: The Blog

Meet Women Innovators Who Are Creating Cool, New Ways to Inspire Young Girls in STEM

Get ready as Festival Expo 2014 introduces you to a growing number of women innovators who are spearheading efforts to create exciting ways to inspire the next generation of female scientists and engineers! This includes designing STEM-inspired toys for young girls, immersing them in positive experiences that dispel the ¨nerd¨ stereotype that STEM-motivated females often encounter, and writing books featuring amazing STEM heroines.

Titled “Meet the Women Leaders Spearheading Cool and Fascinating Ways to Inspire Girls in STEM”, this must-see performance panel in April will be moderated by Kathy Park, reporter and weekend morning anchor for Washington, DC’s ABC 7 and News Channel 8, and will include:

–Dr. Karen Panetta, the Tufts University professor of Engineering who is known as the “Princess Warrior” of Engineering and Science education. As founder of Nerd Girls (the global movement which celebrates “smart-girl” individuality in science, technology, engineering and math), Karen and her colleagues are championing young women to use their creative talents and brain power to solve problems and develop cool innovations that improve and change lives.

–Lindsey Shepard, vice president of Sales for GoldieBlox, the high-powered new startup (begun by Stanford engineering grad Debbie Sterling) that is gaining national attention by creating innovative construction kits and toys that encourage girls to develop an early interest and skill set in engineering. Adding to Goldie Blox’s distinction and “coolness,” the company in February of this year became the first small business to air an ad during the Super Bowl. Their ad depicting girl empowerment in STEM was viewed by a record 111.5 million viewers!

–Andrea Beaty, the highly popular children’s book author whose recent work, Rosie Revere, Engineer, chronicles the pursuits of the fictitious main character, Rosie — a shy but determined second grader who breaks stereotypes to build amazing gizmos and gadgets towards her dream of becoming an engineer.

The impetus of these Expo panel presentations lies in the sobering fact that fewer than a quarter of America’s jobs in STEM fields are held by women, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, and only 11% of engineers are women.

The presentations by Lindsey, Karen, Andrea and other panel members are also key in that they will show how their activities zero in on how children, especially girls, tend to learn best: through storytelling, use of verbal skills, and hands-on problem-solving.

To view other exciting speakers appearing in stage presentations at the Expo, click here.