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What does a scientist look like? Children are drawing women more than ever before
When asked to draw a scientist, school-age kids in the United States are increasingly sketching women. That’s the main conclusion of a new study that compiled information about 20,860 pictures drawn by students age 5 to 18 over 5 decades. In the 1960s and 1970s, less than 1% of students depicted scientists as female. But the percentage of women in the ''draw a scientist'' sketches - like the one pictured, drawn by a third grade girl in San Antonio, Texas - has increased over time, reaching an estimated 34% by 2016. And the numbers are even more stark when looking at drawings penned by girls: About 1% drew women in the first 2 decades - but in the past decade more than half have drawn women, researchers report in Child Development. The trend in how children perceive scientists parallels an uptick in the actual number of female scientists. Over roughly the same time period - from 1960 to 2013 - the percentage of women holding science jobs rose from 28% to 49% in biological science, from 8% to 35% in chemistry, and from 3% to 11% in physics and astronomy.
Posted on 03 Sep 2019
Team of all-female ASU students took 3rd in a world robotics competition
A team of female engineers from ASU just placed third in the world in a robotics competition. They were the only all-female team that made it to the finals, and most of the team is comprised of freshman. They just want to prove that in a male-dominated field, they are a team to be taken seriously. The team's creation is an autonomous underwater vehicle. It can be used for tasks that humans may find dangerous, and the inventions can help people learn more about the oceans. The robosub competition was held in San Diego, with 55 teams from 12 different countries competing. ASU's underwater robotics team placed first among U.S. teams, and third internationally.
Posted on 14 Aug 2019
Tired of News About Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates, She Launched a Site for Black Techies
A fan of numbers, technologist Sherrell Dorsey of ThePLUG takes a data-driven approach to sharing the stories and struggles of black innovators. When telling a story, Sherrell Dorsey turns to numbers before words. She's the founder of ThePLUG, an online news site launched in 2016 that covers the work and culture of black innovators. And every article published is rife with data and factoids - for example, a deep dive into the lack of intellectual property creation at historically black colleges and universities, or an overview of BlackTechTwitter, an online community for black techies. Product development in the tech industry is driven by numbers, she points out, so ''why not do the same in reporting'' on it? Better yet, adds the Charlotte, North Carolina entrepreneur, why not do so for ''an audience of innovators that do not get to see themselves represented as serious business owners in this space?''
Posted on 09 Aug 2019
Lindsey Vonn's New Goal Is Helping Girls Learn STEM: 'I Want to Help on a Personal Level'
From the slopes to STEM - find out how former champion skier Lindsey Vonn is supporting girls' interest in science and tech through her new foundation! While champion skier Lindsey Vonn is no longer hitting the slopes professionally after announcing her retirement earlier this year, she has something new she is championing. The former alpine ski racer is now helping young girls become more involved in STEM education through the Lindsey Vonn Foundation. Vonn's organization recently donated full scholarships to 22 girls to attend a camp with iD Tech, which offers week-long summertime STEM classes for children. Alexa Café is the organization's camp just for girls.
Posted on 09 Aug 2019
Univ. of Washington names veteran data scientist to lead booming computer science school into new era
Professor Magdalena Balazinska has long been considered a leader in data management and data science at the University of Washington's Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. Balazinska is also a well-regarded researcher and educator, and she was just named the next leader of the prominent and rapidly-growing UW computer science school. After 13 years at the UW, Balazinska will take over as director of the Allen School, it was announced Wednesday. She succeeds Hank Levy, the computer scientist who has held the position since 2006, the year Balazinska arrived. Balazinska has had a storied tenure at the UW, where among other things she led the creation of the Data Science and Advanced Data Science Ph.D. options, and later co-led the creation of the Undergraduate Data Science option. She also co-founded the Northwest Database Society (NWDS), which brings together researchers and practitioners focused on databases and database management systems working in the Pacific Northwest.
Posted on 31 Jul 2019
One of these 12 women astronauts will go to the moon
It wasn't until 1983, more than a decades after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin took their historic moonwalk, that Sally Ride made her journey into space and became the first American woman to leave our planet. According to NASA, of the 347 Americans who have flown in space, 49 of them have been women. NASA is now intent on making the moon co-ed. Its new lunar program, Artemis, has the ambitious timeline of returning to the moon in 2024, and the space agency promised that this time a woman will be making the trip. Landing a woman on the moon could inspire a whole generation of young women, said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.
Posted on 17 Jul 2019
10 Ways to support New Mothers in STEM
Nature News recently featured an article stating that almost half of women in STEM either leave their profession or switch to working part-time after giving birth to their first child in the US. This is more than double the statistics on first-time fathers, although fathers in STEM also leave the field at an alarmingly high rate after entering parenthood. This begs the question, why are we letting this happen? And what can we do to change these numbers? A support group for mothers is a model for practical, inexpensive steps to ease women’s transition to motherhood - and hopefully retain them in science.
Posted on 09 Jul 2019
AWIS Launches STEM Equity Community Platform with the Support of Elsevier
A few days ago AWIS announced the launch of the ADVANCE Resource and Coordination (ARC) Network Communitywhich connects scholars and practitioners committed to equity in STEM. In support of this initiative, Elsevier's leading reference manager and academic social network, Mendeley, will host a dedicated ARC Network group. In addition, SSRN, Elsevier's leading early stage research and preprint server, will host a dedicated STEM First Look series to support the initiative. With the online research collaboration tools generously provided by Elsevier, the ARC Network will facilitate the early adoption and implementation of promising practices and sharing of new research findings- Providing these opportunities broadens our collective impact on STEM equity in unprecedented ways.
Posted on 28 Jun 2019
'This is the tip of the iceberg': More than 8,500 women have joined the 500 Women Scientists database
The name 500 Women Scientists is a bit of a misnomer. Since the grassroots organization launched its searchable database of women scientists in January 2018, more than 8,500 researchers across the globe have shared their information so that journalists, conference organizers, and teachers can tap into their expertise. From ''manels'' to meetings with an abundance of Michaels, the leaders of 500 Women Scientists say the need for their database is clear. And now, they have data to demonstrate its impact. In a new paper published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Biology, the researchers behind 500 Women Scientists report that their platform has been accessed more than 100,000 times. And among 1,200 participants surveyed about their experience, 11 percent said they had been contacted as a result of the database for media interviews, peer review, panels, and other opportunities. The group has ambitious plans to keep expanding its reach. They're raising money to start a fellowship for women of color working to make science more open and accessible and they have already launched an affiliate group, 500 Women in Medicine.
Posted on 18 Jun 2019
A Woman Has Won the 'Nobel Prize of Math' for the First Time Ever
This year, one of the most prestigious mathematics prizes in the world was awarded to a woman for the first time. Karen Uhlenbeck, a mathematician and emeritus professor at the University of Texas at Austin, is now the first woman to win the Abel Prize for mathematics. The prize, according to New York Times, cites ''the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry and mathematical physics.'' Modeled after the Nobel Prize, it is awarded by the king of Norway to honor outstanding mathematicians who have greatly influenced their field, and includes a cash prize of Norwegian kroner worth about $700,000. The award has been given out since 2003, but all previous winners have been men. Dr. Uhlenbeck is renowned for her work in geometric partial differential equations, gauge theory, and integrable systems. As the Times reports, she she helped pioneer a field known as geometric analysis, and among her most famous contributions were her theories of predictive mathematics, inspired by soap bubbles.
Posted on 18 Jun 2019

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