Our top picks for riveting reads on women and science, and upcoming events.
On the docket: Toys to bring out the budding engineer in little girls, persistent bias affects undergraduate women, mentoring the next generation of female scientists, and more.
Tamar Lewin for the New York Times on mentoring the next
generation: Hundreds of accomplished figures in STEM are set to become online
mentors of college students across the country as part of an effort to encourage
more young women to enter science disciplines. The program has no grades, no
exams and no curriculum, only the goal of fostering connections between
students and working women in the field. To find out more or participate, visit Women in Technology Sharing Online.
Leena Rao in Tech Crunch on girls who code and Twitter’s support: In the late 1960′s, scientist Damyanti Gupta was hired as Ford’s first female engineer. Now she’s turned her sights toward closing the gap for women in computer sciences and engineering. Her new initiative, Girls Who Code, which has received backing from Twitter, helps to teach young women programming skills so that they can pursue careers in technology.
Ilana Yurkiewicz for Scientific American on persistent gender
bias in science and why it really matters: Last week a ground-breaking study conducted by researchers at Yale found evidence for persistent bias in
faculty attitudes toward undergraduate women, regarding them as less competent
than their male peers, even when they had the same skill sets and
accomplishments. As a result, professors were less likely to mentor female undergraduates
or offer them jobs. As a Harvard Medical School student, Yurkiewicz explains why
the findings matter, noting: “We are not talking about equality of
outcomes here; this result shows bias thwarts equality of opportunity.”
Rebecca Rosen for The Atlantic on toys to
excite the engineer in little girls: Move over Lego man, back off Bob the
Builder, a new set of toys targeting design-minded young girls has come to
town. The new product, GoldieBlox, are the work of Stanford-trained engineer, Debbie Sterling, who wants to change the fact that her field continues to be
dominated by men at a rate of 9 to 1 by engaging young minds from the start.
Tarik Maliq for CBS news on a record-setting
woman astronaut taking command: NASA astronaut Sunita Williams,
who holds the record for the longest spaceflight by a woman, recently took
charge of the International Space Station, becoming only the second female
commander in the orbiting lab’s 14-year history.
The National Alliance for Partnerships in
Equity’s Education Foundation has received a $2.5
million grant from the National Science Foundation to continue and grow
its STEM Equity Pipeline™ initiative. The
project works with both state- and local-level educators to develop policies
and programs to ensure equity is integral to science, technology, engineering,
and mathematics (STEM) education initiatives being developed in the state. The
project will also provide intensive professional development to state and local
administrators, counselors, and faculty to implement research-based practices
designed to increase access, success, and postsecondary transition of girls and
other underrepresented groups in STEM.