The STEM Gems Empowerment Bracelet is the symbolic reminder I wish I’d had when I got a less-than-perfect score on a math test, when I struggled through my intro physics class in college, when I was too afraid to speak up out of fear of being judged by my peers, and when I was the only female in my work environment and the imposter syndrome settled in. It's a shimmering, supportive nudge to be confident, to raise your hand, to speak out, to speak up, to know that you are valued and never alone. Think of it as a super power bracelet—a beautiful and indelible symbol of unity and support, no matter the challenge or obstacle.
Shaesta Waiz flew around the world solo in a Beechcraft Bonanza A36 aircraft in 2017, becoming the youngest woman to circumnavigate the globe in a single-engine aircraft. The purpose of the global flight was to inspire the next generation of STEM and aviation professionals, particularly girls. Shaesta flew over 24,000 nautical miles on her 145-day journey, visiting 22 countries and inspiring over 3,000 children and young adults along the way. Shaesta is the first certified civilian female pilot from Afghanistan and the youngest woman to fly solo around the world in a single-engine aircraft.
Marine biologist Sara MacSorley is the author of Super Cool Scientists, a story and coloring book celebrating women in science. The book features 22 super cool women in science - each one with a different super cool STEM job. Their jobs range from computer animator to animal behavior researcher to marine biologist (of course Sara had to include that one!). Readers can learn more about the work they do, how they found their path, and what they do for fun outside of their day jobs. The text of the 60-page book is aimed at upper elementary and middle school students. Younger children love the book too because they get to color while they have the super cool science stories read to them.
A woman of many "firsts," Marie Curie is the perfect role model for young women everywhere. She was the first female to win a Nobel, the first person and only woman to ever win twice, the only person to win a Nobel in two different sciences, the first female professor at the University of Paris, and the matriarch of the Curie family legacy of five Nobels in total. The Marie Curie Alumni Association is bringing Marie's story to the world with the release of the fully illustrated children's book, Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence.
STEM Gem Melissa Marquez is the founder of The Fins United Initiative (TFUI), a shark, skate, ray and chimaera education and conservation program aiming to unite fin lovers worldwide. Melissa is also a Latina powerhouse with many titles under her belt: marine biologist, wildlife educator, freelance environmental writer. A strong proponent of representation of diverse scientists, she also regularly hosts #STEMSaturdays to provide career guidance and advice to young women in STEM worldwide.
My mother is, first and foremost, a rock star when it comes to baking chocolate chip cookies. She is also an environmental engineer with degrees in math and engineering. But her saving the planet isn’t the part I remember most when I was six. Today, when the buttery aroma of warm cocoa and vanilla fills my parents’ home, the scent puts me firmly inside a memory at our yellow Formica countertop, standing bare-footed on a chair in my pajamas, Mom inviting me into her world of chemistry: solid to liquid butter, dry measure versus wet measure, the transition of baking soda into carbon dioxide gas to make the cookies rise. Those days spent together in the kitchen had little to do with...
Leopard Spots, Mathematics & Curing Cancer: The Journey of Cancer Modeling Mathematician Trachette Jackson
Many girls and young women express an interest in STEM. However, the majority of those interested are not choosing STEM as their top career choice. Perhaps the disparity occurs in making a connection between STEM and the many benefits that a career in STEM offers. In the STEM Gems book, we take a close look at the paths of forty-four women in diverse STEM fields that are making a difference in the world and helping people by solving problems that impact our daily lives. If you knew a single subject could solve many of the world’s problems, would you pursue a career in that field? That’s what STEM Gem Trachette Jackson did!
An Internet search for “women in STEM” will yield countless articles, studies and books that discuss the importance of women in the STEM workforce. The STEM Gems book assumes a different take on the subject by shining a spotlight on 44 inspiring women who are breaking down barriers and playing their part in eliminating the gender gap that exists in STEM today. Today’s STEM Gem, Unnur Gretarsdottir, is the head of monetization engineering at Pinterest. Read more about this remarkable woman and how she recognizes the importance of diversity in the tech industry.
Being a STEM Gem doesn’t come easy. Grit, perseverance and a can-do attitude are a few of the characteristics needed to make an impact. Today, we introduce a STEM Gem who used her knowledge in Internet marketing and technology to take a leap and pursue the career she always wanted. Sukhinder Singh Cassidy is the founder of JOYUS, a shopping + video + social site where customers purchase products (clothing, cosmetics, accessories, etc.) via a “buy” button embedded in a video and share it on social media platforms. Read more about how this STEM Gem broke the mold for other female entrepreneurs.
Being a STEM Gem is more than having a career in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering or Math. It’s about overcoming obstacles, never taking no for an answer, eliminating barriers and making a path for others where no path previously existed. Today’s spotlight shines on renowned professor Julia R. Greer, professor of Materials Science and Mechanics at the California Institute of Technology (CalTech). Read more about how her research in the nanoworld is changing the landscape of materials available today.