Happy United Nations International Day of Women and Girls in Science!
Last year, we highlighted in our 2019 post that gender equality is one of the biggest challenges we face and nowhere is that more visible than in the traditionally male-dominated fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. Only 35% of girls worldwide choose to study STEM in higher education.
Unfortunately, in the year since that post, the stats still have not changed.
However, we have had yet another set of inspiring and talented women join the Science Space ambassador team. To help celebrate this special day, we have gathered some of their stories and we would love for you to meet them.
Here are a handful of our latest recruits helping to increase the percentage of women studying STEM. They will go on to change the world we are sure. Enjoy!
“I love talking about fossils and how old they are – it’s always a fun way to blow people’s minds. Like… trilobites – if you say this is your ancestor, you evolved from this. It lived like 500-odd-million years ago, you descended from this, people are like “WHOA”!
Geology’s just the key to understanding the natural world. Like if you pick up any rock, it tells a story about where it came from, how it formed, what it’s made up of and how it got into your hands.”
Tara is going into her second year of a Bachelor of Science Majoring in Geology.
“Whenever I talk about any kind of science at a party I end up knocking over anything in close proximity because I wave my arms around like an excited child!
One of my favourite things to chat about is a study done with musicians learning new music. Of the participants, half spent 3 hours a day practicing their instrument, and the other half had to only visualise and imagine themselves practicing. In some cases, the group that didn’t even touch an instrument had better memory recall and firmer neural pathways, proving that even when you are imagining yourself doing a task, you are setting the foundations for long term learning and retention. Your brain is a muscle, exercise it!”
Shalissa is studying Medical and Health Sciences and hopes to go on to work in anatomical pathology or neurology.
“I’ve always been interested in human biology… when I was 17 I went vegan and that just renewed my interest in [human biology] but also in healthcare and how much people depend on it and how much people depend on advice from people in healthcare. So Nutrition and Dietetics is a really good mix of science and also public health… it’s pretty cool”
Dona is about to start her third year of a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics.
“I never thought I’d end up doing [theatre and science]. I did a gap year at the end of year 12 and made the decision based on what I missed. I really missed learning about how the world worked and being exuberant all the time!
I’ve just finished a subject about the Chemistry of life and it was super fascinating. We learned about how nicotine affects your brain and… caffiene. The thing about caffiene is that not only does it bind to a place where dopamine would bind but it also kind of crowds out another receptor that would bind to a kind of chemical that makes your brain sad. So that’s why caffiene keeps you energised and also happy!”
Natalie is about to start her 3rd year of a double degree majoring in Theatre and Chemistry.