Girls and Science

By Domenica Di Piazza, Editorial Director, TFCB

Atom_clipart_violet Team physician for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Professor of robotics at Carnegie Mellon University. Software engineer at Google Maps. These are just some of the women scientists interviewed on GirlTalk Radio. The short interviews (roughly five minutes each) are conducted by girls ages 11 to 16, and are made possible by the Girls, Math & Science Partnership (GMSP), a program of the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. GMSP’s goal is to promote girls’ participation in science, technology, engineering, and math—the so-called STEM skills—while also providing radio broadcast experience.

The interviews are lively and fun. I loved hearing from a retired CIA intelligence officer who got her start in the business by hanging out of airplanes taking reconnaissance photos. Or from a community organizer for safe cosmetics who cites Rachel Carson as an influence in her field. Or from the Steelers’ team physician, who encourages girls to pursue their passions. If you don’t like what you’re doing, she says, you won’t be very successful at it.

Lerner Publishing Group is also committed to encouraging girls to excel in science. For example, we’ve published a variety of biographies about women in science (Rachel Carson, Sylvia Earle (cover at left), and Women Space Pioneers, among others); we make sure to show images of girls and women at work in the many science titles we publish; and we work with women scientists to write science titles for us.

I’m looking forward to an upcoming TFCB blog entry in which you’ll get to meet Dr. Elizabeth Murray, a forensic anthropologist and professor of biology. She’s just published a fascinating book about the science of death–Death: Corpses, Cadavers, and Other Grave Matters–for our Discovery! series. You’ll learn how she got into her field, who influenced and supported her, and what she loves about her career.

In the meantime, listen to and get inspired by the GirlTalk podcasts, and check back next week for more from TFCB!

(Photo credit: atomic structure of beryllium, Wikimedia Commons)

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