Update! In case anyone is interested in what I sound like in real life, check out the video in cuSTEMized's new Kickstarter campaign: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1… For those who don't know, a group of friends and I recently launched cuSTEMized as a not-for-profit initiative to help girls envision themselves in STEM careers. We're currently seeking to raise funds through Kickstarter to implement a website that will allow parents to customize our book __'s Little Book of Big Dreams to have their daughter's name and general appearance.
If you could contribute a dollar, link to the Kickstarter campaign on your FB, ask potentially interested friends or family to donate, or anything, that'd be really great! All donors will be acknowledged on the final website. There are lots of other redeemable prizes too! Check it out!
Photography is a serious hobby for me.
Outside of photography, I am currently pursuing my PhD at Harvard in bioinformatics, an interdisciplinary subject that combines computer science and biomedical engineering – both considered STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects. I am the only girl in my program this year. Unfortunately, the lack of girls in STEM is not limited to my program; boys still largely outnumber girls in nearly all STEM fields, particularly in the United States:According to the US Department of Commerce, girls (women, females, Homo sapiens with two X chromosomes) remain vastly underrepresented in STEM fields. Despite filling nearly half of all jobs in the US, girls hold less than 25% of STEM jobs. And despite the rising number of girls pursuing college degrees, girls hold a disproportionately low share of STEM degrees. The problem is multifold but studies suggest that it may start as early as grade school: girls are rarely encouraged to pursue STEM subjects or to envision themselves with STEM careers. Indeed, a recent study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology found that women are more likely to drop out of STEM fields because they lack a "self-concept" of themselves as scientists – they could not picture themselves in STEM!
Recently, I, along with a few friends, launched cuSTEMized, a not-for-profit initiative to help girls envision themselves in STEM and to encourage them to pursue STEM using customized education and outreach.
Our upcoming picture book makes your daughter (or niece, or you, or whoever) the hero of her own story in which she dreams of herself grown up in various STEM careers. A website will allow you to customize the book to have her name and general appearance with the help of avatars. You can then download the book (for free!) as a PDF and print it out yourself or contribute a donation to cover the costs of having the book printed and shipped.
Please support cuSTEMized and keep up with developments on Facebook: www.facebook.com/cuSTEMized
Most importantly, talk to the little girls in your life and encourage them to consider STEM!