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Cosmetic Chemistry Creates Girl Scientists

Cosmetic Chemistry Creates Girl Scientists

Cosmetic chemistry? What’s that?

It is the path to more girls pursuing science.

Yes, the make-up, bath products, and perfumes young women love to use is all a byproduct of chemistry. To create more girl scientists, we need to show students not only what chemistry is, but also illuminate the end product it creates.

Starting as early as pre-school, educators plant the idea that learning is fun. As you may have guessed, that notion flies out the window once students reach elementary school. This is especially true when it comes to science, technology, engineering, and math.

This is why, as an organization dedicated to bridging the gap for girls in high-paying STEM fields, we advocate letting female students “get creative” as they learn about science.

When science becomes an expressive exercise, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) becomes STEAM (science, technology, engineer, ART, and math.) It’s the perfect balance between the humanities and hard sciences.

What’s even better: adding art and creativity to scientific curriculum allows girls to have fun while preparing for lucrative, game-changing careers.

Why Are There So Few Women in Chemistry Fields?

In classes, girls hear about chemical compounds, exothermic reactions, and how carbon is the source chemical for all living things. While this knowledge is paramount to future study, it does not reveal what chemistry makes possible.

If you need a prime example, look no further than the cosmetics industry. You may have heard a few of these names: The L’Oréal Group, The Procter & Gamble Company, Unilever, Shiseido Company, Limited and Estée Lauder Companies, Inc.

Did you know that these companies produce multiple billions of dollars each year? And these enterprises generate this kind of capital by manufacturing a product meant for women and girls to consume.

That said, here’s another question that few people have considered. Why are most cosmetic company CEOs and scientists men?

In fact, men make up a whopping 68% of professional chemists.[i] The scarcity of female executives and scientists is alarming, and it’s a major factor that keeps the gender pay gap in its current state.

So GPS has come up with a solution.

How GPS Molds the Future’s Female Chemists

We designed GPS studios for one reason: we grew tired of seeing girls grow up and make compromises. Financial and personal compromises, that is. If parents and educators are to groom the world’s next female scientific pioneers, it’s high time we made the curriculum more relevant to today’s world.

GPS Studios provide parents, teachers, and administrators with an adjunct resource that deepens their female students’ intelligence and scientific skills. Not to mention, we make chemistry fun.

Our GPS Studios initiative involves out-of-school time clubs that meet before or after school hours, on Saturdays, or during the summer. Our team has created a safe and stimulating environment where girls can be expressive while they discover the wonders of science.

Each week, the future female scientists are empowered and educated. They create cosmetics, bath products, and perfumes. In this way, we’re not only showing girls the Beauty of Science, our educators also show them how to use chemistry to create products.

They’re not only becoming scientists; they’re turning into entrepreneurs who will learn how to market and sell the products they create.

All the while, they’re also discovering how to inject more ethics into the business world. The chemicals used to create the cosmetics remain safe and natural—i.e. non-toxic. Our goal is not only to allow girls to become scientists, but to also become game-changers in the world of business.

Learn more about how you can join the Girls Pursuing Science revolution.

[i] https://nsf.gov/statistics/2016/nsb20161/#/

The Science of Color: Black and Brown Girls in STEM

The Science of Color: Black and Brown Girls in STEM

If current statistics provide any indication, the idea of black and brown girls in STEM seems far-fetched. Look at any data report out there, and you’ll find that women remain underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math.

According to a recent census report, only 24% of women in the workforce make their living in STEM careers. [1]

That number is astounding. But if you’re looking for your jaw to hit the floor, stir racial demographics into the scenario.

When it comes to economic sustainability, STEM fields open the pathway. The more advanced degree is, the higher income it generates. So why are we relegating black and brown girls to lesser paying careers?

In 2012, white women earned 6,777 PhDs in STEM fields. On the other hand, white men earned 8,478 PhD degrees. For African American women, that number dwindles to 684—10 times fewer scientific doctorates than their white counterparts.[2] With only 3.5% of STEM bachelor degrees, Latina women face an even larger obstacle.[3]

STEM fields show an absence of women in color, which leaves us with two questions that need to be answered.

  1. Why are black and brown girls underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math?
  1. What can we do to bridge this inequity?

Why Women of Color Are Missing in STEM

The short answer: the problem starts in childhood. We need to encourage girls NOW so that they grow into smart, capable, and driven women who take their rightful place in the world of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Even though I run my own tech-based company, I nearly walked down the path many other girls of color have to. For me, it was the social ills and stereotypes of the 70’s that molded girls and women into secretaries and housewives, instead scientists and tech entrepreneurs.

Thanks to my tenacious, unyielding, resilient, mom, I escaped the “pink collar” fate society had created for me! NOTE: do you have a picture, because that would look incredible on the blog?

When it comes time for college, the damage is already done.

At an early point in their academic life, girls see the creativity and imagination drain from STEM curriculum. Science and math becomes only series of numbers, temperatures, and chemical components.

When educators can blend creativity with hard sciences, young women take on leadership roles.

However, this is not the only reason why there’s a tremendous gap for women of color in STEM. Though there have been vast improvements—especially in education—systemic racism is still a major issue that affects black and brown girls every day of their lives.

If a human being feels less important than their peers, their confidence falls by the wayside.

How Do We Reverse the Trend?

If the problem starts in childhood, that’s where we start the process. Parents and educators can usher young women (especially black and brown girls) into STEM careers with lifestyle-driven educational programs that ignite creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.

These initiatives include…

  • Afterschool studios for girls! Research shows that girls do better in math and science in all-girl settings.
  • Workshops that ignite creativity and critical thinking! STEAM Saturdays are the best days to engage girls in project based learning activities that gives an exceptional chemistry experience.
  • Empowering girls with real STEAM enrichment programs! Implement programs that are standards based, best practiced, project-based, and requires critical and divergent thinking.

The Time to Act is Now

STEM careers provide the future leaders of our world with not only money, but also power. Girls—especially young women of color—can and should be the next scientists who cure diseases, explore space, and create impactful technology.

But there’s no time to lose. With the tremendous inequity that black and brown girls face in STEM, educators and parents have to inspire them early. It’s up to us to show them just how much they’re worth.

Click here for more information.

[1] http://www.esa.doc.gov/sites/default/files/womeninstemagaptoinnovation8311.pdf

[2] https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/2015/nsf15311/tables/pdf/tab7-7.pdf

[3] http://sites.ed.gov/hispanic-initiative/files/2015/09/Fulfilling-Americas-Future

 

GPS Featured on American Graduate Day

Girls Pursuing Science Summer Camp was showcased among a few of several million organizations and individual Champions who are keeping kids on the path to graduation. American Graduate Day, included seven hours of programming that aired on PBS stations across the country beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, October 3, 2015.

The portion featuring Girls Pursuing Science aired around 3:00 p.m. within the STEAM segment.

If you miss seeing the segment live on television, check it out here: http://girlspursuingscience.com/about American Graduate Day has given me an opportunity to spotlight GPS and share how girls identify needs, define problems, identify design criteria and constraints, develop solutions, and evaluate the results said Jacquelyn Thomas.

American Graduate Day is a WNET/PBS initiative that seeks to increase the high school graduation rate in America.

GPS Wins Big: WTVI-PBS Charlotte STEM Competition

WTVI-PBS Charlotte hosted their inaugural STEMAwards last week to shine the spotlight on both teens and teachers who are doing incredible work in STEMeducation. The awards were based on the same standard of excellence and process that is used by the Emmy Awards. Educators from around the state determined who would be eligible, and the categories for each award. Educators from Central Piedmont Community College’s STEM Department were the judges.

Teen nominees were judged in six STEM categories: Information Technology (IT); Robotics;Sports; Healthcare; Agriculture Science; and Energy. The teacher award categories were: Best STEM Integration in the Classroom, Most Innovative, and Most Community Evolvement.

Kids-N-Technology (KNT) and Girls Pursuing Science (GPS), were the big winners of the night. KNT was nominated in five of the categories. Two of Kids-N-Technolog’s campers took the top Robotic award with their “ Robot Solves Rubric Cube” Project. Girls Pursuing Science™ Justice Isom was nominated in the IT category with her “ Does Color Effect Appearance” Project. Finally, Jacquelyn Thomas, Executive Director and Founder of Kids-N-Technology and Girls Pursing Science, won the top honor for her 12 years of Community Evolvement in STEM Education. Other nominating categories for KNT’s teens and teachers included IT, Best STEM Integration, and Most Innovative.

I was honored to see both Kids-N-Technology and Girls Pursuing Science in theSTEM spotlight. I’m™m excited about the future of both companies, there is so much more to come.

~Jacquelyn Thomas

 

The 2014 STEM Awards were sponsored by Centralina Workforce Development Board. For more information about the great works that Kids N Technology and Girls Pursing Science is doing, please visit their websites: www.kidsntechnology.net and www.Girlspursuingscience.com.