In recent years there’s been a big push to get young women involved in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math or STEM. The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is backing that push.
This week the school hosted a key note speaker and YouTube sensation who encourages young women interested in the STEM field.
Nearly 650 middle school and high school girls gathered in the gymnasium at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology to hear the Women in Science Conference key note speaker, Emily Graslie.
Graslie is the Chief Curiosity Correspondent at the Field Museum in Chicago and creator of the educational YouTube channel, the Brain Scoop.
“I do have a commitment to wanting to engage younger girls into see that science is for them, mostly because I didn’t have a lot of that exposure when I was their age and maybe I would’ve chosen something different if I had seen that science has all of these different opportunities within it. And I think a little bit of encouragement goes a long way. I really just want these girls to understand that science is exciting and going outside and being curious about the natural world is one of the most enriching experiences that they can have,” Graslie says.
Graslie says when people from diverse backgrounds are involved in the sciences, their voices make a more creative environment for problem solving.
She says she takes pride in being able to speak on this issue in her home town.
“I just kind of realize, you know not a lot of South Dakotan’s leave and go onto these kinds of jobs. There’s just very few in comparison to the rest of the country. We have a small population. So to be able to come back and feel like I’m really contributing to the community that helped make me the person I am is one of the most gratifying things that I do,” says Graslie.
Graslie says conferences like this one address women at a pivotal age help get them engaged and excited about science early on.
She says creating inclusive environments is important and if they don’t exist naturally, people should make them.
Emiliy Graslie's YouTube channel can be found by clicking the link bellow.