President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget requests an astounding 23 percent cut for the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The proposed budget demonstrates a clear misunderstanding about the importance of NIST to our economy and daily life. Read this Op-Ed in The Hill written by University of Alabama professor and Department of Physics and Astronomy department chair, Patrick R. LeClair, to find out how NIST impacts you directly! The current stopgap budgetary measure ends Dec. 8, contact your Members of Congress today.
AGR is passionate about reducing the gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. What a thrilling announcement by GSUSA CEO, Sylvia Acevedo, at the Dreamforce Conference, that The Girl Scouts of America is working to raise $70 million to bring 2.5 million girls into the STEM pipeline by 2025.
Developing the next generation of female leaders in STEM fields takes a coordinated effort among government, industry, and academia. The Girl Scouts is positioned to have an enormous impact on these efforts. They have been preparing girls to become leaders for 100 years, and more than two thirds of the female Members of Congress and a full 80% of women business owners were Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts are almost twice as likely as non–Girl Scouts to participate in STEM activities (60 percent versus 35 percent), and 77 percent of girls say that they are considering a career in technology because of Girl Scouts. “Girl Scouts has the largest pipeline of future female leaders available, and no place is this more important than in STEM fields,” said Acevedo. “By working with individuals and companies that understand the importance of investing in all girls, we can fundamentally change the STEM pipeline and the future of its workforce. Girl Scouts is the only organization for girls with the expertise and reach to help pave the way for any young girl—no matter if she lives in Middle America or a major city—to break barriers and achieve any dream she may imagine. For millions of girls, this means excelling in STEM—and I’m incredibly proud that the Girl Scout STEM Pledge will make that dream a reality and change the dynamics of women in these exciting fields.”
Learn about Girl Scouts’ STEM programming and initiatives.
The percentage of women graduating with engineering, computer science, and physics degrees is the lowest among the STEM fields. Colleges and Universities across the nation have been working to find ways to increase recruitment and retention of women in these fields. Access to women role models that inspire other women to work towards a future in these fields has proven impact. Women and girls can go to a number of conferences and events that showcase successful women in these fields. Every year, the Society of Women Engineers hosts the world’s largest conference for Women in Engineering. WE18 dates have not been announced yet. The other two not-to-be-missed events in 2018:
Women of Silicone Valley: March 21 – 22, 2018, San Francisco
The Anita B.org Institiute hosts the Grace Hopper Celebration GHC 18 will be Sep. 26–28, 2018 in Houston, TX
APS hosts the Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics: CUWiP will be January 12-14, 2018 regionally, at various universities around the nation.
This past weekend, and for the past three years, the University of Maryland has hosted the world’s largest hackathon for women across the country. Women and girls who participate spend 24 hours competing for awards, creating apps, games and websites, and participating in workshops. Next year’s hackathon has not been announced.