The gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) starts young – a recent survey found that young girls become interested in STEM subjects around the age of 11, but quickly lose interest by age 15. By the time young women reach college, only 6.7 percent graduate with STEM degrees, compared to 17 percent of men. While there are undoubtedly many factors influencing young girls’ decision to shy away from STEM, lack of female role models has been cited as a key issue.
That’s what makes several recent projects focused on spotlighting the important contributions of women in STEM so exciting. New magazines showcasing female scientists, Google phone cases honoring the American space program’s leading women, and LEGO’s women of NASA set all underscore the important role women have played throughout STEM history. These and other initiatives highlighting STEM’s female superstars will continue to play an important role when it comes to inspiring women and girls of all ages to pursue careers in these fields.