Celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the STEAM Initiative held its first webinar Mujeres en STEAM, Thursday, February 11 in Spanish with 80 Latina girls from the U.S., Mexico, Peru, and Argentina participating.
Three panelists served as speakers and role models including: Laura Almodóvar, Ecology Ph.D. Candidate, University of Maryland Eastern Shore; Sabina López, Food Industry Engineer, ALFA Laboratory, Mexico; and Anaí Novoa, Marine Biology Ph.D. Candidate, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Panelists explained their work, education, and fielded questions from the audience. During the webinar, attendees were also asked questions about their goals. One girl, stated, “I am greatly interested in science and getting a STEAM degree is one of my aspirations. In addition, I would love to pave the way for many other women who do not feel encouraged to pursue these careers because they may think that they are only for men.” Another stated, “I would recommend this webinar. These types of sessions provide us with opportunities to find out that we can, in fact, reach our goals. That being said, [the panelists] have become part of what inspires us so that one day, we can be like them.” By the close of the webinar, 91% of the girls reported feeling capable of being a scientist one day.
We hope this first webinar leads to webinar series bringing Latinx scientists, technologists, engineers, artists, and mathematicians together with the next generation of young people to encourage and inspire them to become 21st Century scientists and innovators.