Rita J. King, Futurist and Science House Co-Director, dressed up in a sparkly gown for a science talk. She was going through her closet and recalled the little girls who have asked her to wear something that sparkles, "So they could believe that scientists could also be sparkly," as she tweeted November 1.
The number of girls going into STEM-related fields like engineering, coding, and science is increasing. There is a big push from schools and educational programs to get girls interested in science. But for now, these jobs are still male-dominated.
Could it be that little girls do not aspire to be scientists, because they just can't see themselves without a bit of girly fun? King aims to send the message that girls can be scientists and sparkle.
Cleaning out my closet, I came across this gown and remembered the little girls who sent me a letter and asked me to wear something sparkly for a talk I gave at NASA so they could believe that scientists could also be sparkly. pic.twitter.com/xOcZgkbiRg— Rita J. King (@RitaJKing) November 2, 2019
At the time of her talk, King was a futurist at the National Institute of Aerospace, NASA’s think tank in Langley, Virginia. A woman involved with organizing the event clued King into the fact that several young girls would attend and they wanted to see a “sparkling geek.”
Not so long ago, the idea of a girl scientist was new. Back then entering a "man's world" meant forgoing some parts of traditional femininity. Some girls were happy to shred stereotypes, for example, by not wearing pink. But really, the message was that girls could tap into their masculinity and do jobs which once were considered for men only. That's not really what's trying to get across here, though. Girls don't have to do things labeled for men to prove a point. They can just be who they are and we could all co-exist by sharing our talents. Today's message is: you can be a scientist if you love science, and you don't have to change anything else about who you are to succeed!