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These Girls Prove STEM Isn’t Just for Boys

STEM, known for typically being a male-dominated discipline, is increasingly involving more and more young women, a fact proven by the 2017 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

The challenge was to submit a video explaining the science behind a possible solution to everyday problems. Daunting problems such as water contamination and world hunger are discussed.

Among the incredible ten middle school finalists of this challenge, six of them are girls.

Here is what these creative minds submitted.

Allie Weber, who is 12 years old, reinvented the incentive spirometer, a breathing device used to help young respiratory patients improve their lung function, by adding a suction cup dart toy and whiteboard target to make the child’s hospital experience more fun and interactive. Watch her video here.

Gitanjali Rao, who is 11 years old, developed a portable sensor-based device to detect lead in water faster (and cheaper) than current techniques will allow. Water contamination from lead can be extremely harmful to development, and Gitanjali believes everyone should be able to test their drinking water safely and easily. Watch her video here.

Simone Jacobs, who is 12 years old, invented a portable electronic frame called Laser Coach, which attaches to a tennis racket and highlights the accuracy of a player’s swing. Since the cost of tennis lessons is known for being very high, this device could provide an affordable alternative. Watch her video here.

Anika Bhagavatula, who is 14 years old, developed an environmentally-friendly method of cleaning oil spills using natural materials such as orange peels and pomegranate husks. Watch her video here.

Karina Andersen, who is 14 years old, used bacteria from common legumes to increase the growth of cereal crops in countries that are dependent on agriculture. Her invention targets the current world hunger crisis. Watch her video here.

Laalitya Acharya, who is 13 years old, is addressing the world’s energy crisis by using vehicular motion to generate clean and affordable energy in developing countries. Watch her video here.

It is not hard to tell from these videos and the way that these girls carry themselves, especially at such young ages, that they will be an amazing part of changing and improving the world that we live in.

These creative and intelligent girls will each receive a cash price of $1,000, an opportunity to be mentored by a 3M scientist, and a trip to the 3M Headquarters in Minnesota to compete in the final leg of the competition.

The winner of the final stage will receive $25,000 and be named “America’s Top Young Scientist.”.  

What these girls might not realize is that they are setting a great example for any girl at any age to get involved in STEM. They are proving the difference they can and make in the world today. We can’t wait to see what their futures hold!

Featured Image by woodleywonderworks on  Flickr
Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

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1 Comment

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    July 18, 2017 at 11:19 pm


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