How do you define Genius? Does the word transcend gender?
When I think of the term “genius”, I think of someone who displays exceptional intellectual ability, creative productivity, universality in genres or originality, typically to the degree that is associated with the achievement of new advances in a domain of knowledge. It is usually used to acknowledge someone who is out of the norm, such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Steve Jobs. Despite the genius IQ being around 140 to 145, which represents roughly 25% of the population, I believe that anyone, female or male has the potential to be a genius.
What are your favorite girl scientists/geeks/brainiacs in popular culture? Who would you add?
Michelle Obama is my favorite girl brainiac. I know that it doesn’t necessarily fall under the popular culture category, but I do believe that she has left such an imprint on young girls around the world. Michelle Obama quoted “I never cut class. I loved getting A’s, I liked being smart. I liked being on time. I thought being smart is cooler than anything in the world.”
Do you think representations in popular culture can have an impact young girls to become scientists, technologists, inventors, or do you think the key is education and exposure to historical figures in school?
I do believe that the representations in popular culture can have an impact on young girls to become scientists, technologists, inventors, and other mainly male-dominated career fields just as much as the historical figures that they are exposed to in school. Despite having attended an all-girl school for the majority of my life, I was rarely taught about female historical figures. This experience affected my confidence in certain subjects. Science used to be one of my favorite subjects in Middle School, but I was embarrassed because I always distinguished the subject to boys. I definitely believe that sexist assumptions about boys and girls can have a lost lasting effect on children and our school system should make this issue a priority.
Do you think the impulse to address climate change through innovation will lead more girls into science and technology careers?
I believe that bridging the gender gap in Science is vital for achieving sustainable development and fulfilling the goal of a cleaner and safer environment especially on the topic of climate change. On account of climate change being such a significant issue and continuously growing, I believe it will push more women and girls to enter a career in the science and technology field.
How can STEM be re-messaged or rebranded so more girls join in?
I believe that the best way to re-message or rebrand STEM so that more girls join is to firstly empower more young women to take an active role in the transformation. We need more female innovators and leaders and to accomplish this is to bridge the gender gap in Science and technology. Stem should reach out to School and Camps and create programs that are more inclusive to girls.