Friday, July 24, 2015

Fostering #Natural Potential for Our Daughters

This post has been created in partnership with GreenWorks but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Georgia tells me daily that she's decided what she's going to be.

A vet.
An entomologist.
A ballet teacher.
An artist---that draws insects.
A doctor.
A stuffed animal maker.  (We don't know the technical term for that)

And on and on.

It's interesting to me how fixated kids at this age are in honing in on a career choice.  And I suppose it's a 'thing' so many of us spend our lives doing--we're kind of hardwired to pontificate on what we want to be when we grow up.  At thirty seven I still do it.

Sometimes I ask her why she wants to be a vet, a doctor, a ballet teacher…..and for the love….why a stuffed animal maker.  Moms all over the world don't want any more stuffed animal makers--promise.  She always has a rational (ish) reason for why she wants to be what she wants to be.  I told her a few weeks ago after a lengthy conversation about what it means to be an entomologist that I thought it was so cool that she was interested in something like that, "because you know--girls make great scientists--we need girl scientists."

She looked at me a little baffled and responded, "I know girls can be scientists."  An interesting response.  I think a lot of little girls know this.  But what about big girls?  Do they know this, do they remember this from their younger years?  Do they forget these childhood dreams somewhere along the way?

Statistics indicate that they do.

I showed Georgia the above video and asked her what she thought--if she were going to draw a scientist what would she draw?  She thought for a minute and said she wasn't sure--maybe a man even though she wanted to be a scientist herself.  She wasn't sure why she only thought of a man when she thought of a scientist.

So how do we change that mental picture for our girls?  Greenworks cleaning products, a company founded by a woman scientist in 2008 is working to do just that. They want to help girls unleash their natural potential and change the fact that even though women fulfill 50% of the jobs in America, only 25% of scientists are women. Greenworks collaborates with the American Association of University Women to help provide girls with opportunities to explore their scientific curiosity and connect with female role models.  They emphasize how important it is for girls to have female mentors in the sciences if they show an interest in a STEM field early on, they highlight the kinds of classes girls should take in high school to prepare them and even provide ideas for extracurricular activities parents can enroll their girls in to foster and grow a love for the sciences.  Georgia took a chemistry of cooking class this summer and told me everyday how cool it was that something she loves so much--baking--really had so much science behind it.  Changing that mental picture has to start early! 

We've been doing science experiments with Georgia since she could stand up.  They're messy--sure….but they're also a lot of fun and provide some great one-on-one time with your kiddos, things to talk about, things to predict and guess, things to laugh at, and most definitely opportunities to foster her natural potential for the sciences!  

Greenworks provides a lot of ideas of simple science experiments you can do with your girls!  Do one today! They're a lot of fun…..and when you have to clean up the mess, do it with a Greenworks cleaning product and know that every time you do you're helping to support STEM opportunities for girls all over this country and feeding their natural potential…..including your own! 

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