Over the last year, Netflix has been working to encourage girls to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) career fields with their original show Project Mc2.
The show, premiering its third season next week, features McKeyla McAlister and her friends as they work as secret operatives for an organization called NOV8 (pronounced “innovate”) using STEM fields to protect the world. Each girl is a valuable member of the team, contributing her own specialty that reflects her personality. McKeyla McAlister is a problem solver and leader, Adrienne Attoms is a culinary chemist, Bryden Bandweth is a tech genius, Camryn Coyle is an engineer extraordinaire, Devon D’Marco is a creative artist, and Ember Evergreen has a green thumb. The show also has an accompanying website where viewers can complete their own missions for NOV8, and even download experiments that they can try at home. Pretty cool, huh?
What makes this show so awesome is the fact that girls have long been under-represented in the STEM career fields. Studies show that girls show initial interest in STEM fields, but nearly 50 percent of girls feel that STEM isn’t a “typical” career path for them, and interest fades as they move through middle school and high school.
According to the Girl Scout Research Institute, 74 percent of teen girls across the country say that they’re interested in STEM, yet women make up only 20 percent of the bachelor’s degrees in engineering, computer science, and physics.
But Netflix — and the Girl Scouts of the USA — are looking to change all that.
Last night, Netflix invited Girl Scout troops to their headquarters in Los Gatos, California, to celebrate this new collaboration with an event titled She Rules: STEM. Troops from Silicon Valley got the chance to listen to inspirational talks by STEM experts and role models, including female representatives from Google, Instagram, and Twitter.
Moreover, the Girl Scouts also got a sneak peek of season three of Project Mc2, met cast from the show, and even tried some of their own STEM-inspired experiments, like making a robot out of a soda can.
“As a lifelong Girl Scout who grew up to pursue rocket science, I know the impact our program can have on girls interested in STEM,” said Sylvia Acevedo, interim CEO of Girls Scouts of the USA. “My Girl Scout experience was a key element in empowering me to enter the engineering field when most females didn’t pursue STEM. I am so thrilled to work with Netflix to ensure more girls have the interest, drive, and determination to pursue and lead in STEM-related fields.”
The event also celebrated the debut of the STEM Superstars Guide created by the Girl Scouts to show girls across the country how fun and rewarding STEM-related fields are, and how adults and role models can help encourage them to pursue their dreams and make the world a better place.
There’s no reason why girls shouldn’t aim to work in STEM-related fields if they’re interested, and with these tools, we can show girls that there are no career paths that they can’t pursue.
And to learn more about joining or volunteering with Girl Scouts of the USA, please visit www.girlscouts.org/join.