STEM and Our Daughters
Personally, I’ve always thought that being smart was cool but being a girl who’s smart hasn’t always been recognized. As a matter of fact, for as far as we’ve come to empower girls to embrace their smart and sometimes “geeky” side, we still have a long way to go.
Walk down the toy aisle of any store, or search the racks in a clothing store and you’ll see tons of conflicting messages aimed at girls – and their parents.
T-shirts emblazoned with words like “Trophy” or “My best subjects are shopping, music, dancing. Who needs math?!” can be found in many retailers and when our daughters see these, they start to think that’s the way it’s SUPPOSED to be.
The toy aisle is still full of disproportionate dolls (I’m looking at you, Barbie) that show young girls that the main thing is to look beautiful, have great clothes and an awesome car (or jet..) and life will be grand. As much as I hate to say it, Target getting rid of the sex specific toy aisles is a step in the right direction. Look – I’m not saying that girls shouldn’t play with dolls – all my girls had Barbie’s but they all also had (more) toys that focused on building the brains that they need to really succeed in live.
Over the past few years, Hollywood has done a decent job with creating TV shows on channels like Disney and Nickelodeon for our daughters to watch that put smart girls in the forefront and give them “role models” to look up to.
Netflix recently launched its own series aimed at Tween girls called Project Mc2 that is ALL about encouraging girls to embrace their brainiac selves and enforcing the mantra – Smart is the New Cool!
The series revolves around four friends, McKeyla, Adrienne, Bryden, and Camryn who are recruited to join forces with intelligence chief The Quail, to become teen spies for the Nov8 organization. (Cool side note – the actress who plays The Quail is a real-life math whiz!) When we first meet the girls, McKeyla is a new student at the high school who quickly finds herself brought into the circle of friends of the other three. It doesn’t take long for McKeyla to discover that each of the other 3 girls possesses their own strengths as they band together to get the proverbial bad guy.
Right now, there are only 3 episodes in the series but they have already said there is going to be a 2nd series coming in the next year. Cassie and I had a great time hanging out together watching the show and it’s definitely worthy of watching with your daughters. They did a great job of blending plenty of STEM focused spots without losing the feminine feel that girls still love and quite often, keep them interested and tied to a show.
Practicing STEM at Home
The team at Netflix was kind enough to send us our very own Top Secret Spy Kit to get busy doing some science experiments ourselves. I tapped my 2 favorite spies to put their science caps and lab coats on, roll up their sleeves and made the kitchen our very own laboratory!
Want to create your own laboratory at home? Project Mc2 has gone all out to take STEM lessons from the TV and into your home! Make sure you check out the Project Mc2 site which is chock full of experiments you can do at home (don’t worry Moms.. no explosions to worry about) using every day items you have around the house. Fishing for Ice was our favorite from the kit we were sent!
If you want to check out the “T” (technology) in action, make sure you watch the short clip we did of our science night. Yeah.. we can get a little bit silly around here 🙂
I’d love to hear if your daughters are big into STEM and if so, what are some of the ways that you encourage that at home?
DISCLAIMER: We’re big fans and long-time subscribers of Netflix and I’m proud to be a member for the Netflix StreamTeam. I received a Netflix subscription and a streaming device in return for posting awesome posts like these and keeping you up to date! All opinions, of course, are my own.