I love seeing girls in elementary, middle and high school taking an interest in science. When I was growing up, these classes were never promoted to me – instead, I took a lot of writing and creative classes. By the time I enrolled in college I’d never even taken a physics class! I thought I would pursue a career in sports journalism, but it just wasn’t clicking for me. When a meteorologist came to talk to our class, I remember thinking, “I do watch The Weather Channel all the time!” Weather had fascinated me, I just hadn’t ended up taking a path where I’d learn more about the sciences. So with that, I thought, “I’m doing this!” and enrolled at Penn State to get a meteorology degree. I started coursework – including my first ever physics class! – three days after my Syracuse graduation.
Was it tough? You bet! There were times when the coursework seemed foreign and I wanted to cry and give up… but I made it. Science education promotes a real environment of teamwork, as you’ll often rely on study groups or even tutors to help you learn the material. And that is great, since it gets you ready for the real world (and helps you meet/work with some awesome people)! It’s a totally different kind of education than other subjects and courses, and I learned so much from the material and the people I was surrounded by (and still do!).
I have seen in the past decade that schools or educators aren’t suggesting girls take more creative classes and men take more science classes, and it’s awesome. It seems we’re removing the stigmas of what coursework is best for whom. There are so many smart girls and women getting into the sciences and it’s really exciting to see. My favorite thing is when I hear from a young girl with an interest in weather and science, because I know it’s our future. So I always tell people, if something is interesting to you – learn about it! Take a class, read a book or watch a program about it – it may be your future career!