Welcome. I am the weekend morning meteorologist at Fox 26 in Houston TX. I am a native of Spring, TX (a city 30 miles north of Houston).
I was inspired to enter a STEM field simply because I was good at math and science and I actually enjoyed it. I have heard criticism like “by advocating STEM, you are saying that STEM jobs are ‘better than’ humanities careers” – That simply isn’t true. I believe there are incredible careers outside of science and technology. I work with brilliant journalists and writers and photographers and graphic designers etc. If you absolutely hate math and you hate science, well then, STEM is not for you and that’s ok.
But, The reason I advocate for girls in STEM is that many girls who enjoy math and are great at math, have not been encouraged the same way boys have been. And since math and science have historically been male-dominated fields, girls & women can feel very intimidated among a room full of boys in, say, a higher-level math class.
So, I think, the goal is, to let girls know early-on that STEM is a viable option – and not just for boys. The goal is to let girls step outside of ‘traditional female careers’ if they choose to. There is nothing wrong with non-STEM fields, but non-STEM careers have pretty always been ‘acceptable’ for women and not questioned.
WHY THE SEWING YOU ASK?
“I want girls and women to know that you can be a scientist and still do “so-called” “feminine” things. You can wear makeup, fix your hair, wear dresses, wear press-on nails and paint ‘em red with glitter. You can be a great cook or even sew your own clothes.”
I think girls will be more likely to want to enter STEM fields if the stigma is removed – That science is ‘boring’ – that you have to be “serious” all the time. You have to be nerdy. You make toy robots as a side hobby.
I consider myself a scientist and I have multiple math and science degrees, but I refuse to be placed into a box of stereotypes. “You gotta look and act a certain nerdy way” – I’ve heard “no one will take you seriously in a dress” *gasp*
I have a big hobby outside of work. I sew almost all of my clothes. I sew curtains and stuff for my house. I have been sewing for 10 or 15 years. Recently, however, a national news outlet “discovered” my sewing hobby. Most feedback was great. But let me tell you how confused some people were. “Wait, you are a meteorologist AND you can sew?” “My grandma used to sew” “But which do you like better, weather or sewing?” “You should quit your job and sew”
I think girls will be more likely to want to enter STEM fields if this stigma is removed – That science is ‘boring’ – that you have to be “serious” all the time. You have to be nerdy. You engineer robots as a side hobby. Bollocks.
~ Lisa Vaughn
Bachelor of Science, Mathematics, University of Houston
Master of Statistics, Rice University
Master of Geosciences, Mississippi State University
Certified Broadcast Meteorologist – AMS Seal of Approval