Empowering Young Girls to be Future STEM Leaders

Published : Thursday, September 26, 2019 | 10:06 AM

Marshall High School students were among dozens from Los Angeles County who participated in the American Heart Association’s STEM Goes Red: Red Beaker Challenge aimed at empowering young girls to be future leaders in science, technology, engineering and math. (L-R) Angel Wess, Lyndsey Bailey, Kennedy Moon, Holly Howard, Caitlin Gonzalez, Amaya Pulley, Alexia Dowell

Dozens of students, including several from Marshall High School in Pasadena, participated in the STEM Goes Red: Red Beaker Challenge hosted by the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement at the Hilton in Pasadena on Sept. 20.

The students teamed up with adults to conquer STEM-themed challenges, including building a droid, assembling a tower without the use of hands, puzzles and more. They also had the opportunity to network with and learn the career journey of local STEM role models, which included heart surgeons, cardiologists, biomedical engineers and medical researchers.

The STEM Goes Red: Red Beaker Challenge was part of a year-round program aimed at inspiring high school girls to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math and be the future leaders in the fight against heart disease and stroke.

“As a pioneer in heart surgery I got a lot of no throughout my career,” said Dr. Kathy Magliato, one of a few female cardiothoracic surgeons in the world, Board President for the American Heart Association Western States and event keynote speaker. “This event is all about saying yes. Yes, you can be a scientist. Yes, you can be a technologist. Yes, you can go into any of the STEM fields like engineering or mathematics.”

As cardiovascular disease continues to be the No. 1 killer of women, ensuring more women are at the forefront of developing science, technology, engineering and math solutions has never been more imperative.

Unfortunately, a troubling gender gap exists in STEM, from the lack of women pursuing STEM-related degrees to the number of women in STEM careers. Out of every 100 female undergrads, only 12 graduate with a degree in STEM and only three continue on to work in STEM fields. Although women fill close to half of all jobs in the U.S. economy, they hold less than 25 percent of STEM jobs. The American Heart Association, a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives, is working to close these opportunity gaps through STEM Goes Red.

“Young women can’t be what they can’t see so we’re here with the American Heart Association to show women that they can be part of the STEM field,” said Magliato.

To learn more, visit lagored.heart.org. STEM Goes Red is sponsored nationally by CVS Health and locally by Huntington Hospital.


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