The Money JAR—Amber Yang & STEM - JA In The News - Junior Achievement USA

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The Money JAR—Amber Yang & STEM

What did you want to be when you grew up? A doctor? An astronaut?

According to ThoghtCo. , a company that focuses on providing relevant content for those interested in learning and growth,  the top three job roles that women fill the most include registered nurses, meeting and convention planners and elementary & middle school teachers.

One industry that is severely lacking women is the area of Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM). The National Center for Education Statistics found that about 35 percent of women earn an undergraduate degree in STEM.

Enter an 18-year-old Stanford University Physics Student Amber Yang, winner of the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award. The project that earned her the award revolved around space debris. The technology Yang is pioneering is able to detect, track and catalog the paths of debris that is orbiting in “close” radius. The purpose of her award-winning astrophysics projects is to equip space organizations with predictions as to when space debris will collide or even enter the pathway of space shuttles and other spacecraft systems, as well as provide safety measures to all of us on earth.

In pursuing her passion for math and science, the biggest barrier she faced was lack of quality education within the department of science in her high school days. She mentions that there wasn’t a developed science or computer science class for those who took an extended interest in the area of study. To combat the lack of science education, she turned to the internet where she taught herself the fundamentals.

Another challenge she faced included gender bias. At a young age, she noticed that the “boys only work with the boys and the girls only work with the girls” in middle school science courses but as she got older she noticed that there were fewer girls than boys in the advanced high school courses. She felt that the boys in her courses perceived her as “incompetent” in her science knowledge. As she did before, she turned to herself where she relied on her own abilities to complete her assignments with her own (self-taught) science knowledge.

Miss Yang is an excellent example, role-model, and future astrophysicist to all young females looking to pursue their passion in a STEM industry. JA is excited to see Amber Yang’s exploration into her bright future ahead.

Listen to JA’s Interview with Amber HERE

  

Munoz-Boudet, Ana. “STEM Fields Still Have a Gender Imbalance. Here's What We Can Do about It.” World Economic Forum, 16 Mar. 2017, www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/03/women-are-still-under-represented-in-science-maths-and-engineering-heres-what-we-can-do.

Lowen, Linda. “Top 10 Occupations That Employ the Most Women.” ThoughtCo, 16 Feb. 2016, www.thoughtco.com/occupations-employ-largest-percent-women-3534390.

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