Monday, November 7, 2011

But Madame Curie, Girls Aren’t Smart Enough To Be Scientists!

Yesterday we visited a Science and Engineering Expo with our children. I have three very curious, inquisitive daughters who just happen to be the offspring of one chemical engineer and one former 7th grade science teacher. Yes, our house is usually brewing with some sort of scientific experiment or nature study. We like to observe and infer and draw conclusions around here. It’s the way we roll.

Yet, as a mother of three daughters, I know that the career path of a scientist isn’t always an easy one for women. I’m old enough to remember the nonsense studies about males being stronger in math and science then females. I am an educator, a teacher of science,and I could give you a hundred reasons why we thought males were better at math and science, but they wouldn’t be valid. So as a mother of three bright females, who have the world at their doorstep, I can’t help but be thankful for many of the amazing females who have helped paved the way in science . Marie Curie is one of them.

She was born 144 years ago today. She managed to marry, win two Noble Peace prizes, and raise two daughters. Imagine that. She also faced adversity, being a women in the science field in the late 1800’s and and early 1900’s. She was a woman who followed her dreams and passions. A woman I want my daughters to know more about.

I found this link, which is an easy read for children. Google is also celebrating her today with this:



Happy Birthday Madame Curie, thanks for following your passions and leading many others to their dreams with your example!

Have you ever been told you couldn’t do something because you were  too short, not smart enough, etc., but did it anyway?

18 comments:

Terri Tiffany said...

I have never been told that but was swayed to be a teacher or nurse cause that's what my parents told me girls became.LOL I changed my major at the end of the first semester:)

Kara said...

Terri, that is so funny because my mom said that she was told she could only be a teacher or nurse (she's a nurse)as well and so she told me I could be anything- just don't be a teacher or a nurse. Guess what? Those were the only two things I wanted to be! :)

Prudence MacLeod said...

I remember the days when girls had three choices for a career, teacher, nurse, or secretary. Thanks the gods those days are gone.
As for me, tell me I can't do something then stand back and watch as I figure out a way to do it. I hope you can instill this into your daughters too.

Coleen Patrick said...

What a great post Kara! A little bit of history and a lot of heart, nice :)

LynNerdKelley said...

I think it's wonderful that you're homeschooling your girls. Your house sounds like loads of fun! When I first starting writing, my husband and parents thought I was nuts!

Jennette Marie Powell said...

My high school daughter loves chemistry and physics, and I do all I can to encourage that. Several years ago, she had to do a long-term project and presentation on a famous innovator - she chose Marie Curie!

My parents did steer me away from majoring in English with the "what are you going to do with that" talk. I listened, and made what turned out to be a better choice for me - graphic design, then computer programming. But they never told me I couldn't major in English, which is probably why I listened!

Tim o'Brien said...

What a wonderful job you are doing as a parent! No child should grow up with preconceived notions of what they can and can't achieve. I remember going to college and was told to major in physical education implying I was not "college material". It only motivated me to prove them wrong. With my degree in hand I can't tell you where I wanted to place it in my naysayer. Your dedication to your daughters education is inspiring!

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Kara, I must say I was blessed not to have to endure such restrictions. I have my BMath so I guess even if a teacher tried to tell me I wouldn't succeed in that, I didn't listen too well! So glad I tend to be deaf at times! LOL

Karen McFarland said...

Thank you for bringing this topic to our attention. I remember the old prejudice against girls in science and it always made me twitch.

My husband and I made the decision to homeschool our boys and have never been sorry. They did very well and turned out to be very well adjusted young men.

So may the force be with you!

augustmclaughlin said...

Such an inspiring post, Kara. Your girls are blessed with you as their mother!

Kara said...

Thanks everyone for your sweet comments. I loved reading your comments and realizing many of us have to fight adversity in order to live out our dreams!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Math isn't my strongest subject, although I held my own. Now, Science, THAT'S my subject!!!

This Little Life of Mine said...

nice post. my stepdaughter is our little science lover. we are going to toys r us today and i am sure she is going to bring home something along those lines. last time she got a gift card we brought home a habitat for venus fly traps. :)

Louise Behiel said...

I was told I could do anything but it was assumed I'd get married and have a family which I did.

But when I went to University after my kids were in school, everyone was supportive. and I never allowed anyone to suggest my girls couldn't do/be whatever they wanted. One is a programmer and one is a full time Mom. both are viable choices in my opinion.

thanks for the reminder that not everyone was as blessed as I was.

Louise

debrakristi said...

What a wonderful post! You're such a great mother. Children should never be told they can't, but always be allowed to strive for more. That's so wonderful that you give them the opportunity. :)

Sheila Seabrook said...

Wonderfully inspiring post and what a great role model for all girls and women today. Thank you, Kara!

Marcy Kennedy said...

Lovely post :)

I am thankful that I didn't face this mindset from my teachers (my male high school math teacher actually tried to get me to go on to a math-science career), but I do know girls still in my generation who were encouraged to choose a feminine career. I don't think gender matters. Upbringing and natural talent do.

molldoll1117 said...

Yay for awesome women like Marie Curie and yourself who pave the way for our daughters! Nice job! :o)