Young women in the Science National Honor Society (SNHS) at Prairie High School discussed their involvement in the STEM field in today’s world and what the past of women movements for science means to them and what they hope they’ll see in the future.

Their future careers in the field range from Orthodontics and Physical Therapy, to Rheumatology.

Hannah Peterson, a senior at PHS explains, “ I wanted to help people and I liked science so I wanted to do medicine…” Knowing that she has a passion for helping people and a love for science, is helping her build a bright future.

Peterson goes on further and also speaks out to young women still unsure about their future. “Women shouldn’t go into a STEM field just because they’re told more women should go into STEM, they should go into a STEM field because they love it and it’s something they’re passionate about, and they should say “my gender doesn’t matter and I want to be an engineer because I want to do it.”

Knowing that the amount of hype for more women in science, Peterson lets women know that it’s okay to not be interested in STEM, but if they do decide to go into STEM, they should do it because they’re genuinely interested and not because of the pressure women get to be as equal as men.

“I have always liked the scientific field, even in elementary school I would memorize the human skeleton for fun.” -Jessie Heims

Peyton Staab, also a senior at PHS thanks every woman who has fought for women’s rights in the past. “The women before me have been a lot more confident than I, and so for them to pave the way has made it a lot easier for me to go pursue the things I enjoy so thank you.”

 Jessie Heims, another senior at PHS sends a message to our past generations, “I would like to thank them for their bravery and trailblazing. Pioneering into an undiverse field could not have been easy, but every sacrifice has led to a greater outcome…”

Heims and Staab speak about how hard it must have been to stand up for a belief that at their time was thought of as ridiculous and because that did not stop them from not only allowing themselves to follow their dreams, but also every generation that would come after them.

Finally, they give out advice to the future generations ahead of them. Peterson advices women to, “Believe in yourself, because you’ve grown up in a society that has subconsciously taught you that men are more capable than women in these kind of careers and you just need to look at yourself, look at your abilities and think “Can I do this?” and if you think you can then go for it…”

Staab says that the key to success in the field is, “…confidence, especially in something that… we’re making new discoveries in science everyday… having the confidence to go forward in your actions is key.”

Women in the STEM field have had this tremendous movement to reach a level of equality among their male colleagues, and women like Staab, Heims, and Peterson are examples of women that can lead future generations of women to a more equal field in STEM.

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One comment

  1. Wow! This is such a well written story on such an important topic to consider. You have done a great job with this research and inclusion of student interviews and input. Such a motivating message to readers who are consider Stem field careers, or just to raise awareness of women in these positions. Thanks for sharing your passion through your story.

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