Tag Archives: stem

Fran Townsend Stops by Sanford, Discusses Women in National Security

Ms. Townsend and former Amb. Benjamin

Ms. Townsend during a counterterrorism debate at Sanford with former Amb. Benjamin. Ms. Townsend also held a small roundtable on Women in National Security. Image © Philip Catterall, Duke Chronicle

There is a noticeable lack of concern about the underrepresentation of women in the National Security field. Contrast this with the amount of press coverage in the past two years about the lack of women in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (also known as STEM): following a Yale study, the New York Times covered the latter topic repeatedly (here and here), while the White House set up a website to encourage women to pursue STEM. While there have been recent advances in the U.S. government, with three female Secretaries of State paving the way, there is still a dramatic shortage of women serving in National Security and of public awareness on the issue. Continue reading

Why We Need a National STEM Competition Just for Girls

When I was in the third grade, I invented a refrigerator. It was fancy for the time – it kept an inventory of everything inside, suggested recipes, and (gasp!) connected to the internet so you could order groceries from home. But two things were even cooler about this fridge. First, it came straight out of the minds of four little girls. Second, it won a national science competition.

RWAB Team
This awkward gem of a photo shows our all-girl inventor team with our “Refrigerator with a Brain.” The competition was sponsored by Toshiba (thanks, Toshiba!), and still exists today!

Fast forward twenty years and you’ll find that I am not a scientist. Not even close. I’m a writer and an advocate and a public policy student. But not once since the third grade have I donned a lab coat.

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