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26 Mar NASA Women of STEM

Through their accomplishments and dedication to their jobs, women at NASA embody the essence of Women’s History Month.  They serve as role models to young women in their pursuit of careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.  Meet some of the women at NASA who are leading the way both in the laboratory and in the field. NASA astrophysicist Dr. Colleen Wilson-Hodge and the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor, or GBM, team are recipients of the top prize in high-energy astronomy this year.  The High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) selected Wilson-Hodge and the GBM team to receive the 2018 Bruno Rossi Prize for their role in the first joint detection of gravitational and light waves from the same cosmic event -- the spectacular smashup of two neutron stars in a distant galaxy. (source) Rosaly Lopes, Planetary Geologist, was born in Brazil and educated in London.  She is a senior research scientist and the manager for planetary science at JPL.  Her major focus is in planetary and terrestrial geology and volcanology.  She has written more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications, and is in the Guinness World Book of Records for having discovered 71 active volcanoes on Jupiter's moon Io. (source) Lynnae Quick, Planetary Geophysicist, is from Greensboro, North Carolina.  She recently did an interview and answered questions about her career, how she got started in her field, and what sparked her interest to keep going forward.  Her advice to others: “Be bold.  Search out people who work in your area of interest. . .  Also, becoming a professional scientist requires, above all else, a willingness to persevere.  It will require you to take upper level science and math classes in high school and college that others generally try to shy away from; but if you can keep in mind that the end goal is being able to have a job where you do something that you really love every day, you'll get through it and probably also enjoy the journey.” (Read more of her interview here.) Data2insight continues to be inspired and encouraged by these amazing #WomenInSTEM....

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19 Mar Untold History of Women in Science and Technology

Listen to women from across the Obama Administration tell the stories of their personal heroes across the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).  Honor their legacy by committing to encourage a young woman to pursue a career in science.  Below are just a few of the women who’s stories are highlighted: Ruth Rogan Benerito was an American chemist and pioneer in bioproducts.  Benerito is credited with saving the cotton industry in post-WWII America through her discovery of a process to produce wrinkle-free, stain-free, and flame-resistant cotton fabrics.  In addition to this work, Benerito also developed a method to harvest fats from seeds for use in intravenous feeding of medical patients.  This system became the foundation for the system we use today.  After retiring from the USDA and teaching university courses for an additional 11 years, Benerito received the Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award both for her contributions to the textile industry and her commitment to education. Rachel Carson was a marine biologist and environmentalist — whose groundbreaking book, Silent Spring, has been credited as the catalyst for the modern environmental movement.  arson passed away in 1964, but her work has been credited with the legacy of “awakening the concern of Americans for the environment.” Lydia Villa-Komaroff is considered to be a trailblazer in the field of molecular biology.  She faced many adversities she faced throughout her lifetime — at one point, an advisor told her that women did not belong in chemistry, fortuitously inspiring her to switch her major to biology — but she pursued her passion in spite of opposition.  In 1978, Villa-Komaroff made waves with a published paper detailing her most notable discovery — that bacteria could be engineered to produce human insulin.  She currently serves as the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at Cytonome/ST. Listen to these stories and more, as told by women in the Obama Administration, at https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/node/311241. Join data2insight as we continue to raise our glasses to these wonderful women in history.  #STEM, #WomenInSTEM, #ScienceIsAwesome...

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12 Mar Pi Day is Upon Us

It's that time of year again! Pi Day and Einstein's Birthday (source)!  Pi Day is celebrated on March 14th (3/14) around the world.  Pi (Greek letter “π”) is the symbol used in mathematics to represent a constant — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159 (source). All around the world, this day is celebrated in many different ways.  You can celebrate Pi Day: The NASA way by solving stellar math problems faced by NASA scientists and engineers; the Exploratorium way by participating in Pi Day Activities or joining their Community Pi Day; The Bricks & Minifigs Eugene - LEGO® Resale Store way by joining them for Legos, movies, and pie in Eugene, Oregon; or The Pi Campus way in Rome, Italy by attending their celebration. Some places decided to celebrate early.  For instance, In Princeton, NJ, they celebrated with a surprise birthday party for Einstein. In Spokane, Washington, they made music with tiny computers. In Boston, Massachuesetts, they had a Boston Pi Party. In Chicago, Illinois, they had an Almost Pi(e) Day Party thanks to the Chicago Nerd Social Club. No matter how you choose to celebrate Pi Day, data2insight hopes that it is full of pie, math, and learning fun for all!...

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05 Mar Kicking Off National Women’s History Month

Did you know that March is National Women’s History Month?  This year’s theme is “Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.” (source) The 2018 National Women’s History theme presents the opportunity to honor women who have shaped America’s history and its future through their tireless commitment to ending discrimination against women and girls. The theme embodies women working together with strength, tenacity and courage to overcome obstacles and achieve joyful accomplishments.  (source) Their lives demonstrate the power of voice, of persistent action, and of believing that meaningful and lasting  change is possible in our democratic society.  Through this theme we celebrate women fighting not only against sexism, but also against the many intersecting forms of discrimination faced by American women including discrimination based on race and ethnicity, class, disability, sexual orientation, veteran status, and many other categories. (source) The Library of Congress will host an array of events and programming throughout March that celebrate and commemorate women and their contributions to STEM, history, civil rights, justice and the arts.  All of the following events are free and open to the public. (source) Join data2insight as we take pause to celebrate women in history this month....

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26 Feb The Science of Color: Black and Brown Girls in STEM

If current statistics provide any indication, the idea of black and brown girls in STEM seems far-fetched.  Look at any data report out there, and you’ll find that women remain underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math. (source) In 2012, white women earned 6,777 PhDs in STEM fields.  On the other hand, white men earned 8,478 PhD degrees.  For African American women, that number dwindles to 684—10 times fewer scientific doctorates than their white counterparts.  With only 3.5% of STEM bachelor degrees, Latina women face an even larger obstacle. (source) STEM fields show an absence of women of color.   The problem starts in childhood.  We need to encourage girls NOW so that they grow into smart, capable, and driven women who take their rightful place in the world of science, technology, engineering, and math. (source) Teach your girls about people like Mae C. Jamison, the first African-American female astronaut (source); Dr. Alexa Candy, the first female African-American neurosurgeon in the United States (source); and Shirley Ann Jackson, the only African-American woman awarded the National Medal of Science (2014) (source). Letting girls know early in life about African-American Women in Science can help encourage them to follow footsteps into the world of #STEM. Join data2insight as we strive to continue the inspiration, encouragement, and support of black and brown girls in #STEM along with organizations like Girls Pursuing Science....

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19 Feb President’s Day and Black History Month Collide

On November 4, 2008, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois was elected President of the United States over Senator John McCain of Arizona.  Obama became the 44th president, and the first African American to be elected to that office. (source) In a speech in 2016, President Obama celebrated Black History with the following words: “Now, we gather to celebrate Black History Month, and from our earliest days, black history has been American history.  We’re the slaves who quarried the stone to build this White House; the soldiers who fought for our nation’s independence, who fought to hold this union together, who fought for freedom of others around the world.  We’re the scientists and inventors who helped unleash American innovation.  We stand on the shoulders not only of the giants in this room, but also countless, nameless heroes who marched for equality and justice for all of us. Down through the decades, African American culture has profoundly shaped American culture -- in music and art, literature, and sports…. We are so proud to honor this rich heritage.  But Black History Month shouldn’t be treated as though it is somehow separate from our collective American history -- (applause) -- or somehow just boiled down to a compilation of greatest hits from the March on Washington, or from some of our sports heroes. It’s about the lived, shared experience of all African Americans, high and low, famous and obscure, and how those experiences have shaped and challenged and ultimately strengthened America.”  (Read more of his speech…) Join data2insight as we continue to celebrate those who have shaped American culture, including the work of the first African-American President, Barack Obama....

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12 Feb African-American Influences in Science…

Have you heard of Gladys West (pictured with her husband)? She completed her 42-year career at the Navy base at Dahlgren and she was part of the team that developed the Global Positioning System in the 1950s and 1960s. Gladys rose through the ranks of the navy, worked on the satellite geodesy (science that measures the size and shape of Earth) and contributed to the accuracy of GPS and the measurement of satellite data.  She started her career as a mathematician at Dahlgren in 1956. Growing up in Dinwiddie County south of Richmond, all Gladys Mae Brown knew was that she didn't want to work in the fields, picking tobacco, corn and cotton, or in a nearby factory, beating tobacco leaves into pieces small enough for cigarettes and pipes, as her parents did. "I realized I had to get an education to get out," she said.  (article source) Read more here Join data2insight as we celebrate another great woman in STEM!...

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05 Feb Celebrating Black History Month…

"Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave.  I rise, I rise, I rise." -- Maya Angelou "Still I Rise," And Still I Rise (1978)   Join data2insight in celebrating the history and contributions of African Americans in the United States.  Each year beginning on February 1, an entire month of events are planned nationwide honoring the history and contributions of African Americans. The theme for Black History Month in 2018 is "African Americans in Times of War" honoring those brave men and women who served their countries in the armed forces, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending the American ideals of freedom and democracy. During World War II, for example, more than 2.5 million black men registered for the draft and one million served as draftees or volunteers in every branch of the armed forces. A decade before the first glimmers of the American civil rights movement, most black men were assigned to segregated combat groups. Even so, more than 12,000 black men who served in the segregated 92nd Division received citations or were decorated for "extraordinary heroism" on the battlefield.  Perhaps more famously, the Tuskegee Airmen also became legendary for their heroic feats, and in total, received a Distinguished Unit Citation, several silver stars, 150 distinguished flying crosses, 14 bronze stars, and 744 air medals. At war's end, recognition of the African-American contribution to the war effort would eventually lay the groundwork for the civil rights protests of the 1950s and 1960s.  Source Check out this link to buy a poster to commemorate Black History Month 2018.   ...

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28 Jan January is Mentoring Month

Launched in 2002 by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, National Mentoring Month focuses national attention on the need for mentors, as well as how each of us—individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities and nonprofits—can work together to increase the number of mentors to help ensure positive outcomes for our young people. This campaign celebrates mentoring and the positive effect it can have on young lives. Its goals are to: Raise awareness of mentoring in its various forms Recruit individuals to mentor, especially in programs that have waiting lists of young people Promote the rapid growth of mentoring by recruiting organizations to engage their constituents in mentoring Data2insight founder, Veronica S. Smith, partners with Million Women Mentors (MWM) as a co-chair with Dr. Jillian Cadwell, Washington State University-Tri Cities professor.  MWM, founded in 2014, helps companies and corporations across the nation connect with local girl-serving mentee organizations to provide face-to-face and online mentoring opportunities for their employees. Click on the organization to read more about The National Mentoring Partnership, National Mentoring Month, The Mentoring Gap, or Million Women Mentors.  ...

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21 Jan TAF’s Untapped Talent Initiative

Data2insight founder, Veronica S. Smith, attended the January 11 STEM-focused learning work session with people from organizations all around Seattle.  Teams of four to six people worked together to develop an innovation challenge for high school students that would last 3 to 12 months and engage a team of four students around solving a STEM-based problem.  The driving question that guided the team that Veronica worked with was this: “What would a system look like that highlighted people’s talents, knowledge, and skills and how they match employer needs, and masked demographic characteristics like gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or ability?” Solutions to this problem could help reduce the implicit bias that closes doors to underrepresented students in STEM. High powered women in STEM panelists that curated the conversations about the ideas of student innovation challenges were: Amberine Wilson, Port of Seattle; Zene Hall, TAF@Saghalie Senior; Diem Ly, ComcastNBCUniversal; and Julie Jenson, Capitol One. #untappedtalentbyTAF...

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