Overcoming Gender StereotypesMarch 13, 2018
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As I’ve mentioned before on the blog, I have two degrees in chemical engineering. My time in college taught me many lessons. Yes, I learned how to balance a chemical reaction and solve a complex differential equation, but I also learned valuable life lessons too. I learned that even in the male-dominated world of engineering, I can still achieve success and prove my worth as a capable, proficient individual. That’s why the #StrengthHasNoGender campaign from Brawny® really speaks to me- it’s meant to empower girls & women to break those pesky gender stereotypes! Keep an eye out for the limited-time Strength Has No Gender™ pack from Brawny® at Walmart!
After having overcome gender stereotypes myself, I am passionate about encouraging my daughters to pursue their interests in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math). In my engineering classes, I was certainly outnumbered as a female. I’m fairly sure that a number of professors, and plenty of classmates, saw me as “just another pretty girl”. However, I was way more than just a pretty girl. I was a capable, dedicated student who had a passion for math & science. I studied very diligently throughout college. I was immersed in a rigorous technical curriculum and I didn’t have much time for socialization. That didn’t matter to me, though- I was focused on the work and I enjoyed the challenge of proving myself. My hard work certainly paid off in the end. I graduated summa cum laude from my undergraduate program and was accepted to study chemical engineering at the graduate level at a prestigious Ivy League university.
Nowadays, as a mom and entrepreneur, I love doing science experiments with my daughters. It shows them that science can be fun and accessible … and it’s certainly a subject they can pursue if they wish! A fun experiment we recently performed showcases the phenomenon of walking water. We placed three glasses next to each other. We filled the outer two ones with water. We added some food coloring to them, too (we choose red and blue). Then we placed some rolled-up paper towels between the cups, as you can see in the following picture.
Over time, the water “walks” along the paper towel. Thanks to capillary action, the water travels along the paper towel from the outermost glasses to the innermost glass… until all three glasses are at the same level. Notice also that the water in the center glass becomes filled with a color that is a mixture of the outermost glass colors. Red + Blue = Purple!
Another fave experiment is simple but incredibly awesome! Simply fill a zippered plastic bag with water. Then gently insert sharpened pencils all the way through the bag. Surprisingly, no water leaks out!
How does this one work? Well, plastic bags are made of a polymer that is lightweight and flexible. After the pencil slips between the strands of the polymer, the polymer forms a temporary seal around the pencil. This experiment is always a fun one for kids!
Another favorite experiment of ours is making homemade cornstarch slime. Simply combine 2 parts corn starch to 1 part water.
When you apply pressure to the mixture, it behaves like a solid – you can form a ball. When you release pressure from the mixture, it behaves like a liquid – it oozes between the fingers. Materials that behave this way are characterized as non-Newtonian fluids. The kids really enjoy playing with this messy material!
I plan on doing science experiments with the kids for many more years to show them that science is fun and exciting. And when it comes time to cleaning up after our science experiments (or any of the other messes that happen in our household), I will always turn to Brawny®, which helps me wipe up whatever life throws down.
Brawny® offers exceptional durability and absorbency, which is something I appreciate. I love that I also get more sheets per roll (vs. leading national brand comparable roll and sheet size). In fact, it’s perfect for small messes or big messes… and even those in-between messes.
Did you know that Brawny® is asking people across America to recognize the SHEro in their life? A SHEroe is a strong, resilient woman who has broken through barriers. She stands up for what is right and always puts others before herself. She is a role model and thrives on overcoming adversity with strength & resilience. I am hoping to be a SHEro for my daughters by being a role model (a female engineer) and by encouraging them to pursue their interests in STEM subjects. Do you know a SHEro in your life? Brawny® would love to hear your story!
This Women’s History Month, share the story of your SHEro using the hashtag #StrengthHasNoGender… and tell your friends to do the same! Let’s spread the word and celebrate the mission of Brawny®! By the way, I love that Brawny® is giving back to the community with the GIRLS INC. PARTNERSHIP MODULE SHEROES OF TOMORROW. Brawny® will donate a $100K and, will also give your SHEro stories to Girls Inc. to inspire girls to be strong, smart, and bold. Let’s shape a better future and prove #StrengthHasNoGender!
Look for Brawny® Pick-a-Size 8 Giant Plus from Walmart. Keep an eye out for the limited-time Strength Has No Gender™ pack! Let’s all support the #StrengthHasNoGender initiative!
Celebrate female empowerment this year with Brawny®’s Strength Has No Gender™ campaign. Who is your SHEro?
Girls in science is so awesome. I loved science as a girl and I am glad to see the opportunities for girls.
Well done on overcoming the gender stereotypes and doing engineering. My son wants to do that and I hope that he treats everyone the same. I love science experiments and will try these out with my kids. I think it is equally important the other way around as I have 4 boys – and so they love to craft and create and cook.
I am a biochemist and I hear you 100%. We should raise strong kids with no sex stereotypes whatsoever!
Yay! Fellow scientist in the house!!
Overcoming gender stereotypes, especially in the workplace takes guts! Good for you for breaking the barrier. This sounds like a wonderful thing Brawny is doing.
Oh my goodness, how much fun are all your experiments you do at home. I love that you are trying to break through the gender stereotypes!
what an inspiring and empowering message here! The gender has nothing to do with a profession choice.
Totally agree, daria!
I use to love doing science projects with my son. We had so much fun. He even won the science fair one year and got to meet Jaque Cousteau. 🙂
How exciting! Super cool!
It’s so important to get girls into STEM. My oldest daughter is now off at college and majoring in biology and hopes to go to medical school.
That’s great your daughter is interested in bio!
Love this! It’s so important for us to teach our daughters they can be anything they set their mind too.
I live the science experiment that you conducted. So cool. Didn’t know that about a mere lunch bag and pencil.
Science is fun to learn, and examination are a huge pain but worth it. I enjoyed it back in school and applied most of its principles in my daily life 🙂
I love Brawny they are so great for these types of experiment messes clean up
Great post! I agree gender has no roles! If my boys want to play with dolls, I let them. If my daughter wants to explode something in the kitchen, I let her! I try to help them evolve what ever way they see fit regardless of their sex.
It’s awesome that you overcame gender stereotypes when it comes to engineering. I feel it’s important to encourage our kids that there is nothing they can’t do, even if whatever it is is typically a gender specific field.
Good for you with overcoming gender stereotypes! Our daughter will be graduating from college this year, with a degree in psychology. We’ve always tried to encourage our kids to do what their dream is, whatever the field. I feel the ceiling is broken through when it comes to women overcoming gender stereotypes, but I also feel we have a ways to go.
The experiments when they are young are well covered in elementary school. I wish elementary teachers past the early grades had the science background to address misconceptions and avoid perpetuating mis-information. It sounds like your kids will not have to worry about that!
Those experiments look like so much fun! And the clean up will be easy when you have paper towels ready to go!
STEM is the way to go as far as I am concerned for all females. No shying away from these areas. Good for you for going with your heart. The experiments look like so much fun.
I love this! I need to try that pencil experiment with my kids (they would flip). They love that kind of stuff!
I cannot applaud this enough! #girlpower I love that you’re making science fun and introducing it to your kiddos. Way to go on all of your accomplishments and cheers to Brawny for rolling out this campaign! This is amazing all around.
STEM is so important in schools and I love seeing my kids get excited about the projects they are working on. We make plenty of messes too all part of the fun, right!
I love this! As an elementary school teacher, I strive to help my female students get excited about Science.
I’ve never tried the plastic baggie trick, but I know it will be a hit. I love how curious my girls are, and definitely want to help them continue to wonder, explore, and experiment.
Wow, you are such a sweet mom, with beauty and obvious brains. How fun these things are to do with the kids. Thanks for sharing
Aww thanks Ivory! Your kind words touched my heart! Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful weekend!