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STEM Summit

Women in STEM


This session aired at ScIC6 Science is Cool Virtual STEM Summit on Thursday, August 5, 2021.

Stereotypes and cultural norms dampen girls' interest in STEM, but educators can counter these disparities. Here, our panelists discuss how.


Deanne Bell  Founder & CEO | Future Engineers

Deanne Bell is an engineer and television host. She loved inventing as a young girl and founded Future Engineers in 2014 to connect inspiring media and tech innovation with engaging STEAM challenges for youth. She studied mechanical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis. Prior to being a TV host and entrepreneur, she designed opto-mechanics for aircraft sensors and worked as a senior application engineer for a software startup. Her TV hosting credits include CNBC, ESPN, DSC, Nat Geo, and PBS.


Mary Ford  Director of Professional Learning | National Geographic Society

Mary is Director of Professional Learning at the National Geographic Society. She has a bachelor’s in environmental science from Harvard University and a master's in environmental management from Yale University. Her career has focused on environmental education and citizen science. She has worked at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, the World Wildlife Fund, and the National Audubon Society. She has also taught preschool, middle school and high school and has done ecology research in Borneo, Latin America and Siberia. She doesn't mind being hot or cold as long as she's outside!


Nahima Ahmed  Manager of Impact Strategy | Science Friday

Nahmia is a story-driven researcher who loves using data to understand and improve programs and processes for people. In all of her work, she strives to understand the relationship of how people and systems interact to drive meaningful action. She has experience in media, global health, evaluation, social impact, data science, UX research, clinical trials, clinical assessments & interviewing, and qualitative analysis.


Patti Curtis  Robert Noyce/Ellen Lettcin Information STEM Education Fellow | US Department of Education

Patti Curtis is the Robert Noyce/Ellen Lettvin Informal STEM Education Fellow serving in the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Education.  Previously, Curtis served as the Director of the Washington, D.C. Office of the Museum of Science and the National Center for Technological Literacy, where she focused on advancing formal and out of school PK-12 engineering education across the nation by advocating for federal and state policies and programs.

Patti also served on the U.S House of Representatives Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education Caucus Steering Committee, the Association of Science and Technology Centers Public Policy Committee and the Title IV, Part A Coalition Steering Committee. She also served on the Purdue INSPIRE K-12 Engineering Outreach External Advisory Panel, and the Triangle Coalition Board.


Teresa Mobley  NGSS Teacher on Special Assignment | Saugus Union School District

Teresa is a veteran educator with 20+ years in the classroom. Currently a teacher on special assignment in the area of NGSS for a TK-6 district in California.

Notes and Resources:

1 Million Women in STEM

National Geographic Explorers Program 

Sign up for the NASA TechRise Challenge 


Women in STEM Posters for Classrooms: Series 2

If Then She Can

Why So Few? Research on Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Nerdy Baby Products

STEMazing Matchbox Car PQRST 

Breakthrough Films - Portraits Of Women In Science  

Research on How Language Contributes to Stereotype Formation 

Hedy Lamarr Poster

Mary's ScIC5 Talk about her work in Borneo

Not the Science Type - Female scientists challenge stereotypes and blaze paths for future generations in this 3M-produced docuseries

Dr. Cheryl Knott - Mary Ford's role model 

Ask a Scientist series by PocketLab - Hear from a couple of awesome women scientists 

PocketLab Lesson - Dr Megan MacDonald on NASA Heat Shield research

National Geographic Explorer Classroom program

The Miss Virginia Contest Winner

Skype a Scientist

European Space Agency Education Resources 

Nextstrain - Real-time tracking of pathogen evolution

50 Fearless Women Who Made American History: An American History Book for Kids, by Jenifer Bazzit

ScIC6 STEM Summit Video Library


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