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SciTech Tuesday: We Can Do It!

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In WWII the war effort required EVERYONE’s help. My grandmother carried a soldering iron home from her job at General Dynamics. You’ve seen the pictures of Rosie and hundreds of other women doing hard manual labor on assembly lines. You’ve seen the pictures of women canning and working in Victory Gardens.

Women were at the forefront of computing and other parts of science in WWII as well. Most of the workers at Bletchley Park, where the Enigma Code was broken, were women. The first professional programmers hired by the US Government were all women. They programmed the ENIAC, which was being developed in WWII but wasn’t ready until it was used to make calculations for the H Bomb after the war.

Today we also need everyone to help solve society’s problems, and yet women are under-represented in the STEM workforce, STEM majors in college, and science and math electives in schools.

This Saturday we will host a workshop for girls, age 8-12. We’ll show that girls love great science education, and we will encourage them to consider careers in STEM.

In association with the Girl Scouts of East Louisiana, and Electric Girls, we are offering We Can Do It on Saturday Nov 7 2015. Girls will visit three sessions teaching fun hands-on science. They will make lip balm, ginger ale, electronics, and solve a (pretend) crime. Advance registration is required–fee is $5. Sign up here.

We need the next Joan Clark (codebreaker), Lise Meitner (discoverer of fission), and the next Grace Hopper (programmer) from this generation.

Posted by Rob Wallace, STEM Education Coordinator at The National WWII Museum.

Images are from the US Army Archives

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