The request for volunteers and presenters for Exploring Your Future has just been released! Exploring Your Future is the male counterpart to the long-lasting and popular Expanding Your Horizons. While the misrepresentation of girls in STEM is a widely discussed and studied issued that few would argue against, we cannot ignore boys and young men and obstacles that they may face along with a lack of exposure to scientists as positive role models.
Why might boys need STEM role models? Isn’t it easier for boys to enter the world of science and face fewer obstacles?
As a homogenous group, ‘boys’ do not face as many negative stereotypes about their careers and education as girls, but there is not just one type of boy. There are African American boys, Latino boys, Hmong boys, Indigenous boys, mixed-race boys, lower/working class boys, country boys, and the list goes on. Some are homeless or have incarcerated parents. There are so many different identities in the United States that are under-represented in the STEM fields, and those boys do in fact face obstacles. EYF was created this year to provide a STEM immersion event just for these boys. We want to show them how exciting and creative science can be, and the best way to do so is to bring in STEM professional who want to share their world with these boys.
A lot of boys think that they have to act a certain way to eventually become a man. Boys have the same misconceptions about scientists as girls; scientists are scrawny, nerdy, asocial, awkward, arrogant loners, and none of those things are conclusive to becoming a man. However, almost all scientists work in groups and have a massive menagerie of personalities and backgrounds. Some scientists work mostly on computers while others may have field or lab work. Some have grown up around professional scientists while others may not have met one until their college years. EYF is designed to convey that being a scientist is like many other professions and is not a club or cult as some people occasionally see it.
Furthermore, just as girls can have role models of any gender identity, there is no reason that boys cannot do the same. EYF wants boys to see how many different kinds of scientists there are out there. Not only in terms of what kind of science they do, but also who they are.
Sign up here by February 8th! The event is on the Saturday of March 2, 2019 at Union South.