CHITTENANGO, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Women were sporting purple on Monday in honor of dress for STEM day, recognizing female STEM professionals and bringing awareness to the need for more women in science. For as long as we can remember, science has been seen as a male profession. But women across the globe are working to change that, including right here in Central New York.
Brianna Crystal’s love for science began at an early age.
“I like that it’s always changing and there’s always more to explore and more to learn,” says Crystal.
Crystal shares a love for science with her friend and classmate, Aiyana Mcdonell.
“I like that’s innovative and if you have a good enough idea then you can change a lot of lives for people,” says Mcdonell.
Both Crystal and Mcdonell are on their schools Envirothon team, which focuses on different resources in the state, like soils and wildlife. The team is made up of four girls and just one boy… which has changed over time.
“At the very beginning when I started this it was more boys and through the years it has definitely gone more female,” says Lisa Lowenberg, science teacher at Chittenango High School and Advisor for Envirothon team.
Lowenberg says when she first started at Chittenango High School 22 years ago, there was only one female science teacher. Now there are seven.
Lowenberg added, “Maybe 10 years ago there was maybe only 8 to 10 percent of women interested. But now its like more closer to 40. So they’re really starting to get into all of the steam professions.”
Both Mcdonell and Crystal plan on studying science next year when they go off to college and they have a message for girls younger than them who are interested in science, but might be intimidated by it.
“I’d say just do it because you’ll regret it if you don’t try it first,” says Mcdonell.
“I would say just go for it, because for the longest time women weren’t allowed to be in science so now is our chance,” says Crystal.