Melissa Harris-Perry | February 09, 2013
>>> who says that girls don't know anything about s.t.e.m. science, technology, engineering and mathematics and i suggest that you don't say this around this first grader, because at 7 years old, she is the youngest person to create a full version of a mobile application video game. yep, there's an app for girl s.t.e.m. and this little girl is so fly, she could reconfigure her application on the spot at the university of pennsylvania 's boot strap expo. she is an encouraging story and hopefully she can serve as a shining example and encourage more young women to pursue s.t.e.m. majors and positions, because just as many girls and boys leave high school wanting to pursue s.t.e.m. careers, fewer than half pursue them in college and in graduation, women are outnumbered by men in almost every science and engineering field a. at the table is dr. aleetha fullback who is directorf of the dr. mcstuffins foundation, and we are have dr. myiesha taylor, and also the chair of the coauthor of "why so few women in science and technology and engineering and mathematics." i'm in heaven here at this moment, because we featured doc mcstuffins as a foot soldier, because she is representative of trying to get the young girls engageded in a different way of thinking. i want her to introduce you, doctor.
>> hi. i'm doc mcstuffins and i want you to meet dr. may ven, because she is a pediatrician, and that is a special doctor just for kids.
>> thanks, doc. she is right, i'm a pediatrician and i take care of babies and children. i wanted to be a doctor since i was 4 years old. my mother bought me a toy dock doctor's kit, and i did checkups on my neighborhood friends.
>> you win, because you were introduced by doc mcstuffin, and tell me about the movement.
>> yes, in 2012 , disney came out with doc mcstuffin, and a friend of mine on the west coast was watching the show and said, she is brown i like me, and then she started to gather from the other people who were photo doctors photos of them and sent them to disney. so then female docs found a plas place for support. so we were like, why don't we continue this on, so we decided to create a organization called the artemus organization and so it is an opportunity to support and help each other, because we are isolated and spread out across the country, and the african-american workforce, 3% of them make up the physician workforce and for females it is 1.9% of the workforce are african-american females so we wanted to create a space of mentorship and neur churturing each other and then we wanted to nurture the young after african-american female watching this show doc mcstuffins.
>> i love the language of the nurturing and providing a supportive environment. i was a brownie, and in the '70s, there were brownies and as a girl scout , i sold many, many boxes of these cookies and it is one of the first times where i was together with girls not competing with them like in a sport, but we were together and working collectively towards projects, individual achievement, but also collective work in responsibility. what are the girl scouts having to do with s.t.e.m. education?
>> great question, and first of all, i think that doc mcstuffin is a girl scout . she is really empowered. we are doing a lot around s.t.e.m. and working with girls for 100 years and the founder was focussed on s.t.e.m. since 1912 and one of the first badges was aviation and welding and working with technology at this time. so over the 100 years, we have actually adopted, you know, badges around these issues where the girls are focused and specifically around technology and math. as you know, our cookie program is the largest entrepreneurial program for girls in the country.
>> yes, the first time, and i'm not terribly entrepreneurial but it is the one time i had a business and went around to sell it and looked at the profit margin. in addition to being a girl scout , i had a critical intervention in my career as a political scientist and american society of women post doctoral, and so when we talk about the nurturing environment, a piece of it is the resources of young girls and young women and older women to do this work. what is the ua, we are search and work been telling you about what women need to pursue s.t.e.m.
>> we are so proud of you and you are an amazing alumni for the fellowship. so auw does give fellowship to women specifically in science and engineering and has for many years burk in addition we do research reports to understand why there are so few women. there is a lot of literature on this topic, and showing that the culture and the environment does play a big role in the why so few girls aspire to the careers and womensue them. in particular, stereotypes and still exist the stereotypes that girls are not as good at math as boys and these have the harmful effects of girls . even if you don't believe it, you know it exists and other people probably believe it. so it can actually affect the way that girls assess their own abilities and interesting reser research by dr. shelly correl from stanford university that among the girls and boys with the same mathematical achievement in test scores and grades, the girls assess themselves lower. so that can help us to understand why they are seeming not to be as interested while part of being interested in something is thinking that you can succeed in it.
>> and good at it initially. and once we had a conversation once that african- american girls don't camp. i was talking about being a girl scout and saying, no, no, of course we camp, but the very idea that there is some notion that what we can and can't do and what we are are and aren't, and that impacts the little girl years of what we will do next.
>> my motto is be visible and fabulous and be in your space. we have told for a long time to walk down the toy aisles and construction for boys and dolls for girls . so a young age as soon as you open the eyes, you will get a message of that, and the same bodes true for the outdoors. you have black people who go outside. there is --
>> but i have to say that in my job, because i cannot tell you how many offices on the hill i have walked in as a representative of the wildlife federation and i get a look like this -- like, just absolute shocked to see me, because of the stereotype has been black people don't do that. we don't go outside. we don't camp. we don't hike. we don't climb mountains and the reality is that we do.
>> and girls do math. and we do in fact count and the cookie program is more of an entrepreneurial program than baking program. i want to stay on this, because i want to talk about what first lady michelle obama has to stay about s.t.e.m.