Monthly Newsletter – January 2024January 11, 2024
STEM-Focused TED Talks for the New YearJanuary 30, 2024
Superheroes, STEM, and Me
Embracing my unabashed nerdiness, my love for Star Wars, Harry Potter, Marvel, DC, and all things space-related has seamlessly woven itself into my life, especially within the realms of STEM. To be completely honest, I wear my nerdiness like a badge of honor. Recently, someone asked me where my love for STEM originated, and it got me thinking about the cosmic connection between superheroes and my career.
Reflecting on my journey, I realized that superheroes played a pivotal role in shaping my aspirations. Remember those heart-pounding moments in the movie theater? Eyes glued to the screen, maybe shedding a tear, feeling inspired, and your mind racing with excitement about having the chance to be or do what you’re witnessing. That’s me watching superhero movies, reveling in the tech, overcoming obstacles, saving the world, and of course, those epic superhero landings.
So, why superheroes? Well, imagine if all students could turn those cinematic moments into reality. Maybe they won’t swing from webs, but they could be part of an engineering team inventing a flying suit. My own start in STEM happened later in my life, but the impact of these superheroes on my perception of what I could achieve was profound.
Spiderman taught me that being a science nerd is undeniably cool; not only was Peter Parker bitten by a radioactive spider, but he also invented most of the outfits and gadgets he used. Captain America investigated the principles of human physiology, exploring the limits of biology and the influence of technology on training and performance. Black Panther (more specifically, Shuri) stood as a testament to a scientist and engineer who not only possessed unparalleled scientific and technological prowess but also wielded her expertise to mend wounds and pave the way for innovation. Shuri’s character not only challenged stereotypes but powerfully demonstrated the transformative impact that diverse representation has.
The Wonder Woman Effect
Yet, it was Wonder Woman who sealed the deal. Beyond the STEM content of the movie, it was the idea that even someone like me could be a superhero. When Diana declared, “It is our sacred duty to defend the world. And it is what I am going to do,” I knew she was talking to me and I made the decision to take action.
STEM’s Dynamic Force
We often have a narrow view of STEM careers, shaped by our limited exposure. Superheroes shattered that view for me, showing that STEM isn’t just about lab coats and equations; it’s a dynamic force capable of changing the world. So, as we guide our students, let’s open their eyes to the vast possibilities within STEM, encouraging them to embrace their inner geek and embark on their own STEM-powered adventures.
If you loved this blog, check out our other blog on STEM’s impact in pop culture.
– Chauntée Pitts