Miss Inland Empire- Women in STEM

Hi again! For those of you who did not get a chance to read my first blog, let me re-introduce myself, I am Madison Givens, Miss Inland Empire and I am so excited to be blogging for the second time.

Science has limitless possibilities and endless discoveries. In the words of Carl Sagan, “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”

FullSizeRenderI recently started my third quarter of college classes this year and I am taking a heavy course load in science and mathematics. One thing I noticed is that being a female, in the biochemistry department of my school is scarce. This has caused me to reflect on the STEM program and our former Miss California 2013, Crystal Lee’s platform of Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). I was fortunate enough to have been encouraged to follow my passion and enter the sciences at a young age, but many young girls do not have the same opportunity that I was given.

I met a “nutty professor” on one particular field trip with my school during my 8th grade studies. We went on a four-day intensive academic retreat to a university. I experienced the opportunity to sample college life complete with intriguing classes, enlightened professors, crazy students, diverse dorms and a cafeteria filled with food that my mother never let me eat.

I clearly remember a science class and a unique professor who reminded me of, Doc Brown, from Back to the Future. He had the hair of Albert Einstein, the brain of Sir Isaac Newton and the passion of Leonardo Da Vinci. He had tie-dyed his lab coat and incorporated himself into his experiments. His eccentricity is the reason why his class was so intriguing. I remember him blowing things up and setting things on fire through spontaneous combustion; he even used common household items to show the difference in the types of friction.

Explosion after explosion, I became increasingly fascinated with the world of science this mad professor transported me to. This crazy science lab taught me that science is never black and white; it will never fit into a “cookie cutter” shape.

During this four-day retreat I realized that science was the subject for me. As my studies continued I found that science went far beyond the humor of that professor. My honors Anatomy and Physiology teacher, Mrs. Stevens, taught me that science is not just a matter of chemical reactions occurring in a confined lab, but something that infiltrates everyday life. Science encompasses, the seen and the unseen, the known and the unknown.

The one thing that both these professors taught me is that science (or any other currently male dominated subject) is something for everyone, the subject matter cannot, and does not, discriminate, therefore, we should be allowing all children to have the opportunity to experience what I did. In order to interest young women in pursuing male dominated career fields we must first allow them to experiment and experience science, technology, engineering, and mathematics first hand and we need to be supporting these types of programs at a young age.

IMG_3239Had it not been for those opportunities and those two professors I may never have felt encouraged to enter the field of science. In conclusion, had it not been for Crystal and the Miss America Organization then the doubts I felt about my scientific path might have taken the upper hand and I would not have had the empowerment and encouragement from accomplished women, that I look up to, in this wonderful organization.

Thanks for reading!

Love,
Madison

Miss Inland Empire 2015