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Women in Science: A Modern Parent's Perspective

✦ Elizabeth Regin muses on opening the way for children to explore any field where their interests and skills take them.


Henry starting young learning about astronomy and the planets | Brilliant Online Australia Singapore UK | Brilliant Magazine Luxembourg
Henry gets curious about the planets!

Marie Curie, Ada Lovelace, and Marie-Anne Paulze Lavoisier - these women have always been my heroes with their legacy etched in my mind - they’re all scientists who revolutionised modern science throughout history.


The Solvay Conference, 1927 (Photo: rarehistoricalphotos.com) | Brilliant Online Australia Singapore UK | Brilliant Online
The Solvay Conference, 1927 (Photo: rarehistoricalphotos.com)

Who cannot be captivated by the pictures of Marie Curie captured in real-time during the fifth Solvay conference in 1927 where she was the only woman amongst the most recognisable names of modern science?


Thanks to more exposure from books and movies like Hidden Figures about real-life inspirational African-American mathematicians who worked for NASA and the series, Lessons in Chemistry, we have a more in-depth awareness of the obstacles these women faced in society and the STEM sector they’ve worked in.


Growing up in an Asian culture, many girls and women I know, including my mother and grandmother, faced these same obstacles - you’d think it was more prevalent before the ‘60s but these struggles coupled with traditional parenting beliefs were still commonplace. Girls’ education in the family was placed on the back burner while boys were encouraged to have “intellectual pursuits”.

Victoria is learning about the stars | Brilliant Online Australia Singapore UK | Brilliant Magazine Luxembourg
Victoria is exploring to the moon and back!

Progress has been made albeit slowly with modern parenting influencing some change, along with numerous complex factors like the breaking of cultural and gender roles in society and technological advancements.

I am heartened to see that there are more women in the STEM sector; women now make up 26% of the STEM workforce.

Henry has the planets learned in his head!  | Brilliant Online Australia Singapore UK | Brilliant Online
A head full of stars, planets and mysteries of the universe!

Though the numbers might seem small, their work has a significant and pivotal impact on the STEM sector. These women deserve more recognition for their contributions and for paving the way for the future generation.


There are also now cool STEM courses available like coding and robotics for kids starting from as young as 4 years old.


As a modern parent, education, especially scientific literacy, is one of the top priorities in my children’s lives with the importance of being cultured and cultivated as our household philosophy.


In her book “Dans un mois, dans un an”, French writer Françoise Sagan wrote “La culture est ce qui reste quand on ne sait rien faire” which to us means that culture is like a parachute - it is the only thing that will save you when there’s nothing left.


The best Scientists are Children- I am in awe of my children’s insatiable curiosity for exploring, learning, and questioning.
Victoria identifying the planet we live on  | Brilliant Online Australia Singapore UK | Brilliant Magazine Luxembourg
Where does Victoria want to travel to when she grows up?

We believe in trying our best to explain facts about how things work. We try to cultivate our kids through fun science activities and always keeping their library accessible. We hope to show them through these activities and positive affirmations that start from home, science is for everyone and a key to knowledge to reach for the stars.

Perhaps Victoria and Henry will aspire to be and also be amongst many more Marie Curies, Katherine Johnsons, and Ada Lovelaces just like I was. ❋


Fun Science Experiments for Children. Enjoy!



 

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