The Big Bang Theory: praising women in science

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – For 12 years, the characters of the Big Bang Theory have given us laughter, joy and inspiration.

News 12’s Kaylee Nix is here with a look at how two of the characters have helped shape ideas about women.

Amy Farrah Fowler and Bernadette Wolowitz both live their lives with successful careers in science fields. Their image of female sucess in STEM is one that makes a difference to girls and women of all ages in real life.

“When we see female characters who are doing awesome things, it makes me want to do awesome things too.”

Ella Harris is only in middle school, but she credits her success in advanced math and sciences to reading about and watching other women doing well in STEM fields while being portrayed as real, relatable characters.

Steff Molloy is in the 8th grade.

“When you can relate to someone that sort of helps you to have the strength to do something even when its way more difficult than it should be for you.”

In the big bang theory, Amy and Bernadette’s characters battle the stigma of being judged on their looks instead of their work.

That’s something teachers want to see more of according to Heritage High School chemistry teacher Kim Hayen.

“The only time I see excited and beautiful women in science on the TV is when its for little kids. And So I think for high school and college age kids it would be great if we could see more women who can talk about science at a high academic level and still be passionate and be excited. But not necessarily be condescending to a younger age.”

Lynne Macziewski is head of Girls Preparatory School middle school and she says, “we want our girls to be exposed in the media to problem solvers, creative thinkers, collaborators, really great communicators, public speakers and there are so many of those out there”

Meteorologist and Author Ginger Zee hopes to be one of those inspiring female science presences through her book series ‘Chasing Helicity.’

” I feel like this is the time for a female scientist to be the lead of science, the face of science and I’d love to be her.”

Because she believes the best way to get girls to believe they can succeed is through first hand experience of watching others success.

“If you see it, you can envision it. its much more difficult for someone to say well i know i really like this, its interesting to me, but what am I going to do with that? its great to have a character or an actual person to look up to.”

But inspiration doesn’t just come from scientists,

GPS upper school head Jenise Gordon tells us “there are other women that are doing phenomenal things in terms of STEM and humanities and pay attention to them. Pay attention to the difference they are making in the lives of others.”

And the personal successes the characters in the show find can also serve as a reminder that we choose our own happiness.

Lucy Hicks, an 11th grader at Heritage High School thinks succeeding in your field of choice is great, but its always about what makes you the happiest.

“Its important for women to see not only women in the STEM field, but also women making that choice to be whatever makes them happy”

12 years of happiness and inspiration from the Big Bang characters all ends tonight.

Categories: Education, Entertainment, Local News

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