What if she invents the cure for cancer? What if she develops the next spacecraft to Mars? Perhaps she’ll dispute string theory, engineer a robot car, code the next big video game, program a better prosthetic?
Despite the significantly low number of American women pursuing and obtaining occupations in STEM fields, Alison Rogers is looking to change this statistic. With four EXPLO summers behind her and another to come, we know that she will.
On International Women’s Day, Microsoft asked Alison to talk about her interest in environmental policy for their #MakeWhatsNext campaign to encourage young women to pursue STEM. Alison was more than willing to speak out.
According to the Census Bureau's 2009 American Community Survey, women comprise 48 percent of the U.S. workforce but just 24 percent of workers in STEM fields. These numbers stem from pipeline issues, personal choices, and biases — where women who are looking to specialize in subjects ranging from astrophysics to marine microbiology are being pushed out.
In the video, which has since garnered over 12 million views worldwide, Alison explains her profound concern about the depletion of freshwater resources for organisms on earth. Her goal? To engineer tools that will help her discover and mine water on other planets such as Europa.
During the video, Alison was asked why she believes there are so few girls pursuing a career in STEM.
“There’s always going to be somebody who says ‘You can’t do it’,” Alison replied. “Well, I think I can.”
Alison will attend EXPLO 360 at Wellesley this year where she will have an opportunity to explore dozens of other classes, activities, and trips surrounding subjects that already interest her, and explore entirely new ones along the way.
We can’t wait to see Alison change the face of STEM leadership — and change the world.
Our students end their summers with us feeling like they can accomplish anything, and our alumni go on to thrive and lead in every career imaginable. Many have gone on to lead or found some incredible philanthropic organizations. A few examples include:
- Alexia Armstrong, Co-Founder at Young Diplomacy
- Nathaniel Keohane, VP for Global Climate at the Environmental Defense Fund
- James Forman, Jr., Co-Founder of the See Forever Foundation and the critically acclaimed Maya Angelou Charter School.
- Ian Cinnamon, Director of Strategy of The Immunity Project, a nonprofit working on developing a free vaccine to eradicate HIV and AIDS
- Max Mankin, Founder of Modern Electric, a startup that seeks to overturn 100 years of history in generating electricity, replacing steam turbines with small, modular devices that convert heat to electricity.
- Anna Stork, Cofounder of LuminAid, a company that supplies portable lights, and is used in relief efforts for Doctors without Borders