At STEM competitions, gender norms still hold girls back

July 16, 2019

Seventeen-year-old Rachel Seevers waited nervously at the 2019 International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). The high school senior was about to demonstrate to the public a new kind of underwater propulsion system she’d created and tested in her parents’ basement. But no one came to talk to her. So, Seevers tried an experiment. She and a nearby male participant, who’d been getting lots of attention, switched spots, presenting each other’s research. Lo and behold, his project became much less popular with her standing in front of it, while hers suddenly attracted more interest.

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