Emily a.k.a STEMily K is an innovating young woman who is making STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) more accessible for girls.
What is her advice for girls and women who want to enter STEM? “I would say to expose yourself to as much about STEM as possible so that you can develop the skills necessary to succeed in the STEM fields. There are many free resources for girls such as Girls Who Code and #BUILTBYGIRLS that allow girls to gain exposure to STEM.”
Read our Q&A to find out more about how STEMily K became to be.
What was your inspiration for creating STEMily K?
Answer: In 8th grade, I was accepted into a STEM program on an academic scholarship. As I began to take some of the STEM courses that I was never exposed to when I was little, I started to realize that a lot of girls had a negative attitude towards the STEM classes. I began to feel frustrated as to why girls were not interested in STEM, and why it was considered weird. In combination to these realizations, in April of my sophomore year of high school, I found out about a competition Marvel Studios was having which they were calling on girls in grades 9-12 to submit an invention that they had created and explain it in a video.
I continuously thought about what I wanted to do, and then the idea kept coming back to me about how American Girl dolls, Disney princesses, and Barbies had such an affect on my childhood. I thought that if there was a type of STEM doll, I would have been inspired to pursue STEM sooner. So I combined this thought with my passion for 3-D printing and I 3-D printed a doll that I named “STEMily”.
What would you tell your 12-year- old self?
Answer: I would tell my 12 year old self to continue to pursue my dreams and passions, even if they might not be “cool.” I would make sure to tell her to not be discouraged by the fact that I am just one person in the entire world; you can still make a difference. I would tell her to sign up for different programs, try new things, and keep an open mind. I would tell her that it is ok to make mistakes and fail, because that is how we learn. I would also be sure to say that things might not work out exactly the way you expect or would like them to, but that is ok, because everything happens for a reason.
Who are some of your role models?
Answer: One of my role models is definitely Angela Merkel. I am so inspired by her as one of the only female leaders in the world right now. She has shown me that it is possible for a female to be elected to lead a world power, something that I hope to make happen in the United States. I admire her grace and leadership. I also look up to Sheryl Sandberg, Mae Jemison, and all of the women I have interviewed.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Answer: People would be surprised to know that even though I can be serious when I need to to get all of my work done with my busy schedule, I goof around and am really funny with my friends and family. I think it is important to be able to laugh at yourself, and there are many times when I have done very embarrassing or funny things.
How do you unwind?
Answer: After a long, stressful week or day, I relax by taking shower, putting on cozy pyjamas, and going to bed. I’ll also check my Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. If I have time, I’ll watch a good Netflix show or movie.
What are some of your favourite innovations and/or inventions?
Answer: Most recently, GE announced the world’s largest 3-D printer for metals that can potentially print engines that can power airplanes. This product is going to be available in 2018 to sell to manufacturers around the world.
Find out more about STEMily K at https://stemilyk.org/