REIMAGINING STEM – THE POWER OF IMAGERY
Pictures say 1,000 words, but what’s left out of that picture that can say just as much. Imagery can play a important role in how, and where, students see themselves succeeding. And when it comes to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) related careers, that statement rings just as true.
Washington STEM is deeply committed to equity in all of the work we do. That’s why we partnered with Getty Images and Your Life, an organization in the UK dedicated to increasing the number of young people studying math and physics, to help tackle the problem of girls and students of color not seeing themselves in STEM fields.
On September 8th Getty Images launched their first ever RePicture STEM contest. The goals of the photography competition are to create new pictures that do away with status quo when it comes to the images used to depict STEM.
More often than not, the default image of a scientist, engineer, or programmer is a Caucasian male in his 30’s. We know that there are amazing women and people of color doing this exact same work but they are rarely photographed or featured doing that work.
Imagery is one of the most powerful ways to change perception. In order to advance the mission of getting more girls and students of color into STEM, we have to change the imagery around these students as a part of that mission.
The focus of this competition is to show boys and girls of all ages and all backgrounds digging into STEM in a wide variety of ways. Whether that’s building robots, playing with drones, coding, app building, or engineering. People are urged to stay away from clichés and to think creatively to help broaden the approach.
To kick off this contest, Pam Grossman, Getty Images’ Director of Visual trends came to Seattle to discuss the importance of reframing how we picture STEM. “It is clear there is a great need for more realistic imagery that is ambitious in its depiction of diverse groups of people working in or engaging with STEM subjects. With this competition in partnership with Your Life and Washington STEM, we hope to draw attention to this important issue and further develop the imagery which will inspire the STEM leaders of tomorrow.”
Washington STEM CEO, Patrick D’Amelio had this to say about this exciting new opportunity to reimagine STEM, “So many girls, young women and people of color do not see themselves reflected in STEM careers. This campaign is a powerful step forward to allow all of these groups to expand their vision of what is possible and all people to understand and respect the contributions women have made and continue to make to STEM fields.”
To find out more information about the ReImagining STEM contest and to submit photos, go to http://bit.ly/ReImagineSTEM