March 27, 2017-If Einstein were a Woman…

My husband recently passed along an article to me about a young woman who, at the age of 23, is being called potentially the “next Einstein.” Sabrina Gonzalez Pasterski, a Cuban-American from Chicago, graduated from MIT in three years, and is currently pursuing a PhD at Harvard in the area of Physicas.

Multiple Articles have noted Pasterski’s feat of building and flying her own plane at the age of 9, and her already myriad contributions to the study of Physics.

This first article includes a link to a second article, both of which included a quote that stood out to me: an executive secretary at MIT, upon seeing Pasterski’s list of accomplishments, notes her surprise, not only at her young age, but that this next Einstein is a girl.

Understandably, the number of women in the work of physics is not astonishing, but why are we surprised when women accomplish what we assume men can?  Back in January, The Guardian, along with many other publications, reported a study that girls as young as six years old begin to think that boys are smarter than them, despite evidence saying otherwise. What this research concludes is that adult perception, especially that of educators, may influence how girls and boys perceive themselves.

Detention Assignment: How might the success of women change if adults changed their perception of them? Is it possible to change our perception, or is it too ingrained in our culture and society?


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