A few nights ago, I took my 7-year-old daughter out for dinner at our favorite Mediterranean restaurant.
After examining the menu, we decided to order a whole sea bass to split among us. It’s become something of a tradition to order an entire fish when we go to this restaurant. It’s not just because we love seafood (and we do). It’s because I love watching my daughter turn dinner into an experiment. She’ll dissect the fish, examine its bones and pick out the eyeball. Little does she know, she’s doing science.
As a cognitive scientist myself, I’d be happy if my daughter chose to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering or math and helped close the persistent gender gap that exists in STEM fields. But I also know that how I talk to her about science — and the science we do together — impacts how she feels about the subject, even when that science is informal in nature.
This story about getting girls into science was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Sign up for our newsletter.