Perhaps, like me, you are tired of hearing people say “how would you explain that to your grandmother?” when they probably mean something like “How would you explain the idea in a clear, compelling way so that people without a technical background can understand you?”
Here’s a similar saying you may have heard: “That’s so easy, my grandmother could understand it.”
I would like to counter the implication that grannies (gender + maternity + age) might not easily pick up on technical/theoretical ideas. As a start, I’m planning a public awareness / art project using grandmothers’ pictures+names+connections to STEM. This blog is where I’ll collect the info.
Please forward the call below (and answer it if you know/are a STEM granny!). So far I have had some really nice responses, including people who have said “I think my Mother/Grandmother did something with STEM, but I never really talked with her about it. I’ll get in touch with her and get back to you.” I’ve also heard from a number of enthusiastic grandmothers directly.
Many people have asked… My grandmother did “X” does that count? My answer so far has been… Certainly!!! I intend to be very inclusive with a broad definition of STEM.
A buddy also said “Don’t forget the arts! STEAM!” But people rarely are skeptical of women’s involvement in very very very important fields such as arts and humanities. So for now, I’m gonna stick with STEM.
Thanks for your help.
Harvey Mudd College Mathematics
Wanted: grandmothers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics – related fields). Send name+pic+involvement in STEM. For public awareness project. More the merrier. Thanks! Rachel Levy, Harvey Mudd College Mathematics, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @mathcirque #ggstem Grandma got STEM!