March 28, 2013

Glory Road: Mayim Bialik

Find out how this small-screen star is encouraging girls in science.

Mayim Bialik, Big Bang Theory: Yes, you can eat your ice cream too fast and also have a brain tumor.

Julian: On the Big Bang Theory, Mayim Bialik doesn’t just play someone who knows a thing or two about science.

Mayim, Big Bang Theory: So says your prefrontal cortex.

Julian: She is pretty smart in real life too.

Mayim: I think it’s really funny to see other actors, like, struggling with these scientific terms because for me, I learned them as concepts and it makes sense to me.

Julian: Mayim Bialik, or should I say Dr. Mayim Bialik, has a Ph.D. in neuroscience. Yeah, like, the science of the brain! As a teen, she was a successful TV star.

Mayim, Blossom: Doesn’t mean he’s a total loss.

Julian: But she decided to pursue her degree.

What inspired you to go into this field?

Mayim: I had a tutor when I was acting as a teenager when I was on Blossom, and she was hired to tutor me in biology. And she was really passionate and creative and made me have the confidence that I could be a scientist too, even though I thought it was just for boys.

Julian: Now, she is not working in science but she still wants young women to follow in her educational footsteps. That is why she is the spokeswoman for National HerWorld Month, a program that inspires young women to pursue careers in STEM – science, technology, engineering and math – with games, hands-on projects and live discussions with successful women in STEM fields.

Mayim: These are areas where women have been underrepresented historically. So, it’s important that they be equally represented.

Victoria Rosas: I’m meeting new people. And with that, it gives me the inspiration to see that there are people who are doing the same thing as me, but bigger and better. And it makes me want to strive and become a better person.

Julian: According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, women make up less than 25% of STEM workers. And job opportunities in STEM fields are projected to grow more than 7% faster than those in non-STEM fields through the year 2018, which is why Mayim hopes to instill confidence in girls all across the country who may think STEM jobs are too difficult.

Mayim: By showing them positive role models, by providing all of these opportunities for workshops and to meet other women who are living in the STEM world, I think that’s the kind of positive influence that’s really been missing.

Julian: Sixteen-year-old Victoria Rosas says events like this inspire her to reach for her goals.

Victoria: I feel very excited. It feels welcoming to come here, everybody is loving and is caring. And it feels like we, as women, have the ability to do whatever we want to do.

Mayim: The STEM fields are a lot more than what a lot of us are taught to think of. So, it’s not only scientists in a laboratory by yourself or only doctor options. There’s a ton of other options in the STEM fields that are very creative, exciting.

Julian: Julian Dujarric, Channel One News.


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