The troubling lack of women and people of color in STEM is big problem beginning in childhood which is why Google engineers teamed up to change that with a new book helping to make STEM for girls and people of color more popular.
When her own daughter proclaimed, “Engineers are boys”, Komal Singh and fellow female Google engineers knew they had to do something about it so, in their spare time, they wrote a new book called Ara the Star Engineer . They took a hard look at the alarming statistics first.
- Girls start doubting their STEM intelligence by age six.
- Women make up only 25% of the STEM workforce.
- Black men and black women only make up to 3% and 2% of scientists, respectively.
Next, the book followed. Ara the Star Engineer inspires kids – especially girls and children of color – to explore STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
It follows a 6-year old girl, Ara, on a quest to build an algorithm to solve a big problem (suspense!). During her adventure, Ara is helped by a diverse set of real-life women engineering leaders of color — a Tenacious Troubleshooter, Code Commander, Prolific Problem Solver, Intrepid Innovator.
The book teaches basic problem solving & computer science concepts along the way in a whimsical manner. Ara also includes an attached mini-booklet with a deeper tech dive, and online activity sheets with hands-on tech activities.
All profits from the book sales will be donated to charities encouraging girls’ and underrepresented groups’ participation in STEM fields.
This book is not an official Google product; but a grassroots, passion project of Google employees in their personal capacity striving for an equitable future for all.
STEM for Girls and People of Color Video About the Project
About the Author:
Komal Singh works at Google as a Program Manager in Engineering. As a techie, a mother, and an immigrant, she’s passionate about using technology as an enabler and an equalizer for all. She takes part in kids’ coding clubs, sits on hackathon judge panels, and volunteers with nonprofits on technology development.