RANDOLPH, NJ- On Wednesday, April 25, Professor of Astrophysics, Jo Dunkley, from the renowned Princeton University presented to a group of students at the Randolph High School, including members of the Science and Math National Honor Societies. She began with a brief introduction before discussing her work, including a demo. Professor Dunkley provided valuable insight into a career in the field of STEM, specifically her research in astrophysics.
As she gave her lecture, she also cited several key female figures in the history of physics, such as Vera Rubin, proclaiming that "Science is for all of us – men and women." Professor Dunkley pointed out that when she first accepted her job at Princeton, there were over 40 Professors in the Physics department, but only three of them were women. Exasperated, she now works to encourage more students to enter STEM fields to create positive change in the future.
To tie the event to a close, she concluded with advice directed to everyone. "Do what you're passionate about, and don't be put off by others."
The speaker event was hosted by Randolph SAGE, the high school's Student Association for Gender Equality.
This is the first year of the newly launched club, which has already faced great success in raising awareness through speaker events and item drives. The student-run initiative focuses on encouraging the celebration of equality, pride in oneself, and the progression of society. Guest speaker events, group discussions, and community service activities reinforce the monthly topics that are taught to club members. Several examples of past monthly topics include gender roles, toxic masculinity, and rape culture.
Renee Shen, founder of SAGE, states that "One of SAGE's focuses this year has been encouraging young women to join STEM fields where they are underrepresented. I invited Professor Dunkley to help get this message across: STEM is a field for anyone and everyone.”
The club hopes to have another just as successful year in the near future, already planning another speaker event next fall.
Editor's Note: Allie Wu is a student at RHS participating in a journalism program.