BASKING RIDGE, NJ - Tanya Dadlani, a rising senior at Ridge High School, recently started her Girl Scout Gold Award project, “She Can STEM.”  The project attempts to close the gap between men and women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields by making mentorship more accessible and facilitating the introduction of female role models in these fields.

Dadlani first noticed the disparity during her sophomore year, when she noticed that she was one of three girls in her AP Calculus class. Dadlani looked further into the issue, “after some research, I found that girls lose interest in STEM fields early on. I found a study conducted by the Public Library of Sciences that states that in fourth grade 66 percent of girls and 68 percent of boys are interested in science. In twelfth grade, the percentage of girls interested in science drops to 59 percent and the percentage boys interested in science rises to 70 percent. These twelfth grade ratios continue to reflect in college populations and then in the workforce. The result is a significantly higher number of men than women in STEM fields,” said Dadlani.

“I think that an underlying cause of this disparity is the lack of female role models in STEM,” said Dadlani. To address this, Dadlani has created her own podcast available on Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/show/6fgf9ZDNzJX9JNYPRDuwcR) and Anchor (https://anchor.fm/tanya-dadlani), where she interviews women who have successfully entered the STEM field. “I hope to provide young girls with examples of real women with real stories to illustrate how women are capable of thriving in these fields,” said Dadlani.  In addition to the podcast, Dadlani has also created the She Can STEM website (https://she-can-stem.weebly.com/).  The website includes the She Can STEM mentor program which connects young girls with women who are experienced in the STEM field. The website also features an outlet for women to share their experiences in STEM.

To learn more about She Can STEM email: she.can.stem.nj@gmail.com.  Follow She Can STEM on Instagram @she.can.stem and Twitter: @she_can_stem.