The International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS) is launching the exhibit “This is a STEMinist” presented in partnership with McAllen Public Utility (MPU) highlighting women scientists. This virtual exhibit is paired with a digital exhibit in the MPU BioZone at IMAS and the “RGV Women in STEM” video series premiering on the IMAS YouTube channel. This project is made possible through a grant received from the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) and the IF/THEN® Initiative to address the gender gap in STEM by assessing gender representation in museum content.
“This is a STEMinist” highlights women in STEM fields through photos, biographies and video interviews from the IF/THEN Collection with the addition of local women working in the Rio Grande Valley. Among those featured in the exhibit is Erika Gomez, E.I.T, an assistant utility engineer at MPU. Erika entered the field after experience in administrative roles while she completed her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Engineer-In-Training certification.
Claudia Martinez Gray, IMAS director of education shares, “After completing the gender equity assessment on the museum’s exhibits, educational content, and website, I realized we lacked representation of adult STEM workers who could serve as role models for the many students who engage with us, specifically young girls. Our main goal with this project is to demonstrate that a wide range of STEM careers are available here in the Valley by spotlighting amazing women like Erika. Representation of Latinas in STEM fields is very low due to social barriers, in addition to other obstacles. We are excited to be part of inspiring the next generation of girls who will enter the STEM workforce.”
“A STEMinist encourages, inspires and advocates for fellow girls and women to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math,” added Jessica Salinas, MPU Water Education and Communications Coordinator. “As a proud STEMinist I want to continue to be a role model that supports and represents women in STEM fields. Nothing should hold us back in changing the world.”