Annie Ma working in a lab with her lab cloth

Voices

Celebrating Girls in STEM

I realized gender inequality in STEM results in part from the lack of female presence. Too often, the voices presenting onstage or narrating scientific videos are male; girls don’t picture themselves as scientists.

  1. Story
  2. STEM for Social Good

Eight blocks from the Capitol where congresswomen pitched bills to committees, I stood in the Ronald Reagan Building pitching my all-girls science competition to international girl leaders at the Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, DC.

2020 Leadership Summit

Annie, 17, with fellow Summit attendees visiting the Capitol on Advocacy Day

A year earlier, I’d entered the Chemistry Olympiad national finalist exam room to see row after row of boys, with just three girls scattered across the room. Still troubled by this image, I attended the Girl Up Summit to learn about global issues affecting women and girls, and the experience proved pivotal. A scientist spoke about her predominantly male work environment. Nodding along, I realized gender inequality in STEM results in part from the lack of female presence. Too often, the voices presenting onstage or narrating scientific videos are male; girls don’t picture themselves as scientists.

Listening to panels of inspiring women and meeting the global community of passionate girl advocates drove me to take action, and the Girls International Three-Minute Science Competition was born. After many, many hours of work, I launched the competition in November with the help of a Girl Up STEM grant. Submissions are coming in at a good pace, and I’m excited to grow the competition in future years!

If you are a female-identifying teenager, I absolutely encourage you to submit for a chance to win cash prizes. All experience levels are welcome, as it’s a simple contest to celebrate girls in science. Just submit a three-minute video speech on any scientific topic of your choice, and you’ll get feedback from an amazing panel of female judges: professors from places like UC Berkeley, Brown, Stanford, and the University of Cambridge.

Apply now: www.girlsthreeminutescience.org

Annie Ma was a 2019 Girl Up Leadership Summit Attendee

Share

Give to Girl Up

Your support of our girl changemakers means Girl Up can continue to work toward a world where girls have equal value, opportunity, and the chance to reach their fullest potential. You can make a difference in the life of a girl by donating today.

How to Get Involved

All around the world, our network of a million supporters is mobilizing for gender equality. Will you stand with us?

  1. (close shot) a girl with big glasses on and a big smile
    Give

    Donate or partner with us to mobilize changemakers everywhere.

    Ways to Support
  2. a phone is holding an iPhone and looking down at her phone
    Get Social

    Follow us on Instagram.

    Follow Us
  3. a girl who is looking down and using her finger to scrolling the phone
    Subscribe

    Sign up to get the latest news and happenings in Girl Up’s movement.

    Subscribe
  4. a girl with big smile on her face wearing Gril Up t-shirt (close shot)
    Join our Movement

    Join tens of thousands of changemakers from 120 countries and all 50 U.S. states.

    Start a Club
  5. two girls are smiling and writing down notes and sharing a laptop
    Explore the Issues

    All issues are gender equality issues.

    Learn More
  6. Ayanna Pressley speaking on the #girlhero event
    Upcoming Events

    Get involved at an event near you.

    Learn More

Close Overlay