Macomb County this week took the international stage when two high school students spoke at the International Day of Women and Girls in Science Assembly in New York. Now in its fifth year, the assembly focused on the interlinkages between gender inequality (specifically in science), the digital and tech revolution and the agricultural sector for Sustainable Development.
Held at the United Nations, the assembly brought together a group of high-level international stakeholders from the public, private and non-profit sectors. The topic was “Investment in Equality in Science, Technology and Innovation in the Era of Digitalization for Sustainable Development.”
Lauren Clemons, 17, of Richmond and Naomi Elliott, 16, of Chesterfield, participated in the assembly by advocating for the importance of STEM education for girls around the world. They have previously shared their message at the local, state and national levels and now at the international level. Lauren and Naomi speak from their own experience in education and their involvement in FIRST Robotics teams through their Macomb County schools.
Elliott’s statement addressed her experience in STEM education and how she sees it building confidence, getting girls to step out of their comfort zone and opening horizons to new decisions and goals for the future. She attends Merritt Academy and the L'Anse Creuse MST Program (Math, Science, and Technology) and is a member of the I.AM.ROBOT robotics team.
Clemons’ statement acknowledged the implicit bias in gender roles for careers around the world. She sees how these gender roles deter girls and women from entering STEM fields and calls for equality of access for girls and women in science, technology and innovation. Clemens is a student at the Macomb Academy of Advanced Arts and Sciences and a member of the Armada Fighting Pi robotics team.
Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for Macomb County Planning and Economic Development.