This semester, I'm volunteering as a mentor for kids - mostly 5th graders - in an after-school program. Today's assignment was to draw a "typical scientist". I assumed that most of the drawings would feature older, male scientists. With crazy eyes. And maybe explosive chemicals in their pockets. (Think: Dr. Bunsen Honeydew. Or this guy.) But I was pleasantly surprised: all of the girls drew female scientists and all of the boys drew male scientists. So I thought, maybe they all can see their future-selves as scientists (yay). And after some bribery with stickers and the chalky, sugary goodness of Smarties (maybe my best idea ever), the kids told me what they would study if they were scientists: Astronomy. Plant physiology. Oncology. Genetics (specifically, cheetah genetics). Needless to say, everyone got candy and stickers.
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