When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a marine biologist, but only two things were standing in my way — limited resources and role models. I remember watching, for example, documentaries where men swam with sharks while the women helped with their scuba gear. Thankfully times have since changed, as evidenced by this new show on STEM-based career paths called Fast Forward Girls. Not only does the YouTube series take young girls out into the field where they can meet incredible women in STEM-related careers, but it empowers young girls to pursue their dreams.
To catch you up to speed, Fast Forward Girls is a new series created by children's multimedia company GoldieBlox and If/Then, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies. The project's goal is to connect girls with mentors in the STEM (science, technology, economics, and mathematics) community in an effort to "inspire the next generation of girls to pursue STEM careers," according to a press release. And given the noticeable lack of women in STEM, I think it's safe to say this is an amazing cause to get behind.
Getting more specific, the show follows several young girls as they meet two female mentors and spend the day working in their respective fields, giving them the opportunity to explore their own personal goals. This part of the series is especially important because it gives viewers an inside look into STEM-based career tracks, an experience these young women might not get at school. I can relate to this on a personal level because, when I was a young girl, I didn't know these amazing opportunities existed.
As for some of the careers highlighted on Fast Forward Girls, which fans can catch on GoldieBlox' Youtube channel? Well, you can consider working with ice cream architect and CoolHaus Co-Founder Natasha Case, or check out what conservationist Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant, who studies social drivers of human-carnivore conflict, does in a typical day.
And perhaps the best part of all for young fans? All of the hosts are big YouTube personalities who have amassed more than 35 million followers, like Hayley, Annie LeBlanc, Karina Garcia, Shameless Maya, and Little Froggy. Too cool.
The power of this series can't be underestimated, especially since it can be difficult to get girls interested in STEM careers if they don't have any role models or ideas about how cool these careers can be (hanging out with animals all day, becoming an ice cream architect, etc).
Debbie Sterling, CEO and Founder of GoldieBlox, tells Romper via email that Fast Forward Girls was created as she understands this need on a personal level. "I didn’t realize I could be a toy inventor thanks to my math skills until after college," Sterling says. "Had I known this earlier, it would have totally changed my career path. I’m proud to be partnering with Lyda Hill Philanthropies and their IF/THEN Initiative to amplify this mission and inspire even more girls together."
Fast Forward Girls is a series that ticks off every single box. It's fun, educational, and most of all — empowering. And who knows how many young girls will be inspired to pursue their STEM-based dreams as a result. I can't say for certain, but I think the number will be quite high.