According to recent surveys women comprise 48 percent of the U.S. workforce but just 24 percent of workers are in STEM fields. This means that half as many women work in the STEM jobs than would be expected. Since numbers are lacking, many people in the STEM fields are trying to figure out ways to bring attention to girls and women that they are welcome in the STEM field.
The solution I came up with to attract more women to the STEM field, was to try and reach them early in life. As girls grow up a lot of them are told that they should look into other fields besides STEM, because they are not smart enough or because the STEM field is more male dominated. I wanted to be able to create an experience that shows young girls that they too can do what women do in STEM everyday, and also see how women of the past helped shape the STEM field when it used to be more Woman dominated.
The Time Travelers Logo was inspired by patches, and badges. I wanted to create a trademark that could capture the science fiction of time traveling, but also combine it with an aspect of adventure. The clock represents time traveling and the icons around it are all icons from different areas in the STEM field.
Type & color
When conducting interviews for this project, I actually sent out a survey that was bright pink, and I very quickly got a response back from a woman in the STEM field that I should change the color of my survey as soon as I could. She went on to explain to me that the color pink and other bright colors are over used to try and represent women in the STEM field. So when it came to the color palette for the exhibit and app I researched some of the other popular colors that young girls like and created a bright color palette based off of my findings.
Research & Process
Personas & Interviews
When starting to create the personas for 'Time Travelers' I had to gather data and information about women in the STEM field, and also ask younger girls questions about their favorite topics and how likely they are to want to go to a museum exhibit about women in STEM. I found that a lot of professional women who are already in the STEM field have no knowledge on women who have came before them in their field. A lot of them showed interest in wanting to learn more because their gender is a little discriminated against in the field even though it is getting a little bit better. Read some of my interview questions and answers below.
Learning about Women in Stem
In order to execute the 'Time Travelers' app I had to research a lot on different women in the STEM field. I had to reach as far back in time as I possibly could to the first known woman in STEM who ended up being 'Hypatia'. It was very eye opening to learn about all the amazing things that women have done in the name of science that school doesn't really touch on.
The witte muesum
Scouting out the Witte museum
During spring break I took the opportunity to adventure and travel around the San Antonio and Austin areas to explore the different museums available to the public, but mostly for children. I settled on creating the 'Time Travelers' exhibit for the Witte due to the fact that their general audience is children and families. I felt this was an easy way to attract young girls to come, but also to get their families more involved and interested in the STEM field as well.
Exhibits available at the Witte
The Witte Museum has a lot of great opportunities for the 'Time Travelers' exhibit to interact with their current exhibits. The Witte offers physics exhibits, dinosaur bones, biology experiments, and hands on activities that would allow the 'Time Traveler' app to interact and expand on the experience.
Time Travlers App
This is Mei, she is your expert on women in STEM and will also be your guide throughout your time traveling experience. When it came to designing Mei I wanted to create a girl from our time period that young girls could relate to. Mei is quirky, she is smart, and she's excited for you to learn about the STEM field.
Learning about the women In stem
While traveling through time in the ‘Time Travelers’ exhibit, your smart phone will accompany you as a companion to unlock special features within the exhibit. You will be able to see where you are at exactly in time when you are “traveling in time”. And you will be able to interact with each of the pioneering women in stem. When interacting with the women you will learn about their story, what they did to help pioneer the stem field, and also you will be able to participate in activities that teach you a little bit about the topic from which that women originates in the stem field.
Earning badges & learning skills
As an incentive to get the girls more interested in participating in the mini games and activities to help them learn more about the stem field, the app keeps track of their progress for each subject. As They gain more progress for each subject they are allowed unlock more advanced activities at home on the Time Travelers website. They will also be rewarded with badges that will be displayed on their profiles, and that they can share with their friends.