The United Nations created the International Day of Women and Girls in Science to encourage women and girls to take part in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)-related study and careers. The gender bias that continues to promote the traditional belief that girls aren’t good in science or math often keeps young women from considering STEM careers. Consider that almost one-half of the U.S. workforce is female, but just women make up just 27 percent of STEM workers.
Our Sisters haven’t shied away from the science or math fields, working as science or math teachers, nurses and nurse practitioners, radiology technicians and chemistry educators. In caring for creation, we have partnered with state agencies to rehabilitate grasslands and build bioswales to prevent flooding.
Below, Sister Frances Kowalski talks about her interest in science in her own words.
Sister Frances Kowalski
I am a “creation” person. I’ve always loved nature, even as a young child. I love to walk and to be near the water, especially the ocean. I draw strength from being in nature. One of my favorite quotes is from Aristotle: “In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.” Another is on a poster that I have had for a long time and is now on my office wall. The poster shows two Moon Snail Shells. The quote is from Abraham Joshua Heschel: “Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.”
I have an extremely analytical mind. Sometimes what would tire others, energizes me!
So naturally, my “wondering” influenced me to teach Science at the junior high and high school levels. I wanted to plant that seed of “wonderment” in others. One of my degrees is in Elementary Education with a concentration in science. My college curriculum was heavy in science courses, including Earth Science, Microbiology for Nurses, Chemistry, Biology, Ecology, but my master’s degree is in Theology.