For my 7th grade science fair project my dad helped me test the germs on people’s hands after washing them with different brands of soap. The goal was to see which hand soap was the most effective. I got to use petri dishes and watch bacteria grow. I thought it was super impressive.
Well, turns out teenagers today are really raising the bar.
Take Brittany Wenger from Sarasota, Florida who recently won this year’s Google Science Fair for developing a computer program that helps doctors detect breast cancer using less invasive methods. Puts my science fair project to shame!
The 17-year-old ran 7.6 million trials and spent more than 600 hours coding the computer program which she has been working on since 7th grade. She hopes to continue to scale up the program so that it can be used in hospitals across the country.
Brittany’s project is impressive on many levels, especially when you consider how much women and girls are underrepresented in the computer science industry. She is happy to break stereotypes that say girls aren’t interested in computer programming or science.
So, what does a remarkable young woman like this see for her future?
“I want to be on the frontier of cancer research, finding the cures that are going to save lives and doing things with computer science that can be the technologies of the future,” says Brittany. “I also want to be a pediatric oncologist, so I hope to intertwine my passions for research, computer science and patient care in the future.”
I have no doubts that Brittany won’t do just that.
Why do you think girls continue to be underrepresented in science and computer programming fields?
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Photo by Richard Bowen used under a Creative Commons license.