In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Smithsonian decided to commemorate great women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), academic disciplines that have historically been dominated by men by hosting Women’s Futures Month.
The most eye-catching attraction of this event is a collection of 120 3D-printed statues of women leaders within the STEM fields called “#IfThenSheCan—The Exhibit.” The exhibit was also erected with the goal of jump-starting a cultural shift among young girls so that they will see STEM careers as an opportunity for them. The collection is a collaboration with Lyda Hill Philanthropies, an organization committed to supporting advances in science and nature research.
All 120 statues are life-sized and include the likeness of amazing women like Jessica Esquivel, one of the only 150 women who have a doctorate in physics in the US. However, the statues are more than something to be admired. Each statue is equipped with its own QR code which can be scanned so that viewers can learn about each woman’s individual story.
Through each story, it will become very clear that women have been an intrinsic part of STEM fields for decades and will continue to be trailblazers and leaders in these fields in the future.
“Through this exciting collaboration with Lyda Hill Philanthropies, the Smithsonian is furthering our commitment to fostering an environment where all girls know they can make an indelible mark on our future,” said undersecretary for science and research for the Smithsonian Ellen Stofan.
You can see the statues standing at the Smithsonian Castle in Washington D.C., and also along the National Mall, the Museum of Natural History, and the National Air and Space Museum until the end of March.