The problem with explaining science “so your grandmother would understand”

If you haven’t already seen the Grandma Got STEM blog, you should go check it out.

The blog was started in February by Rachel Levy, an associate professor of mathematics at Harvey Mudd College, who was tired of hearing people say “how would you explain that to your grandmother?” In Dr. Levy’s words,

“I would like to counter the implication that grannies (gender + maternity + age) might not easily pick up on technical/theoretical ideas. As a start, I’m planning public awareness / art projects using gradmothers’ pictures+names+connections to STEM. This blog is where I’ll collect the info.”

How awesome is that?

Plenty of amazing women have been featured on the blog so far, but I’m still waiting to see a marine scientist. So if you have a marine science STEM grandma, if you know a marine science STEM grandma, or you are a marine science STEM grandma, you should submit a picture and story here.

The closest I come to having a STEM grandma of my own is a grandmother who was a nurse. Nursing isn’t generally considered a STEM field; however, she did encourage my curiosity in the natural world and, it would seem, snails in particular…

snails1988_1

Lubbock, TX (1988) My grandmother, Esther McClure, impressing my brother and me with a snail from her backyard. Perhaps this explains why I’m researching snails 25 years later?

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2 thoughts on “The problem with explaining science “so your grandmother would understand”

  1. Ahh now it all makes sense! You have loved snails from an early age. This picture is too cute 🙂

    Maybe Jane Lubchenco has grandkids?

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