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NEWS & IDEAS

Gwynne Shotwell: The importance of science, tech, engineering and math

Gwynne Shotwell speaking at MAKERS conference 2014

Gwynne Shotwell described herself as having been a "clueless" teen who didn’t realize the importance of STEM (science, tech, engineering and math) right away. She remembers having an interest in cars but otherwise lacked direction. After meeting a female mechanical engineer with a "fabulous suit," her perspective changed. Today, Shotwell serves as the President and Chief Operating Officer of SpaceX.

The company was founded with the goal of putting human life on other planets, and it thrives as a result of having many female role models within its doors.

At The MAKERS Conference this afternoon, Shotwell discussed why we need to boost engagement in STEM. She believes STEM is the key to our economic future in this technological age. Because of the importance of these fields, the lack of women involved in STEM in this country is particularly problematic. She encouraged us to ask "why" questions and to help children learn to ask "why?" 

"We've all got it in us to do something extraordinary."