In the days of our grandparents, the question was raised here and there about whether a woman’s place in science. Today, women in science are developing on a par with men even in such seemingly complex disciplines as the so-called STEM disciplines: science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S — science, T — technology, E — engineering, M — mathematics). This year, 40 percent of the master’s enrollment in the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology are girls. We tell you about what it’s like for girls in the world of formulas and laboratories and why science is fashionable in this material.
The pleasure of the formula
These girls enjoy solving an equation, a problem, conducting a chemical experiment or designing engineering systems. They like to learn or create new things in the chosen directions. And the stereotypical opinions of others are just stereotypes for them.
“By the way, there are an equal number of girls and boys in my group at Skoltech. From the outside, I can see how my classmates’ eyes are burning when we start discussing our scientific projects. It’s great that we have all the opportunities to do what brings pleasure,” says Tatiana Medvedeva, Master of the Skoltech Advanced Manufacturing Technologies program. Tatiana is engaged in numerical modeling of certain physical phenomena. The young scientist explains what it is with a simple example, which, however, will not seem so easy to everyone: “Imagine that a drop of rain fell on a glass that lies at an angle. And you wonder how the thickness of this drop will change when it flows through the glass. You can conduct an experiment, or you can conduct numerical calculations. To do this, you need to write down the equations that will describe the motion of the drop (the Navier—Stokes equations), determine which components can be neglected, and then move from a mathematical to a discrete model and implement this algorithm on a computer.”
“A man can be a great cook, and a woman can love weightlifting and be stronger than many men, and it’s more than normal when everyone can do what he likes and what he does great. I believe that this should be the case everywhere and, of course, in science, where there are certainly no physical limitations for either women or men. The only thing that matters here is how much you like what you do and how cool you are,” agrees Anastasia Annenkova, a student of the Master’s degree in Space and Engineering Systems. Anastasia works no less on improving the orientation and stabilization system of nanosatellites (these are such small “satellites” the size of a shoe box, 10x10x30 cm, the heroine suggests), studies their magnetic properties, writes algorithms that themselves determine the magnitude of this magnetization and automatically compensate it so that there is no additional strong influence on the satellite which can spin it in different directions (which scientists really don’t want).