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Houston, We Have a Problem: NASA hopes nerdy girls will oBLIGE31 Aug 2010 03:51 am

blige.jpgJust because you sing about chemistry doesn’t mean you can inspire people to study chemistry.

Chemistry was crazy from the get-go
Neither one of us knew why
We didn’t build nothing overnight
Cuz a love like this takes some time
People swore it off as a phase
Said we can’t see that
Now from top to bottom
They see that we did that (yes)
It’s so true that (yes)
We’ve been through it (yes)
We got real sh** (yes)
See baby we been…

~ Lyrics from Mary J. Blige’s “Be Without You”

I’ve been scratching my head over NASA’s choice to use incredibly talented R&B singer Mary J. Blige as their spokeswoman to help inspire young girls to go into math and science.

Don’t get me wrong, I love that NASA is trying to do something to alter the pathetic participation rate of women in the so-called STEM industries — science, technology, engineering and mathematics. I’ve written about the lack of women in STEM for a while now.

Only about 17 percent of girls take advanced placement tests in computer science while in high school, the lowest level of females among all such exams, according to the National Center for Women & Information Technology. And in 2008, women earned only 18 percent of computer science degrees, compared to 37 percent in 1985.

But why would NASA pick Blige of all people to turn this around? (more…)

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