Meet Brittany Wenger, a 17-year-old high school junior from Lakewood Ranch, Florida.
She just won the grand prize in this year's Google Science Fair competition. Her project was a Java software application for helping in the diagnosis of breast cancer cases. It correctly identifies 99% of malignant tumors by using a neural network to compare millions of cases of test data looking for patterns. She's planning on banking her prize money scholarship towards a medical degree, and few could argue that that isn't a career with a future for her.
And she was first inspired on the project when she found out about artificial intelligence in seventh-grade. Which tells you that she was on the path to this day for a long time. Another story on Brittany Wenger at this site, tecca.com, which I just mention because it has more related stories about young kids showing promise in science careers, such as this 10-year-old who discovered a new molecule through tinkering around with the classroom set.
It's ironic that this story hardly gets notice, while just last week CNN and several others threw a hissy fit over whether girls in Batman Tshirts and girls in Dark Knight Tshirts at some cheesy skiffy convention both get to call themselves "geeks". I covered that here. Like I said, "Actual geeks [Such as Miss Wenger here.] would never be found within a mile radius of any event at which 'booth babe' would even be an applicable term."
You know all those people wringing their hands about "Where are the girls in science and computing careers", wondering what could possibly be discouraging more young women from a career in science? Maybe this has something to do with it, when I can type "girl geek" into Google and find dredge like this:
I can't help but leave with the impression that the interests of feminine achievement and empowerment in the arts and sciences is being misrepresented a tad.
To clarify, that is a montage titled "NOT what girl geeks look like".
Proof That Somebody Else In The World Gets It:
Ah, but I preach to the Western world as pearls before swine. Where, oh where, are there some people in this world who can appreciate the point? Ah, in The Netherlands, of course! Here is the "Girl Geek Dinner" event in The Netherlands, dedicated to promoting science careers among women, and check out that page. Check out this image from that page:
Once again, Northern Europe gets it so, so right while America gets it so, so wrong.