Scientists Support Young Girl Teased for Her Interest in Bugs With #BugsR4Girls
— Upworthy (@Upworthy) August 29, 2016
When Nicole Spencer tweeted asking for folks to share support for her 7-year-old daughter’s insatiable interest in bugs, she likely didn’t expect a full-blown hashtag to catch on the internet.
Spencer’s daughter, Sophia, is super curious about bugs, and after she had to move away from her fellow bug pal, she had trouble fitting in at her new school. They taunted and teased her for her curiosity in bugs, often sending her home in tears, according to her mother. She didn’t even find help from the teachers, as they apparently also told Sophia that teasing and being teased were part and parcel of the school experience. You don’t need me to tell you they’re not, but that’s a conversation for another day.
So, Spencer reached out to the Entomological Society of Canada on Twitter, asking for a penpal or even just someone to tell her daughter that she’s not alone. The society then tweeted Spencer’s touching letter, to which entomologists around the world responded with kind thoughts and a hashtag: #BugsR4Girls.
At first, the Bug Chicks a group of entomologists who create educational videos and promote girls in science, responded with an offer to Skype chat with Sophia.
— The Bug Chicks (@TheBugChicks) August 25, 2016
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County also joined in on the fun, posting some rad photos as well.
— Lila Higgins (@lilamayhiggins) August 31, 2016
Biologist Emily Owenz also posted a fun video montage showing what she does at her job.
— Emily Owenz (@emilyowenz) August 27, 2016
Then Doctor Maggie Hardy shared some photos of her milking a tarantula.
— Maggie Hardy (@DrMaggieHardy) August 26, 2016
Honestly, the entire #BugsR4Girls hashtag is worth combing through on Twitter, and there’s plenty of kind, loving responses from all sorts of scientists.
It’s super heartwarming to see more folks come out in support of a little girl who’s so interested in entomology. We always say we need to see more women in science, and by sharing such great support for each other over the internet, these shining examples could go on to inspire so many more girls to be just like them. The last thing we need is girls being told that science isn’t for them or that they’re wrong for being so curious about things like this. Embrace the weird, kids.
As one of my most favorite heroines and scientists (and a real role model for me) once said: take chances, make mistakes, get messy.
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