If there was any doubt that brainy women could be sexy too, this week's Newsweek article, Revenge of the Nerdette, should set naysayers straight. The article features a group of brilliant, confident, and attractive women who call themselves the Nerd Girls. Here's a snippet of self-promotion from their own Nerd Girl Web site:
They're "Beauty and the Geek" all in one package! Meet the NERD GIRLS - an impressive team of female engineering students, just one year away from landing top jobs with $70,000 salaries. They turn heads when they enter a room - they're stylish, self-possessed, ambitious and confident. Whether buliding [sic] a solar car or harnessing wind power on a remote island, these girls fully intend to change the planet with their own ingenuity and hard work.
The Nerd Girls was originally started by Dr. Karen Panetta, "a computer and electrical engineer with degrees from Boston University and Northeastern University." Panetta sought to better educate people as to what an engineer is: "inventors solving real world problems," and not people who "fix things." She also set out ought to alter the general perception that engineers were "gross and socially unkempt." Perhaps most importantly, she wanted to engage young women into having the confidence and interest to pursue careers in engineering. From this desire, Panetta started the Nerd Girl curriculum. The curriculum's current project is:
The engineering team task for the "Nerd Girls" will be to build a solar car. Tufts University has female engineers who have danced in the Nutcracker ballet, sang at the Apollo Theater, are award-winning pianists, and nationally ranked athletes. The mission of this program is to show a wide audience of young women and young men how successful these students are as they work together to design and construct an engineering system. The project will showcase the young women's talents, diverse backgrounds and engineering skills. The team will build an energy efficient automobile and will drive it down the East coast, visiting local communities along the way and sharing their experiences with K-12 educators and students. As well, they will interact with professional women engineers who will consult on the project.
For any young men on the prowl, who think you might have a chance at getting a Nerd Girl to swoon your way, we offer this tidbit of advice: Respect their intelligence. If you are intimidated in any way by their smarts, confidence, or knowledge of Star Trek Lore, then don't waste their time. The rest of us Nerd Guys think they're downright sexy!