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Blog At the Museum

See Yourself in Science

Siobahn Day Grady
Dr. Siobahn Day Grady

If you’ve been to the Museum recently, you may have seen the new video installation featuring women in STEM with local connections, presented in partnership with the If/Then Initiative. The Initiative is a national effort to inspire girls and create a culture shift in how the world perceives women in science, centered on the idea that “IF we support a woman in STEM, THEN she can change the world.”

The new installation in the Social Gallery, next to Aerospace and Play to Learn, features video game producer Heather Chandler, archaeologist Becca Peixotto, and computer scientist, researcher, and professor Dr. Siobahn Day Grady.

We are particularly proud to showcase Dr. Grady’s story. Not only is she an exemplary researcher and instructor at North Carolina Central University, but she also grew up just down the street and visited the Museum as a child.

“I’ve always enjoyed the Museum of Life and Science. In my childhood, one of my fondest memories was riding on the Santa train every Holiday,” Dr. Grady recalls. “I always felt like the Museum was an inclusive space where I could learn and use my imagination. Additionally, as an adult, I have been able to volunteer at the Santa Train and dinosaur exhibits. Being featured in the Museum is a full-circle moment that I will always cherish.”

Dr. Grady is the first female Computer Scientist Ph.D. graduate from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Her research has included using machine learning to determine the authorship of tweets and detecting false errors for self-driving vehicles. She is also dedicated to outreach as an If/Then Ambassador and BlackComputeHER fellow and volunteers with FIRST North Carolina, Black Girls Code, and other organizations that aim to engage youth in STEM.

While we can’t claim any credit for Dr. Grady’s impressive achievements and hard work, we are proud to have a small place in the story of such an amazing scientist and excited to feature her through this If/Then partnership.

We hope you will join us to meet Dr. Grady in our upcoming Lab@Home virtual program on August 31 at 4 pm, where we will discuss artificial intelligence and algorithms, do a live Q&A with Dr. Grady, and make a computational-thinking pizza!

“If I can change what the perception of a woman in STEM looks like, then other women will know they belong here too.”
— Dr. Siobahn Day Grady

Women, especially women of color, are underrepresented in science and academia. Strong role models are essential in inspiring a new generation of STEM professionals with diverse experiences, perspectives, and ideas.

“Every step of the way, I’ve had a role model or someone that I looked up to,” said Dr. Grady. “Someone that was a focal point, that made me believe that I, too, could do it, as well.”

Science is for everyone, and the Museum’s mission is to help discover the scientists in all of us. So maybe one day, you, like Dr. Grady, will see yourself featured in a Museum where you grew up to inspire others in turn.