As part of my engagement with Karkhana I have been exploring various threads of thought around technology, amateur contributions to science and technology and the interplay between gender and STEAM. The passing of Vera Rubin, a critical astronomer of the last century, precipitated some connections between different strands of conversations I have been having here in Kathmandu with women in STEAM and Rubin’s own experience as a woman in science.
Irina, a research assistant at Karkhana, speaks about her years in engineering school with disdain. As she entered the final year and was introduced to hands-on and other practical usage of theories she had learned through the years, and she had finally begun to enjoy the course. Projects were her thing, she hadn’t fared particularly well with memorizing derivatives but she loved bringing theories to life by making. Her final project, a quadcopter, not only worked perfectly but also looked presentable. But instead of encouragement, her teachers raised doubts about whether she had done it herself. Read more