Science Chick of the Day – And A Quote to Boot

“Don’t turn down an opportunity because you are afraid. That’s not a good reason to turn down something. So many people, especially women, think they’re not qualified when it comes to new opportunities. You think there is someone who can do a job better, but usually there’s not. Those guys who are acting like they are better qualified? They aren’t any better qualified. They just think they are. Be willing to take a chance!” – Heidi Hammel – Astonomer
Here’s a great article/interview with Heidi Hammel an astronomer who studies Uranus, is helping to build a giant telescope and manages a team of other scientists.  (And for all you working moms out there – she telecommutes and raises 3 children.)
Heidi says that first studied stars as a child when she was driving with her parents – car sickness forced her to look up and focus on the constellations.  From there it was college at MIT, where in her own words,
 “I struggled so hard. Nobody seemed to be working as hard as I did and they were getting much better grades. I was not a very happy person there. I learned how to work hard and how to cope with failure. I learned you couldn’t let things get you down. If you persevere, the rewards will come later on.
A great life lesson, to encourage our daughters to struggle through the math and science classes, even if at first, things don’t come easily.  Math and science are critical skills and are a great foundation for anything.
Dr. Hammel goes on to talk about taking risks – heading out to Hawaii for graduate school, being asked to lead a team, and then relying on that team.  Read the whole article for more about being a women in a man’s field, the stars, science and balancing work and family and the best advice she can give young women today.