Bainbridge Island, WA, October 04, 2019 --(PR.com
)-- Merrill Keating calls herself a STEM girl. The 14-year-old has been coding since she was in kindergarten. She’s a youth mentor with West Sound CoderDojo and a leader with her high school’s robotics club. And she’s considering mechanical engineering and artificial intelligence (AI) as a career.
Merrill’s newest commitment helps her not only pursue her own passion for STEM but also inspire other girls. Recently, the high school sophomore became the youngest staff member of Reinvented Magazine, a newly launched print publication geared toward girls and women in STEM.
“When I heard there would be the nation’s first print magazine for and by women in STEM, I saw it as a chance to celebrate, showcase, and promote a dynamic group of women to the world,” Merrill says. “What we and they are doing is important for everyone to know about, and it’s also a necessary step toward gender equality.”
This is not Merrill’s first gender-equality project. Last year, she founded Bainbridge Island Girl Up in her home town in Washington state to help empower local girls to take leadership roles.
“I was always passionate about gender equality for women in STEM and other fields, but being part of Girl Up and hearing about Reinvented Magazine’s mission became an intersection opportunity I knew I had to pursue,” she says.
Girl Up is part of a global movement launched by United Nations in 2010 to give young women a platform for social change toward gender equality. Within eight months of her club’s inception, Merrill gave an interview on a local podcast, spoke at the global Girl Up Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., and compelled the City of Bainbridge to proclaim March 2019 the Bainbridge Island Girl Up Month.
It was these types of achievements that convinced Natalie Hahn, chief operating officer for Reinvented, Inc., that Merrill has the ability to “handle a multitude of tasks thrown in her direction.”
“I’m very thankful to have her on my team, and she already has done astounding things in the short amount of time she’s been with us,” says Hahn, an aerospace engineering major at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Reinvented, Inc. is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that operates entirely with volunteers, who range from high school students to women pursuing graduate degrees or working in STEM fields. Hahn believes the passion of the team is what will make the startup endeavor successful in the long run.
“They are the heart and soul that keeps this magazine moving,” she says.
It’s a diverse team not just in age. The staff is from a variety of ethnicities and geographic locations, and includes members with disabilities and from the LGBTQIA+ community.
“Reinvented Magazine is the perfect example of why we need diversity in every field, project, and resource out there - when incredible individuals from all backgrounds and viewpoints are brought together, amazing things happen,” Hahn says.
The result of this diversity is evident in the first issue, which made its debut this fall with 2,000 printed copies, as well as digital distribution. The editorial content not only covers inspiring and accomplished STEM women but also includes an advice column; a DIY project; and stories about ovarian cancer research, a nonprofit making a difference, and a NASA project.
“Although it’s definitely geared toward women and young girls, the content is interesting to everyone regardless of age or gender,” Hahn says.
The brainchild of Editor-in-Chief Caeley Looney, Reinvented Magazine was born about a year ago out of frustration with the lack of STEM models in typical teen magazines. Looney, a recent Embry-Riddle aerospace engineering grad who works as a mission analyst at Harris Corp., says the initial magazine was to create a magazine that young women like her would read. But the idea morphed into something far beyond that, “and blossomed into this world-changing product.”
“Our team quickly realized that we were playing a huge role in a cause so much bigger than ourselves: the need to normalize the way society views women in STEM fields,” Looney says. “We are doing exactly that.”
By showcasing what other trailblazers are doing in STEM fields, Merrill Keating feels Reinvented Magazine is a great way to inspire youth. She believes it’s important for young women to have role models and people who support their pursuits.
Asked about her advice for other young girls interested in STEM, she says, “Don’t be afraid to try different things, and don’t allow anyone to tell you what you can’t do. No matter how hard it may seem at times, keep going.”
To subscribe or learn more about Reinvented Magazine, go to www.reinventedmagazine.com. You can also come meet Merrill Keating at GeekGirlCon on Nov. 16-17 in Seattle, where Reinvented Magazine will have an exhibitor booth. On the 16th, Merrill will be co-manning the booth with Lynn Brunelle, 4-time Emmy Award-winning writer for "Bill Nye the Science Guy" and author of over 45 books.