Star Wars’ Princess Leia-Carrie Fisher: A STEM Model For Girls EducationBy Amanda Foster, UniversityHerald Reporter
Actress Carrie Fisher passed away last year, on December 27, 2016. Although she has left this world, she has also left a legacy that will always remain in the hearts of women. Her role as Princess Leia in the "Star Wars' franchise has helped generations of "Star Wars" fans to see a woman as a heroine.
Gone is the damsel in distress aura that is usually exhibited in movies. When Carrie Fisher played Princess Leia, she delivered a powerful statement - that women are brave and intelligent. Which is why Jill Berkowicz and Ann Myers considered her, or Princess Leia rather, to be the model for girls' education.
Her role has affected and can affect school and leadership, as reported by Education Week. Myers and Berkowicz found that Princess Leia has helped clear the paths for many girls to become interested in STEM education and careers.
A former information technology leader in health care, Samara Lynn, says that Princess Leia has influenced her life, as reported by Black Enterprise. In her farewell letter to Carrie Fisher, Lynn detailed how her obsession of every thing science fiction has lead her to a STEM career. Her interest in robots and computers lead her to information technology.
Lynn adds that it was because of "Star Wars," Princess Leia and science fiction that pushed kids (especially African-American girls) to get interested in computers and science. If George Lucas did not choose a character like Princess Leia or a woman like Carrie Fisher, the world would have never seen a wise, brave, intelligent and powerful heroine. Lynn stresses that girls during her time would never have seen a female who is unafraid of personal power if Lucas decided differently.
To date, many are still trying to push girls to become interested in science, technology, engineering and math and there are still not a lot of women in STEM industries and fields.
Here is a clip of a rare interview with Carrie Fisher with David Muir on ABC News: