Mar 17, 2022 - Things to Do

6 Coloradans honored in largest ever collection of women statues

Sarah Wilson poses next to her statue outside the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of the Colorado School of Mines
Sarah Wilson poses next to her statue outside the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of the Colorado School of Mines

Outside the Smithsonian, one woman holds a clipboard, another a camera. And one poses in a tucked ski racing position. All of them are 3-D printed and orange.

Why it matters: They are part of a group of 120 statues celebrating Women's History Month, and the largest collection of statues featuring real women that has ever been assembled.

What's happening: The exhibition, called IF/THEN, highlights contemporary women innovators in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Many of the statues hold props emblematic of the women's professions. Six are from Colorado:

  • Adriana Bailey, Boulder, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research's aviation facility.
  • Jenny Briggs, Golden, a fire scientist and assistant dean at the Colorado School of Mines.
  • Kristen Lear, Fort Collins, bat conservationist and educator.
  • Nicole Sharp, Denver, the founder and editor of the FYFD science blog.
  • Jo Varner, Grand Junction, a professor at Colorado Mesa University and biologist who studies pikas.
  • Sarah Wilson, Vail, a robotics engineer at Tortuga AgTech and former ski engineer.

What they're saying: The obstacles to seeing more women in STEM are pervasive, Briggs tells Axios Denver.

  • "I feel like there's a genetic, social and cultural pressure, both consciously and unconsciously among everyone — kids themselves, teachers and families," she said. "I think girls need more encouragement all along the way."

This story first appeared in the Axios Denver newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard. Subscribe here.

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