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Young Women in STEM Grant Recipient

Environmentalist | Cosmetic Chemist | Artist

2021 Young Women in STEM grant recipient, Mylana Brodovska

Describe yourself in your own words and your STEAM projects/interests.

All my activity is a message about creating a global environmental policy, where the synthesis of the beauty of nature and the human mind is the fundamental basis of any project.

I am a girl with an active civic position, a researcher, artist, leader, ex-deputy of the local Youth Council, winner of the International Genius Olympiad in 2019 in New York.

In 2014, I entered an art school, and in the same year, I was found an allergic to aniline – a component of any synthetic paints. I could not just forget about my dreams, and at that moment, I met a woman who believed in me and gave a huge start for scientific research – it was my chemistry teacher Kristat Nonna.

After 4 years of work, I became the founder of my line of natural paints and decorative cosmetics, which, according to my author’s technology, anyone can do with their own hands. My palette of natural dyes calculates more than 180 shades, and the paintings painted with these colors are today in museums in Ukraine and Poland. I consider my exhibition of paintings at the Taras Shevchenko National Museum to be my main achievement, which took place only thanks to my creation of natural environmental colors. In 2019, I visited the United States and Great Britain, where I shared my developments with world-class scientists.

I really want my story to teach every girl to go to her dream, work tirelessly and not stay away from the global problems of our time. My scientific invention has become a hope for many creative people whose creative ability due to allergies may not have grown into giftedness, as well as for girls, women who value their skin and love natural care. I express my indifference to life by real actions at the local level, as well as studying jurisprudence and psychology, in order to consider in further research the impact of safe natural dyes on the atmosphere in the family as a social unit.

What/Who inspired you to get into STEAM?

The STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) education system is not just about knowledge for me. The accents of STEAM shift towards the ability to think critically, the ability to interact and communicate, as well as a creative approach to research. These skills I consider the most necessary for the formation of a successful future.

Such skills cannot be acquired only in laboratories or through knowledge of certain mathematical algorithms. Communication and cooperation are developed by working in a team where young leaders learn to negotiate and join forces to solve complex problems.

Therefore, my path to STEAM was through bold cooperation, leadership and active civic position, through which I from the age of 14 translate the desire of women and girls to create their own independent, vibrant, dynamic success story, regardless of such stamps of society as “woman”, “blonde”, “impossible”.

What are some advantages you think being a female brings to the STEAM field?

Women dream. Creative people know – despite what the teacher said in the fifth grade, dreaming is anything, but not a waste of time. My dreams came true and helped dozens of people not to give up their favorite business! Therefore, I am convinced that only by dreaming can something important be created for humanity.

Women do beauty. Moreover, the whole world needs a woman’s hand. After all, any science is not only numbers, any project is not just miscalculations. Sometimes you need to move away and look at the result of the study on the other hand, and whoever else can create a beautiful, new, necessary theoretical data on the spot, destroying dozens of prejudices and stereotypes, risking for the benefit of the future.

Women are the protectors of our planet Earth. The energy of a woman always responds in the universe, so to create, love and give birth to a new one – the mission of every woman, every researcher.

What would you tell young girls who are interested in STEAM, but too intimidated or discouraged to pursue it?

Once at one of my first scientific competitions, I heard that my project was too simple for challenges of the 21st century, did I stop? Of course not!

I am impressed by STEAM by the fact that during studying young girls change their attitude towards themselves, find confidence in themselves and increase their strength for future accomplishments. In addition, events within the framework of the System, allow each girl to meet, see and hear her like-minded people, people who live with her with the same dream. This is most inspiring! And for the sake of such opportunities, even with closed eyes, it is necessary to take a confident step forward! Do not stop at the very beginning of the great way!

What do you think is most exciting about the future of STEAM, and is there a specific advancement you’d like to see happen?

Perceiving the world around us, we do not say: this is physics, this is chemistry, and this is mathematics, because it is peaceful and complex: people are accepted in it, but it obeys the laws of nature.  All this was united by STEAM, which recently includes the letter “A” – Art. Therefore, I symbolically see the future of the STEAM in the letter “A”, a future that I want to devote to deepening understanding of the role of science in the world of art, and art in science.

Today science seeks to use art as a tool for visualizing discoveries, as an additional channel for the popularization of knowledge. Some may find it easier to perceive research through the prism of science or technology. And for some – through art. So the system unites two categories of the population at once, with a technical and a creative mindset, speaking about one message.

This may come as a surprise to people who have never studied science deeply, but in fact some of the greatest minds in science were inherently creative. This is because science is a form of creation. The purpose of science is to understand the world and create within the world. One cannot create without creativity. The reason why art is necessary to science because creativity involves imagination, and imagination is visualization.

Has the COVID pandemic reframed the way you think about STEAM and how it can be applicable on a global scale?

I believe that the coronavirus pandemic, no matter how it sounds, has a positive effect – it united us all. As COVID-19 infiltrates every aspect of society, the STEAM movement can help humanity stay safe. Today, STEAM is an independent young community, the vector of development of which should be aimed at creating a new, progressive, but at the same time comfortable direction of technological progress. From building its capacity, expanding information activities through campaigns and developing long-term strategic plans, STEAM actions should unite all branches of science. Therefore, it will be possible to unite a very different audience on one event, since each person will choose the point of entry into the project that is most understandable to him. We will not create separate groups of population, but motivate humanity to move into the future together, step by step.

Who’s your favorite female icon and why?

My most important icon of life is my mother. She is always nearby and believes in the simple dreams of a little girl, which only over the years acquire a cut.

I also consider Mary Kay Ash as my example. I fall in love with her two years ago, when I decided to try to create the first lip-gloss. The story of a strong, wise, competent woman whose goals are very similar to mine. Her biography became for me the instruction of courage, faith in my dream!

2021 Young Women in STEM grant recipient, Mylana Brodovska