The countdown to National Geographic's upcoming miniseries One Strange Rock has begun, with two weeks to go before the series premiere. The brainchild of filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), producer Jane Root, and her production company, Nutopia, One Strange Rock will feature interviews with real-life astronauts -- including Mae Jemison, Nicole Stott, and Peggy Whitson, who opened up about women in STEM.
Jemison, Stott, and Whitson spoke with SYFY WIRE's Tara Bennett about the inclusion of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and aeronautics and how to help young girls get into those programs in the first place.
"Little kids love science. Little girls are really good in science and math, and better than boys all the way through high school," stated Jamison. "And the issue is: How do we make the public comfortable… they [little girls] have to get over the folks around them who are saying it's not cool."
One point Stott makes is that young girls need to have female examples, if only to give them that little push they need to get into STEM. Furthering the discussion, Jemison thinks the parents are mostly responsible for the issues young girls have in choosing science programs, but if they are around women who are in the field, they'll have no problems in pursuing science.
"I saw the astronauts walk on the moon; that was inspirational to me," Whitson added. "But it wasn't until the first female astronauts were selected when I graduated high school [that] it became a goal. It changed from being a dream to a goal for me, and having that made it realistic to me. I had no clue how difficult it would be or what the competition would be, but it made it real to me, it made it seem achievable."
Hosted by Will Smith, One Strange Rock premieres on March 26.
Additional material by Nathalie Caron.