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SYFY WIRE Bad Astronomy

Science + Cards Against Humanity = another young woman getting a full ride to college

By Phil Plait
The Science Pack from Cards Against Humanity is making the world a better place. Credit: Pixabay / Ivanovgood

Ever played (the very adult game) Cards Against Humanity? If you're a nerd (and face it, you're reading this blog) then you probably have. The card game is like Mad Libs for people who have had the part of their brain that feels shame burned out with a skewer left on a grill too long. And if you think that's harsh, then either a) you haven't played the game, or 2) you don't understand that the people who created the game would probably agree. I mean, they created it.

In a sense, that includes me. I (along with Zach Weinersmith and many others) helped write the questions and answers for the Science Pack, an extension of the game that includes cards with a more sciencey (but no less grimace-inducing) basis.

In a way to thwart karma, though, the folks behind the game do something fantastic. All proceeds (and I mean all of the proceeds) from sales of the Science Pack go toward a truly wonderful thing: The Science Ambassador Scholarship, which provides a full four-year scholarship for a young woman to attend college and get a degree in a STEM (science, technology, education, and math) discipline!

This is seriously cool.

Every year, one woman is chosen on the basis of an application they send in with a short video describing a STEM topic they're passionate about. This year's winner is Laura, a high school senior from Washington. Laura's video was about slug slime, which I will admit I knew almost nothing about:

Cooooool. Though gross.

Every year, Jen and Maria from CAH and the scholarship group call the winner and let her know. This year they decided to ever-so-mildly prank Laura:

I love those videos.

Four other women were chosen as runners-up, and you can see their videos on the scholarship page. The winners are chosen by a judging panel consisting of over 70 women scientists and STEM professionals. This is such a wonderful way to raise awareness of women in these fields, and to take a solid step toward parity.

This all makes me so happy! By the way, Laura wants to study biological engineering at MIT… and now she can. For free.

And she won't be alone, either. Sales of the Science Pack are now at — get this — 1.2 million dollars. Yes, million, like 106. That means over the years a lot more women will be able to go to college and study STEM without having to worry about where the money will come from. Because, if you bought a Science Pack, it came from you.

So, thanks. Keep being horrible, because what you're actually doing is being magnificent.