“Women in Stem” t-shirts take Wilsonville High School by storm


Sophia Day

Anthea Goh is pictured with senior George Peykanu, center, and junior Paul Liu wearing her class t-shirts. While Peykanu and Liu are AP physics students (E&M and C, respectively), many other students have purchased these shirts.

One of the first of many side comments made in Mr.Koll’s 4th period AP Physics C class this year was, “women in STEM!” The concept of “women in STEM” is noteworthy because women are not always, but often, the minority in STEM spaces.

In this 4th period physics class, the phrase is used in an exclamatory manner; sometimes ironically, sometimes in a celebratory manner. Senior Anthea Goh, a member of the class explains, “it’s fun to joke about it and use it as a way to celebrate since there’s only five girls in the class.”

As the year continued, so did the use of the exclamation. What started at a table of four, has become a hotly sought after t-shirt. Goh credits junior Campbell Lawler, her classmate, with the idea for shirts, “Campbell was the one who came up with the basic design of how it should be like the ‘I heart NY’ shirts.”

When AP tests were approaching, 4th period physics thought these would make great matching shirts for the test. They were so busy studying that this project unfortunately was put on hold. However, with only two weeks left for seniors, the shirts were made, and they needed to be sold.

Goh ordered the T-shirts on Custom Ink. The plain white T reads “I love women in STEM,” a la the famous “I love NY” marketing campaign/slogan/logo. She ordered 37, and at the time, she could barely guarantee an order from all 13 students in her class. It was time to start selling.

She and her table group took to the halls and started selling. While they met their goal, it was difficult. The price point, even as it lowered, was too high for many students; they just didn’t see the value in the shirts.

This all changed however, when the shirts came in. Once they were distributed, a week earlier than expected, students who were once uninterested suddenly came running, cash in hand, to Goh. Some students went straight to Mr. Koll’s class, where the shirts were being kept, and tried to buy one. They were unfortunately turned away due to low stock.

Goh has yet to decide whether or not she’ll order more shirts to sell. Regardless of the shirts, the class created a positive community, as noted by Kenley Whittaker, junior, “I really like how we all have the collective drive to just learn. Before APs I feel like we were all pretty supportive of each other because we were working towards a common goal.”