Sarah Shipley

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So far Sarah Shipley has created 5 blog entries.

How Use of the Female Talent Pool Could Address Workplace Challenges in the Near Future

According to the National Girls Collaborative Project, although women constitute half of the total US college-educated workforce, they make up only 29 percent of the science and engineering fields.1

In addition, the National Science Board research shows that there will be workforce shortages in jobs that require mathematical, scientific, and technical skills.2 This means that unless these impending shortages are addressed, the US may not be able to continue to be an international leader in scientific and technological fields. Some experts have also predicted there will be rise in employment opportunities, especially in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) sector, where openings will increase by more than 50 percent.3 Hence, there is need for a workforce adept in the STEM fields.

Yet another report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on The Future of Jobs has revealed that the Fourth Industrial Revolution (characterized by a fusion of technologies that blends the physical, digital, and biological) will create future workplace shortages, which will in turn undoubtedly impact women’s employment prospects. It will also create disruptions in labor markets, as well as changes in business models across all industries.4 In this new market, some jobs will become redundant while others will see changes in the skills required, and still others will witness talent shortages owing to technological as well as sociopolitical and demographic changes.

This news may bode well for women who intend to join or return to the workforce in the future. The WEF’s report asked strategy and talent experts from reputed employers around the globe for their thoughts on the changing landscape of jobs and employment. Employers are increasingly inclined to recruit women to fill the depleted talent pool, as part of their future workforce planning, but the numbers are still bleak when it comes to Information and Communication Technology (ICT).5

At least 37 percent of the companies in ICT have considered tapping into the female talent pool to fulfill workforce shortages, according to the WEF’s study.6 Twenty percent of respondents across other industries also reported being under pressure from the government, public, and media to address workforce gender imbalances.7

The WEF’s study also revealed concern among respondents about the lack of qualified talent in energy, ICT, aviation, and automotive industries.8 This shortage (along with the shortage of women in STEM as a whole) is likely due to the lower proportion of women majoring in STEM areas.

This is a great opportunity for women in college to consider STEM courses or courses in similar fields that were traditionally male-dominated, such as manufacturing, production, and architecture.


  1. “Statistics,” National Girls Collaborative Project, accessed April 20, 2018,
  2.  Diane F. Halpern, Camilla P. Benbow, David C. Geary, Ruben C. Gur, Janet Shibley Hyde, and Morton Ann Gernsbacher, “The Science of Sex Differences in Science and Mathematics,” Psychological Science in the Public Interest 8, no. 1 (August 2007): 1,
  3.  Ibid.
  4.  “The Future of Jobs,” World Economic Forum, accessed April 21, 2018,
  5.  World Economic Forum, The Future of Jobs Report: Employment, Skills and Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, January 2016,
  6.  Ibid., 34.
  7.  Ibid., 127.
  8.  Ibid., 38.
2018-07-19T19:28:22+00:00June 18th, 2018|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

Make a Volcano with Off-Kilta Matilda™

We had fun making a volcano in our backyard!

Here is a short clip we put together to show you how to do it too. We did this with the help of middle school kids—they got to make a volcano and make a video on how to make a volcano. We can integrate learning into many of our summer activities—STEM is in!


To make your own volcano, you will need a few supplies:

  • Soda bottle (16 or 20 oz.)
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • Red food coloring

If you want to add bubbles to your volcano just add a bit of dish soap to the mix!

We went a bit crazy and used everything from moss to rocks to decorate our volcano—you can do as little or as much as you want.


  1. Place the bottle in the middle of a flat surface. You can use a table, driveway, or patio.
  2. Put found materials around the bottle to make it look more like a real volcano or mountain. We used cardboard and tape and covered that with grass and moss. You can use dirt, rocks, and flowers—get creative!
  3. Pour the baking soda into the bottle.
  4. Add the red food coloring to the vinegar.
  5. Pour the vinegar into the bottle—we used a funnel to make sure it got in without making a mess.
  6. Stand back and watch the red “lava” flow!

We had a good time adding different measurements of baking soda and vinegar to see what would make the biggest explosion. Take notes and see what works the best for you!

2018-07-19T21:33:56+00:00June 18th, 2018|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

Ten Fun STEM Projects You Can Do in the Yard

Here are some fun free things you can do to entertain your kids AND have fun at the same time! Get ready to make a mess—we will be posting short videos of our experiments online during the summer. Post yours and tag us!


This fun take on the classic science-fair exploding volcano is a creative way for kids to get out all of that pent-up summer energy. In this experiment, we’ll add a bit more explosion to the mess…and what kid won’t love that? Be sure to do this experiment somewhere that can be cleaned up easily—or, even better, do the experiment outside where no cleanup is required! Read the instructions here.

Sticky Ice 

This is a great experiment to do indoors when it is too hot or rainy outside. It’s a simple activity that can be done with household items and will show kids how freezing water affects ice in an almost magical way. This project is an easy way to drum up some learning and fun this summer! Read the instructions here.

Glowing Volcano 

What kid doesn’t love a big mess? This activity is a fun way to learn about chemical reactions while having a blast. This is a fairly simple experiment that requires just a few items and some adult supervision! If you happen to have a black light laying around it can be even more fun! Kids will see different eruptions depending on what colors and combinations are used. Making a Glowing Volcano could be a fun evening activity but will be just a beautiful in the daylight! Read the instructions here.

Rainbow Bubble Snakes 

This is a great activity, especially for the young ones! Building the bubble blower teaches kids about recycling and using household items to learn. This can lead to a whole afternoon of messy outdoor fun with the whole family. Add this experiment to a day of running through the sprinklers, and the kids will love it! Read the instructions here.

Pop Rock Balloons 

While Pop Rocks are already loads of fun by themselves, this experiment will add in a little bit of science to go along with the fun! Adding the candy into soda shows kids how carbon dioxide causes the balloon to inflate. This activity is a fun way to explore science without making a big mess or needing too many supplies! Read the instructions here.

Lemon Suds

Hands-on activities are some of the best ways to ignite an interest in science for all kids. This science experiment is stimulating and exciting for both parents and children! Lemon suds are not only a learning activity but also a sensory one, which is a wonderful way to get the little ones engaged. Parents will love the end of the experiment, you’ll have an all-natural cleaner! Read the instructions here.

Rock Test 

The rock test is a way to explore the properties and hardness of different rocks. This project is a sure-fire way to get your kids thinking about all kinds of science. Sparking curiosity is the best way to keep children interested in science! Using rocks found around the neighborhood and some simple household items can lead to a whole day of learning and exploring! Read the instructions here.

Beach Density Jar 

Who doesn’t love a nice beach day in the summertime? This project brings the beach home to your kids! You’ll see an ocean floor, water, sky, and clouds, all while learning about density. Density is a very interesting subject that most kids don’t know very much about, so this is a creative way to learn and explore. Read the instructions here.

Edible Rock Cycle 

It can be hard for kids to differentiate between the three types of rocks, but this experiment will help kids learn. This is a very hands-on project, so kids will stay engaged and entertained the whole time! While this experiment does take some adult help, grown-ups and kids alike will have fun. Plus, the kids will have a nice sugary treat at the end of the activity! Read the instructions here.

Engineering an Egg Drop

Creativity and science are brought together in this fun backyard activity. This project will get kids to think independently and explore their imagination! They can work on their problem-solving skills while they work towards a goal—keeping the egg intact! Kids will love using their toys and other items they find around the house to complete this challenge! Read the instructions here.

Remember to follow us on the socials below for updates, new project ideas, and giveaways!

Thanks so much!
—Sarah and Off-Kilta Matilda™

Off Kilta Matilda™ and I hanging out and reading books at the park.


2018-07-31T18:42:15+00:00June 4th, 2018|Matilda Advice|0 Comments

Cumulative Effects of Math and Earning Potential

While the mindset of “not being a math person” is true for both girls and boys alike, the “fallacy of inborn math ability” is largely responsible for girls believing that they have an innate inability to excel in math.1 This sort of mindset is often thrust upon them not only by the media but also their parents and teachers.

And guess what the result is? You’re right if you’re thinking lower-paying jobs. Girls miss out on successful careers in engineering, technology, science, math, and finance.

According to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, students who study advanced math in high school have higher salaried jobs and fewer chances of becoming unemployed throughout their lifetime.2 This correlation indicates that girls who do not study advanced math in high school are—before they even enter the workforce—already less likely to land high-paying jobs.

Gender disparities are more prominent in STEM careers, especially engineering, the physical sciences and computer science.3 Though women constitute half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce, they make up only 29 percent of the science and engineering workforce.4

While the gender wage gap cannot be wholly ascribed to just education level or college major, a report by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) points out that there is a strong connection between college major and salary.5 Because most women tend to major in humanities, they end up with lower-paying jobs, while STEM majors (mostly men) are more likely to land higher-paying jobs.6 The EPI’s report also posits that women’s educational experiences as early as elementary school can strongly impact their choice of major in college.7 Because women are taught to eschew STEM so early in their education, they tend to display less interest in STEM subjects than men as they head to college.

The result is that women end up with careers that offer lower salaries or fewer opportunities to progress. Even when compared to their male counterparts, they remain underpaid.  And in some cases, women become mired in economic struggles because of these lower wages.

It is imperative to provide girls and women with opportunities for high-paying careers, not only for their own sakes, but also for bringing greater diversity into such professions.8 This can be accomplished by getting our society to change its mindset by recognizing that there is no such thing as the “math gene” and that boys and girls have equal aptitudes for math. Shifting away from this biased thinking will help change classroom teaching methods for the better, allowing girls to explore their interests in math rather than stifling them.

Math, it seems, has become a significant fear factor in why girls and women choose not to become scientists and engineers. It is time that society evaluates what kind of messages it’s conveying to girls and women regarding their ability to excel in math and math-related careers.4 In addition, there is a need to reevaluate how math is taught in schools and universities.

Let us all resolve to shun this harmful attitude towards math at home and in our schools in order to encourage girls to study STEM subjects. At the same time, we need to instill confidence in our girls that there is nothing they can’t do if they put their minds to it—that there is no such thing as the “math gene,” only hard work and resilience.


  1. Miles Kimball, Noah Smith, and Quartz, “The Myth of ‘I’m Bad at Math,’” The Atlantic, October 28, 2013,
  2.  Derek Thompson, “Will Studying Math Make You Richer?” The Atlantic, November 4, 2013,
  3.  Kelly Wallace, “The ‘boys are better at math’ mindset creates gender gap in sciences,” CNN, October 12, 2016,
  4.  ??
  5.  Elise Gould, Jessica Schieder, and Kathleen Geier, “What is the gender pay gap and is it real?” Economic Policy Institute, October 20, 2016,
  6.  Ibid.
  7.  Ibid.
  8.  Wallace, “The ‘boys.’”
2018-07-29T17:10:34+00:00September 9th, 2017|Matilda Advice|0 Comments