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Alabama scientist chosen to be part of women in STEM Smithsonian exhibit

WASHINGTON D.C (WHNT) – The Smithsonian will celebrate Women’s History Month in March by displaying 120 life-size orange statues depicting women who have excelled in the fields of science and technology, including one Alabamian.

Dr. Adrienne Starks of Fairfield, along with being an accomplished scientist and teacher, is also the founder of STREAM Innovations, a Birmingham nonprofit that provides students who may not otherwise have the opportunity with the ability to learn and grow their interest in the STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) fields.

She is the only representative from Alabama chosen for the display called “#IfThenSheCan-The Exhibit” which will be displayed at the Smithsonian’s Arts + Industries Building in Washington D.C from March 5-7. The 3D-printed statues will then be spread out and displayed at different museums across the National Mall until March 27.

“I am honored to be represented in the collection of 3D printed statues, alongside amazing women that I admire and celebrate their contributions to STEM fields,” Dr. Starks said about the experience. “These women continue to pave the way for girls to see themselves as leaders in the STEM industry. I am excited for the country to learn more about each of us, and how the IF/THEN collection has provided images of women in STEM to inspire future innovators across the world.”

Dr. Starks added she works to embody the “You cannot be what you cannot see” mission for girls in Alabama, the South and across the country by being a role model and providing support for anyone interested in STEM.

Each of the statues at the National Mall will have a QR code so visitors can learn more about the woman and her story.

Some of the others chosen include MIT astrophysicist Kelly Korreck; wildlife biologist Kristine Inman; microbiologist Dorothy Tovar; mathematics professor Minerva Cordero and U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team physician Monica Rho.

The women being honored were chosen by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Lyda Hill Philanthropies.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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