December 15, 2011
Pocket protectors and pom-poms have little in common.
But Science Cheerleaders, a group of former and current NFL and NBA cheerleaders whose high IQs match their high kicks, unites the two.
The organization was created by happy accident, when Darlene Cavalier, a former 76ers cheerleader, posted a public outreach campaign with George Mason University on her website that advocated for reopening a congressional tech office. Featuring video shorts of 76ers cheerleaders rattling off scientific facts, it drew a huge response.
“I started to hear from NFL and NBA cheerleaders with science degrees who said, ‘I want to get involved.’ I never imagined it would turn into what it turned into,” she said, which includes the site, as well as traveling performances, community service and science education and outreach events. Many members are motivated by the chance to be role models for girls, who are underrepresented in the fields of math, science and technology.
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