Jayde Frederick is a pre-med student with a passion for incorporating art into STEM.
S.T.E.A.M. stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics, and is an important aspect of Science Communication (Sci Comm). Jayde created xxS.T.E.A.M. to empower young women of color to expand on and follow their interests in STEM fields. Through xxS.T.E.A.M., Jayde shares her drawings of STEM studies, strong female role models from history, and even creates new characters! Her art helps introduce others to STEM fields while also providing representation to inspire women to pursue these careers.
How did you get into STEM?
In elementary school my science classes were always my favorite and I actually thought I wanted to be a vet. Then, I realized humans were much more up my alley and not just because I’m allergic to both cats and dogs! While I’ve always loved science, my passion for medicine came later as I learned more about the human body, enjoyed working with medical tools, and got more exposure to the healthcare world. I especially loved neonatal and child care.
Who inspires you in STEM?
My parents first and foremost, they’re two of the most intelligent people I know and have always encouraged me to pursue my interests. I’ve also had a few doctors in my life that have absolutely changed it for the better. Whenever I see physicians who love what they do every day and also have an amazing family life, it inspires me even more to pursue what I know will be such a fulfilling profession.
What does “STEAM” mean to you?
To me STEAM means expressing my love for science and technology through my art and using my creativity everyday in my Pre-Med field.
How did you get started with xxSTEAM?
I got started with xxSTEAM through my love for art as well as science. I really wanted to be able to inspire and influence girls who had a love for STEM by drawing and sharing all the different things I think a STEM girl can be, with both creative and academic interests.
What’s been your experience being a pre-med student?
I have had great days where I love what I’m learning and understand the concepts I’m being taught and difficult days where I’ve felt very overwhelmed. While it’s a lot of work, I’ve realized that having friends with similar goals and aspirations is incredibly important and can make all the difference, especially in college. While I am very competitive, I’m very blessed to be in an environment that’s fairly collaborative and to also have friends that keep me motivated. I’ve found that it’s important for me to have people to remind me that while studying and learning are important, it’s also important to have balance and take a break every once in a while.
What’s been your most exciting experience in STEM?
Getting a chance to use the Da Vinci Xi for robotic surgery. When I was a junior in high school, professionals handling the machine simulated what it would be like to perform surgery in a real-life operating room by letting my classmates and I put little rings on spikes using the machine!
What’s something about your field that you wish others knew about?
You don’t have to stop your creative interests in order to pursue your medical ones, and there is no rush as long as you end up where you want to be. I’ve heard a lot of people say they don’t want to do medicine solely because it will take too long or because they feel like their 20s will be gone.
While it’s necessary to sometimes take a shorter path, I’ve learned you have to do things when you’re ready. If you need to take a gap year or a longer time in college to be better rested, more prepared for what’s ahead or to explore your 20s, then take it, but don’t dismiss it because you feel like the path is too long or difficult. Everything worth having requires sacrifices. Medicine is such a wide umbrella and there are so many options that are available to you once you have a medical degree other than working in a hospital. It’s you who decides how rigorous you want your professional life to be. In my opinion, if you have the ability and the resources, it is never to late to pursue a goal or dream.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
I love this quote by Dr. Mae Jemison: Never be limited by other peoples’ limited imagination.