Gold Award Girl Scout Creates First-Ever Print Magazine for Women in STEM
There’s never been a better time for women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields to draw inspiration from one another, says Caeley Looney, age 22 and the cofounder of Reinvented Magazine, who works at Harris Corporation as a mission analyst on its Small Satellite programs.
A Gold Award Girl Scout, Caeley was so inspired by the FIRST Robotics Program she took part in with Girl Scouts of Nassau County that she studied aerospace engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. After earning her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, she launched Reinvented because of a dearth of newsstand representation of women in STEM careers.
“I read Popular Science and MAKE magazine, but they don’t have features on people who look like me,” says Caeley, the daughter of two engineers. Her mother is a former naval engineer and her father worked as a defense contractor before starting a software company.
Caeley’s goal? To produce four issues in 2020, then six the following year, and then make it a monthly magazine once the funding and audience are in place.
“We’re already at more than 1,000 copies sold,” she says. “The response from women in STEM has been overwhelming—they’ve all said things like, ‘Why isn’t this already happening?’ and ‘How can I help?’”
Her long-term goal is to get this publication out of the digital space and into the hands of girls who are unable to learn about women in STEM because they live in rural areas and may have limited internet access.
“There’s so much value in holding something in your hands that’s not a screen,” says Caeley, a member of the National Center for Women and Information Technology, a community of more than 1,100 universities, companies, nonprofits, and government organizations that work to increase girls’ and women’s participation in computing. “We want our content to be accessible to every girl anywhere. If we were solely online, how would girls without internet access be able to read it?”
This passion—and determination—is what’s enabling Caeley to juggle two very busy careers.
“I’m an aerospace engineer by day and an editor in chief by night,” she says. “It’s hard because I’m so passionate about space systems and I’m very passionate about getting women into STEM fields.”
Still, all of this hard work is worth it to Caeley.
“Creating this magazine and keeping on top of my day job can be a juggling act, but I hope that our readers can finally stop thinking that they’re alone, which is something felt by a lot of women who work in tech,” she says. “Very often when they’re out in the field, they are alone, so by telling these stories of awesome women who are kicking butt, we’ll normalize the experiences of women in STEM. After all, women are already in STEM, there are more of us coming into the field and there’s no one who can stop the wave of it happening.”