When it comes to careers in STEM, a gender divide has traditionally been quite evident. While statistics vary, researchers widely agree that females only make up roughly 25 percent-or-less of the skilled workforce in these areas. Even girls who graduate with STEM degrees often leave their original career path due to feeling out-of-place in a male-dominated sector. 

Thankfully, The Merrell Twins have now entered the fray with their new science-related series “Project Upgrade.” With this show, they focus on fun science projects and encourage girls to reach for the stars by pursuing an education in any field that interests them. We got a chance to chat with the YouTube mega-stars about their series and what it's like to be inspirations to so many young women around the world. 

What was your inspiration behind Project Upgrade? 

Vanessa: The reason we wanted to do Project Upgrade was because we felt it was important to inspire young girls to pursue STEM. Only about 26 percent of women make up the jobs in this field, which is a very shocking fact. We just really love to encourage our audience to pursue their dreams and do things that make them happy. We want to share Project Upgrade with our audience to say “Look, we aren't people who grew up in STEM, but we can do it and so can you.” We want to inspire both young boys and young girls to take interest in these areas. 

Would you mind giving us some background on your interest in becoming YouTubers together and how that extends into Project Upgrade?

Veronica: We started our YouTube channel in 2009, but we weren't posting consecutively until a few years ago. So, we've been doing this whole YouTube journey for a while now and we never thought it would become this [big]. Now we've realized that as YouTubers and quote-unquote social media influencers, we do have an influence and a voice that people listen to. People look up to us. We hear from so many people every day saying that we've changed their lives in a positive way. Knowing that we help people, we are very conscious about what we promote. We are so excited to have a voice and to inspire young people to pursue their dreams.