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Stars in Super Bowl commercial encourage STEM for girls

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Sydney Floryanzia was in a Super Bowl commericial promoting STEM for girls (WTVD)

Getting girls to embrace science, technology, engineering, and math (otherwise known as STEM) isn't always easy.

Two local women who were featured in a Super Bowl commercial are trying to change that.

Sydney Floryanzia is a student from Apex who loves science, especially the biomolecular side of biology. When she was younger, she wanted to be an actress or a musician.

"The mad scientist is always a guy with crazy hair. And what girl, when she's told Barbie's a standard, wants to look like this mad scientist guy?"

With a little encouragement from her mom as well as an outstanding teacher, Floryanzia is on the road to breaking in to the STEM field.

That teacher is Dr. Laura Bottomley, the Director of Women in Engineering at N.C. State University. She was one of the stars of the Super Bowl commercial and tries to get girls interested in STEM.

"There are a lot of kids that have that spark, that have that ability," she said. "That are afraid to access it because it looks funny or somebody 'might call me a nerd' or 'look at me funny.'"

Bottomley and Floryanzia met at a summer engineering camp at N.C. State. While there, Bottomley explained to Floryanzia how scientists are using music to re-engineer the brain, combining two of the things she loves.

Floryanzia now plans to go to N.C. State and into the engineering department. She said she believes teachers really are the key to keeping girls in STEM.

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