As I was thinking about what to write about continuity, I realized that I'm going to have to get all academic on you. Don't worry it won't be painful and you may even find it interesting.
There are three pieces to the trilogy (ok yes it's a trilogy; guess that there are three pieces may not be a surprise). The pieces are:
Engagement Having an orientation to the sciences and/or quantitative disciplines that includes such qualities as awareness, interest and motivation.
Capacity Possessing the acquired knowledge and skills needed to advance to increasingly rigorous content in the sciences and quantitative disciplines.
and oh yes, the theme of this month's Scientaie, Continuity: Institutional and programmatic opportunities material resources and guidance that support advancement to increasingly rigorous content in the sciences and quantitative disciplines.
Why am I making you read this? Because I want to make it clear that interest (engagement) and skills (capacity) are not enough to make it as a woman in science. For pretty much all of us it does take a village-- kids do need institutional and programmatic opportunities, material resources and guidance in order to make it. In real language that means:
you don't know what a scientist does; you probably won't want to be one;
you don't know that just taking the SAT isn't enough; you don't take the content tests, you don't get into the best colleges;
your high school has no AP courses; you don't get into the best colleges;
no one helps you with financial aid; heck you may not go to college at all.
So yes-- convincing kids, even very, very smart kids, that STEM is for them is not enough- indeed in many ways it is what Paul Tsongas called a cruel hoax. If we truly want to diversify STEM, then we all need to be in it for the long run. We need, well yes, continuity.
PS If I've totally enthralled you with the trilogy--you can always read the long version.