TYLER, Texas — It's a movement that's now in its sixth year.
Dress for STEM is celebrated on Pi Day which is this Sunday. And we're not talking about the pie you eat at dessert. Pi is the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, and it's a time for math enthusiasts to show off how many indefinite digits they know of the constant.
A few female meteorologists took the holiday based on mathematics and applied a new meaning - celebrating the smaller group of women who work in STEM-related fields while encouraging young ladies to follow their dreams.
The movement is known as "Dress for Stem" is now in its sixth year, and its story has a funny beginning.
Around 2015, an inexpensive dress hit the online market and appealed to female meteorologists everywhere. Meteorologist and Dress for STEM organizer, Julia Leopold, says that the dress quickly gained popularity among the female broadcast community.
"A person found a dress it was only $23 and it met all of the criteria that you need to meet when you’re an on-air meteorologist," she said.
Finding the right dress to wear, at the right price can be challenging when you're on camera, but this dress checked a lot of boxes for women in the same field.
"It just spread like wildfire, everyone just started wearing it, everyone started purchasing it and it looks fantastic on all of us, it meets all of the requirements it needs to meet to be on camera, and we just loved it," Julia said.
The story goes beyond an article of clothing. The ladies in the female broadcast group decided to use the popular dress to bring awareness towards the large disparities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.
"We started thinking about it a little more and started thinking, 'well what if we could turn this really unique experience into a message we could share with the world,'" she said.
"There are so many young girls that are in elementary school-age group that are really passionate about science and math, and they love the fields somewhere in muddle school that starts to drop off and research shows that’s because of lack of positive female role models, and exposure to inaccurate gender stereotypes,” Julia said.
Since 2015, Leopold and other female meteorologists have been promoting dress for STEM by wearing purple on Pi Day and you can participate, too.
Wear your best purple this Sunday, March 14, or Monday, March 15, and send your photos to cbs19 with the hashtag #DressforSTEM