Amandla Stenberg On Science, Activism And Her Idols

She schooled the world on cultural appropriation, and even called out Kylie Jenner as an example of it. She took Jaden Smith to prom, and didn’t bat an eye when he decided to wear a dress. She has been outspoken about the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and has been called a voice of a generation.

Now, the cooler than cool 16-year-old actress Amandla Stenberg has broadened her activism efforts to include encouraging more young women and girls to pursue their interests in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields.

The Los Angeles native served as the celebrity co-host of electric utility company ComEd’s second annual Icebox Derby Race Day in Chicago on Saturday. At the event, six teams of teenage girls raced cars that they spent the past four weeks building out of recycled refrigerators.

Sitting in a town car before the event, Amandla looked up from her signature black Converse sneakers and floral pants, which were thrifted from Crossroads Trading Co., with a sincere expression — and she said matter-of-factly that the science behind the derby is really cool.

Amandla — whose name means “power” in Zulu — sat down with The Huffington Post for a wide-ranging interview before joining the race day festivities, touching on everything from how to get more girls involved in science, to the power of activism, to where she’d like to go to college and who she admires the most.

Getting young women excited about STEM is a big part of the Icebox Derby. Why do you think more girls should be involved in STEM and how can we make that happen?

I think it has to do with the way that we raise girls and boys differently, and it’s not like girls are —> Read More