(NEW YORK) -- A commercial released earlier this month lends a theory to why so many girls grow up to steer clear of science and math. Their parents are telling them they're pretty -- but maybe not telling them that they're also pretty brilliant. That's not the only thing these girls are hearing. Social cues and seemingly innocent comments are sending young girls the message that they're better off holding a tube of lipstick than a power tool.
The "Inspire Her Mind" ad by Verizon is part of a campaign to introduce more girls to the STEM fields.
It follows one little girl from toddler to teenager. Along the way, viewers hear her parents tell her "not to get her dress dirty" and that her solar system project has "gotten out of control."
The commercial cites a statistic that while 66 percent of 4th grade girls say they like science and math, only 18 percent of all college engineering majors are female.
The take away for parents: encourage your daughter's love of science and technology.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio