Re: Questions for the Discussion

Date: Wed Dec 01 1999 - 17:09:58 EST

My name is Kristina Fowler and I work at the College of Forest Resources
at NC State University in Raleigh, NC. Your question regarding the key
time to encourage women to stay in science is so important. Here at NC
State, we are tackling this issue on several levels. NC State University
hosts an annual event for 7th grade girls called the Expanding Your
Horizons Career Conference. This day long event exposes young women to
hands-on science, math, and engineering related workshops and discussion
sessions with female scientists and engineers. Over 500 young women and
their teachers attend this annual event. There is abundant evidence that
young women begin to make the decision to opt out of science and
mathematics classes early and that the middle school years are critical
times in the lives of young women in terms of their willingness to take
courses that will prepare them to enter mathematics, science, engineering
and related fields in college.

NC State is also the home to a relatively new group on campus, the
Coalition for Women in Mathematics, Science, Engineering. The Coalition
is a multi disciplinary team of advisors, administrators, faculty, staff
and students at NC State University. The Coalition is committed to
creating and sustaining through programmatic initiatives, an environment
of encouragement and success for women of all ages in science,
mathematics, engineering and related fields.

It is clear that it is important to encourage women at all age levels to
enter, to matriculate through and to remain in mathematics, science,
engineering and related fields of study and work.

I too am interested in your question that pertains to research examining
backlash again special programs in science and engineering. To date, I am not
aware of any such research.

I hope that I have given you some helpful information. Please feel free
to contact me at (919) 515-5510 if you would like to learn more about the
Coalition for Women in Science, Mathematics & Engineering at NC State
Kristina Fowler
NC State University
College of Forest Resources
Box 8001
Raleigh, NC 27695

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