(no subject)

From: owner-edequity@phoenix.edc.org
Date: Fri Dec 03 1999 - 10:57:40 EST

From; edequity@mail.edc.org
Subject: Re: Questions for the Discussion
Sender: owner-edequity@mail.edc.org
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Reply-To: edequity@mail.edc.org

Since the author of this question is from Cambridge, MA, I'd like to point
out that there's an afterschool "Science Club for Girls" around the corner
from them at the M. L. King school that includes 100 public school girls
K-7, about 20 high school girls, and 30+ college and women scientist
volunteers. We do hands-on activities with the girls and volunteers; many
of these involve engineering and design skills. We have a curriculum of
activities that we've developed to weave in different science and
engineering themes at each grade level. This is an activity founded by
parents who were concerned about their daughters and went out and found
volunteers and grant funding to make something happen at their school; I'm a
former 7th grade science teacher who manages the program for them. One
thing I've learned from them is that when parents become committed to doing
something powerful for their daughters there is no stopping them. They
really make me work hard for these girls!

Another program locally is called "Girls Get SET for Life" at the Discovery
Museum in Acton, MA. They involve teams of middle school girls in desiging
and building their own science exhibits in collaboration with the Tufts
School of Engineering. In reference to some other comments about funding
that withers after a strong start, this program was originally funded by NSF for
just one year (1997) and then dropped. But the Museum persisted and found
funding from a corporation for the next three years, with funding to evaluate
the effect of this program on the first set of girls from the NSF group. I was
involved with the first group, the process of designing and building real
exhibits was effective at building the girls skills and
confidence -- wearing safety glasses and handling a power saw that's taller
than her changes a 12 year-old girl's view of her world. For more
information about the Discovery Museum program, you can email them at

Mary Memmott
Science Clubs for Girls
King Open School
100 Putnam Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02139


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