[EDEQUITY Dialogue]Opening statement-Ruta Sevo

From: rsevo@nsf.gov
Date: Thu Oct 26 2000 - 09:47:30 EDT

Everyone: Sorry I'm late.

The Program for Gender Equity in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and
Technology at the National Science Foundation:
* in existence since 1993
* funded over 200 projects
* covers K-16 education in science, math, technology
* annual budget of about $9.5 million
* grants have been $100,000 or $900,000, 1-3 years
* grantees are institutions; the researchers are female and male

Program guidelines for the coming year will be issued within a week; see

On our web site you can find descriptions of projects we have funded.
A summary of our competitions in the coming year is attached:

Synopsis of our scope:
The program seeks to broaden the participation of girls and young women in
all fields of science, mathematics, engineering and technology (SMET)
education by supporting research, demonstration, and dissemination projects
that will lead to change in education policy and practice. Typical
will investigate gender-related differences in learning; gender-related
differences in educational experience, interest, and performance; and
pedagogical approaches and teaching styles that are gender-neutral or
encouraging to female students. The findings and outcomes of the program
will lead to understanding, for example, how to maintain the interest of
girls in science past middle school, how to bring more girls into elective
high school mathematics and advanced placement science courses, and how to
increase enrollments in undergraduate studies in SMET, particularly in
physical sciences, engineering and computer sciences. The program offers
one to three year grants.

Why is there so little funding for women & girls generally?
*********I think a) people in the U.S. are philosophically opposed to
restricting resources to a particular group, even as a remedy for past
injustice, and b) the whole world has deeply ingrained stereotypes about
women and many people in power are not interested in exploring the negative
effects of the stereotyping, or do not want to change the roles to which we
are traditionally socialized. (See Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women,
by Virginia Valian. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999.) (These are my
personal opinions and theories, not an NSF position in any regard.)

How can we target $ to address the greatest needs?
******************NSF is funding RESEARCH and EVALUATION of new approaches
to science and math education. The recent Commission on the Advancement
Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering and Technology issued
recommendations for targeted investment, to increase the participation of
under-represented groups. See their brochure and report at
http://www.nsf.gov/od/cawmset/. Their report provides estimates of the
investments needed to obtain change in areas they think would have the
greatest effect.

Is this program going to achieve systemic change?
**************No. Our relatively small grants are spread across the
and across demonstration projects bridging formal and informal education,
and all levels within K-16. However, many completed projects can show
a certain new model or approach works, and the model or approach could be
adopted throughout the country. We have successful after-school programs,
summer camps, mentoring programs, undergraduate recruitment and retention
strategies, teacher and counselor workshops -- many that could be adopted
elsewhere, as part of systemic change. The change agents need to
the benefits of reaching girls in new ways, and invest in implementation.
Systemic change in education takes significantly greater investment over
more time.

I would be happy to answer questions about this program and look forward to
more messages as part of the Discussion. (THANKS, EDEQUITY!)


Dr. Ruta Sevo
Program for Gender Equity in Science, Math, Engineering and Technology
EHR/Human Resource Development
National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd Room 815
Arlington, VA 22230

Email: rsevo@nsf.gov
Tel: 703-292-4676 Fax: 703-292-9018 Mobile: 703-587-9120
or hrdwomen@nsf.gov Web: www.ehr.nsf.gov/EHR/HRD/ge/ge-index.htm
To subscribe to the program's listserve go to www.financenet.gov/pgelist

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