Motivating girls to do science

aloisia schmid a-schmi at
Fri Mar 22 18:11:15 EST 1996

In article <4ivaeu$4ch at>, Angela.M.Krause at
(Angela Krause) wrote:

> Hi!  My name is Angela Krause and I am a science education student.  My 
> major is biology, but I will also be certified to teach chemistry (my 
> minor), general science (6-8), and German.  I am doing research for a 
> paper in one of my eduction classes and I was wondering if anybody could 
> give me any information on how to motivate girls to do science.  I would 
> love to hear from you!  Thanks!

Dear Angela,

         I would have to say that the best way would be to do two things.

          the first is to frame a problem in a beautiful and motivating
way.  I think women are more responsive to beauty than mena re--I am not
speculating on why that might be true--whether there are hard-wiring
differences in the brain or what--but the fact is, i thinkt hey are more
captivated by all things beautiful.  So I remember my first science
project that I thought was WONDERFUL was capturing snow flakes in
polyethylene glycol and correlating the shape and crystal changes as
viewed under a microscope with humidity and temperature conditions.  It
was SO FUN!!!!!   

           Secondly, I think if you make the project one that is at the
same time competitive and yet, a team effort, you will get the girls
totally involved in it.  For example, competing against other schools as a
team science project.  Women work really well together on team efforts.  I
see that now--men are bad at that;  this I am almost certain is a
conditioning thing.  Mainly because I have seen enough of an overlap
between the genders to know this varies tremendously.  

            I'd love to hear what else people alert you to.

Alice Schmid

Aloisia Schmid
Howard Huges Medical Institute/Morrill Hall
University of Illinois
505 S. Goodwin Ave, 618 Morrill Hall
Urbana, IL 61801
Email: A-schmi at

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