Motivating girls to do science

aloisia schmid a-schmi at ux1.cso.uiuc.edu
Fri Mar 22 18:11:15 EST 1996


In article <4ivaeu$4ch at daffy.anetsrvcs.uwrf.edu>, Angela.M.Krause at uwrf.edu
(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 ux1.cso.uiuc.edu



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