Take your Daughters to Work Day

Rae Nishi notmyrealaddress at ohsu.EDU
Wed Feb 4 13:50:46 EST 1998

In article <199801311553.KAA11423 at mailrelay1.cc.columbia.edu>
ravena at cco.caltech.edu (Karen Lona Allendoerfer) writes:

> It sounds like it could be a great idea, but like a lot of things
> it would have to be done right.  Has anyone else taken a daughter or
> daughter-for-a-day to work with them in lab?  What did you do with them for
> a whole day?  How did they seem to react?  Do people think this is a good
> way to get girls interested in science careers?

It works for short periods of time, but I wouldn't try having someone
between 13- 14 tag along all day long, unless you really want to
entertain them all day and forgo getting anything done.  On the other
hand, 15-18 yr olds who have had biology or chemistry may actually be
able (and eager) to help.  I told my nephew (who is 15) that if he got
a good grade in biology this year he could come "work" in my lab for a
month this summer.  Two summers ago I had a very bright, just graduated
high school student in my lab who was fabulous.  Keep in mind that if
you are working with biohazardous materials, minors under the age of 16
may not be allowed in the lab.  The entire floor of our micro dept
prohibits minors because they work with such wonderful things such as
HIV and cytomegalovirus.  Radioisotope licenses may also prohibit
minors in the lab.

I entertained 4 12-13 year olds for about 30 min once and they thought
the chicken embryos were gross.  I thought they perked up when they saw
the scientific equipment (although they seemed to be more fascinated
with microfuge tubes); however, when I got a thank you note from them,
the thing that had caught their fancy was the "walk-in refrigerator"
(this was especially "cool").

reply to nishir at ohsu.edu
Rae Nishi, PhD
Dept. Cell & Developmental Biology
Oregon Health Sciences University
Portland Oregon 

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