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girls and K-12 science education

wijsman at max.u.washington.edu wijsman at max.u.washington.edu
Sun Jan 17 20:41:45 EST 1993

Dear netters - 

I am a research scientist on the faculty at the University of
Washington.  I have recently begun to work on science instruction with
a group of teachers in one of our local elementary schools.  I have
posted a more general message and request for discussion to
bionet.general on the topic of what and how can we effectively
participate in science education, and what should be our goals.   I am
interested (at the moment) in trying to use these discussions to
general practical approaches which we can try to bring to a small
group of elementary school teachers.  On a more long-term basis, I
figure that any input from us, the scientists, into local science
instruction at the pre-college level also provides the opportunity to
try to influence things so that we attract more girls into one or
another area of science (and also math!). 

I would like to solicit discussion in THIS newsgroup on the topic of
how we get and keep more girls in the pipeline, including any ideas
people might have on approaches to science which specifically
encourage the girls, encouragement or discouragement they can remember
from their early years, etc. The issues here are probably more 
international that issues of how to teach science in general, so I
welcome views from my colleagues who are not in the U.S., too.  It is
possible that some contrasts with issues that arise in the U.S. vs.
outside the U.S. could shed some light on what keeps girls interested
in science. 

Because I am at the moment working with elementary school teachers, I
am immediately interested in any experience that readers of this
newsgroup might have in (1) encouraging an interest in science among
young girls, and (2) events in personal lives which contributed to an
interest and the pursuit of an scientific career since presumably,
most of the readers of this newsgroup are those who did not lose
interest in the field.  I do not want to limit discussion to female
readers, however, since events which keep or get the boys interested
in science which are absent from the girls' lives might be highly

Ellen M. Wijsman
Div. of Medical Genetics, RG-25
and Dept. of Biostatistics
University of Washington
Seattle, WA   98195
wijsman at u.washington.edu

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