November 12, 2019

Super Science Saturday Inspires Young Women

Jessica Sullivan-Brown, assistant professor of biology, with “scientists in training.”On Saturday, Nov. 9, nearly 50 girls in grades 6-12 who are interested in the sciences conducted hands-on experiments and projects at West Chester University’s Super Science Saturday.

Organizer Karen Schwarz, astronomer and associate professor in WCU’s Earth and Space Sciences Department, recruited some of the University’s other women faculty scientists (plus two women engineers) as teachers and mentors who helped these young “scientists in training” explore biology, chemistry, math, physics, and engineering.

“Studies have shown that girls start to lose interest in science as they enter middle school,” Schwarz noted. “Our goal is to educate girls about the various careers that are available in the STEM fields [science, technology, engineering, math] and show them that science can be fun!”

She succeeded, according this participant who wrote on the exit survey: “I loved seeing how successful and amazing [the faculty scientists] are. I love science and I hope I always will. It was super fun.”

“I had several parents tell me how much they appreciated having a program like this for their daughters -- or granddaughters,” Schwarz reported. “One high school student asked me how she could get in touch with the WCU faculty members [biology faculty Jessica Schedlbauer and Jennifer Chandler] who ran one of the sessions because she was interested in learning more about ecology. Her mom told me that she was so pleased to see her daughter find something she could be passionate about.”


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