UI Coeur d’Alene to Host Women in Science

Thursday, September 26 2013

COEUR D’ ALENE, Idaho – Women in Science Day will bring about 200 high school sophomores together at the University of Idaho Coeur d’Alene Center on Oct. 1- 2. The program is designed to inspire young women to pursue careers in STEM areas (science, technology, engineering and math).

“Girls do as well or better than boys on science and math standardized tests through middle and high school, but fewer of them show interest in fields once they get to college,” said Mark Nielsen, associate dean of the UI College of Science. “In fact, even though more young women now go on to college than young men, they are still underrepresented in a lot of STEM majors. With a projected shortage of science and math expertise in the U.S. workforce, we need to motivate more young women to choose STEM careers.”

Women in Science is a hands-on learning program to expose high school sophomores to the application of science in the real world and show them its relevance to their lives and the community.

“As a society we are dependent on materials and natural resources with current manufacturing practices. Students will learn the science and engineering behind ensuring one of our most valuable resources, water, is environmentally sustainable,” said Anne Kern, associate professor of science education.

As water quality is a global and local issue, the program focuses on regional water quality. Participants will learn about water quality monitoring and testing, and perform experiments and simulations while mentored by female scientists from both the academic and private sectors.

Women in Science Day is a partnership between the University of Idaho and North Idaho College, which has been held in Coeur d’Alene for six years.

"I hope the young women walk away thinking science is more than facts, theories, laws, test tubes and stethoscopes. It's about doing, and they can do it,” said Kern.

Teachers recommend students to participate in Women in Science Day based on their interest and aptitude in the STEM areas. Students from Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls, Lake Pend Oreille, Boundary County, West Bonner, Lakeland, Kellogg and Plummer/Worley school districts will attend the program.
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The University of Idaho inspires students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Through the university’s $225 million Inspiring Futures capital campaign, private giving will enhance student learning, faculty research and innovation, and a spirit of enterprise. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.

Media Contact: Andrea Thomas, University Communications, (208) 242-1401, andreat@uidaho.edu