Positive Role Models: Junior and Senior High School Girls Hear From Women Science and Math Professionals at Boise Event

Wednesday, March 25 2009

March 25, 2009

NOTE TO MEDIA: Bridges to Math and Science is open to the media. Please contact University Communications to confirm your coverage of this event, (208) 885-6567.

BOISE, Idaho – The University of Idaho will host nearly 100 seventh and 10th grade girls for the third annual Bridges to Careers in Math and Science event on Thursday, April 2, in Boise.

Despite progress in this area, fewer women than men are choosing careers in most fields related to mathematics and the physical and life sciences. The Bridges to Careers event targets girls at a pivotal time in their learning and education to give them insights into the potential for studies and careers in math and science.

“The economic strength and quality of life in the U.S. is strongly dependent on innovations in science and technology. Yet, the U.S. faces a dearth of young people entering technical fields,” said Scott Wood, dean of the University of Idaho College of Science. “Women have been – and continue to be – underrepresented in these areas. The Women in Science and Mathematics program is designed to encourage young women to continue with or start courses of study in science and mathematics.”

Wood said the program provides young women with access to successful female role models and exposure to real-world research questions and approaches.

The morning session is designed for seventh grade students, with approximately six students from each junior high school in the Boise School District expected to attend. The afternoon session is designed for 10th grade students, with approximately 12 students from each high school expected to attend.

Joint keynote addresses will be delivered by A. Patrice Burgess and Kathy Peter at 8:50 a.m. and 12:10 p.m. Burgess is a family medicine doctor and the University of Idaho’s special assistant to the provost for medical education. Peter recently retired as director of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Idaho Water Science Center.

Students will participate in a water-quality testing experiment to analyze and compare the properties of water samples from a variety of sources. Julie Scanlin, outreach coordinator for the Idaho Water Resources Research Institute and director of Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), and Peter from USGS will lead the activity.

Women in Science and Mathematics is cosponsored by the University of Idaho Boise Center, the University of Idaho College of Science and the Boise School District. It takes place at the Idaho Water Center, 322 E. Front St. in Boise. For more information, call (208) 364-4082.
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 150 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu

Media Contacts: Ken Kingery, University Communications, (208) 885-9156, kkingery@uidaho.edu; or Wendi Secrist, program director, Boise Center (208) 364-4082, wendis@uidaho.edu

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps 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. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu.