Science on the Move



Susan Fisher


University of Massachusetts

Amherst, MA  01003



Nearly a decade after the publication of the powerful study, How Schools Short Change Girls: The AAUW Report, much has been written about how boys and girls are treated differently in the classroom.  Researchers have looked at how this difference affects the choices students make in terms of what classes they will take in high school and what areas of study they will pursue in college and eventually for a career.  During my last semester of the M.Ed. program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst I undertook an independent study project.  The main emphasis of this project was to connect middle school girls with local women who have careers in the sciences.  It was my intention that by allowing  students to interact directly with these female role models the students would be able to ask the questions that mattered to them, "what is it like to be a woman doctor?", "why did you decide to become a mechanical engineer?".  It was my hope that by visiting the places these women work, and by hearing their stories, the middle school girls might begin to realize that one of these careers in science might be right for them.  Additionally, I hoped these students would recognize there are many ways to get to an end result;  that when you decide that this is who you are and that this is what you want to do with your life, no one and nothing is going to stand in your way.  All things, all dreams truly are possible.