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
Researchers have looked at how this difference affects the choices
students make in terms of what classes they will take in high school and
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
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
would be able to ask the questions that mattered to them, "what is it
to be a woman doctor?", "why did you decide to become a mechanical
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
of these careers in science might be right for them.
Additionally, I hoped these students would recognize there are many
to get to an end result;
that when you decide that this is who you are and that this is what
want to do with your life, no one and nothing is going to stand in your
All things, all dreams truly are possible.