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Monmouth gets grant to educate girls in science

April 15, 2011

The National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) has been making an effort to raise young girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). This year, a summer program for College for Kids will be funded by a grant given to Monmouth from the NGCP and the IL-IA American Chemical Society.

The grant given to Monmouth College from the two organizations will help fund $2,150 worth of expenses for a course two of Monmouth’s professors designed. The grant money will also help pay part of the tuition for the first forty girls to sign up for the course. Mathematics and computer science professor Joanne Eary and assistant professor of chemistry Audra Sostarecz wrote the course for Monmouth’s “Involving Girls at the Math/Science Interface” plan.

Eary and Sostarecz will both be teaching the summer course together and plan to use several hands-on activities. They hope to include a forensics crime scene investigation and also hope this course will lead them to encourage others to participate in the sciences.

Sostarecz explains that through her classes, she has had the opportunity to see kids enjoy science first hand and hopes to keep these young girls interested in science.

“As the co-advisor of the American Chemical Society Club at Monmouth,” explained Sostarecz, “I have gone with our students to the local schools to present demonstrations to the students and it is always exciting and fulfilling to see young students interested in science.

“I am also looking forward to helping the residents of the Women in Science House plan some events next year for female students in our local schools.”

Besides wanting to keep the girls interested in science, Sostarecz has an even bigger goal.

“It is our goal to give these girls every opportunity to become the next women in science,” said Sostarecz.

The only guidelines for the summer program that Eary and Sostarecz must follow is the STEM program, serve girls, and be administered by at least two collaborating organizations. The course plans to involve not only hands-on activities but research-based projects, evaluations, and assessments.

BY STEVIE CROISANT
Contributing Writer

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