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February 2004 | Volume 61 | Number 5
Improving Achievement in Math and Science
Angela B. Ginorio, Janice Fournier and Katie Frevert
An innovative program inspired girls in rural areas to use science to address local issues through long-term research projects.
Twelve years ago, the Rural Girls in Science Program at the University of Washington set out to foster an interest in science among high school girls in rural areas. Our goal was to inspire girls' commitment to science and to heighten their awareness of its usefulness in their communities. With different sources of funding and varying emphases, the program is still in progress, recently expanding to include boys from rural areas.
The National Science Foundation funded one phase of the program, which targeted populations typically underrepresented in the sciences, especially girls in rural schools serving American Indian, Latina, and white students of Washington State. All but one of the participating schools served fewer than 400 students, and approximately one-third of the schools included more than grades 9–12. We asked the schools' science teachers to distribute applications in English and Spanish to girls who had demonstrated academic potential but were not A students and who appeared to need a nudge to get going. As we reviewed student essays and the teachers' recommendations, we looked for girls in the “invisible middle” who had not had the opportunity to attend a science camp or build a science portfolio.
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Copyright © 2004 by Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
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