Virginia University at Parkersburg
WVU Parkersburg Receives $30,000 National Science Foundation grant
Contacts: Joyce Kronberg, WVU Parkersburg, 304-424-8226; Toni Devore, Wood County Schools, 304-420-9663; Mickie Richardson, Williamstown High School, 304-375-6151; Katrina Andrew, Ritchie County Middle School, 304-869-3526.
West Virginia University at Parkersburg is the recipient of a $30,000 National Science Foundation grant designed to encourage area female students to pursue science and math careers.
The project features a partnership of WVU Parkersburg with Williamstown High School and Ritchie County High School.
Entitled "Moving Mountains: A Strategy to Facilitate Appalachian Womenís Pursuit of Science and Math Careers," the 12-month project will seek to impact how young women perceive careers in science and mathematics and encourage their pursuit of a college education in these studies
"One of the most exciting experiences that a female high school student interested in the sciences can have is one that involves interaction with a teacher and peers in a group setting participating in a scientific project," WVU Parkersburg President Erik Bitterbaum said.
"Our premise is simple: to engage female high school students in interesting and challenging research while providing a supportive environment and removing barriers to pursuit of math or science careers," Bitterbaum noted.
The project will offer the opportunity for up to 40 9-12th grade women at Williamstown and Ritchie County high schools to participate in an after school science/math program. Each participant will receive a graphing calculator to use in data collection and analysis. The project will involve mentoring, peer groups and hands-on experience with original research, such as analyzing data in a simulated crime scene.
"The project is designed to develop strategies to encourage women in Appalachia to pursue a college education as well as a career in the sciences," Bitterbaum noted. "Our team of female scientists will examine the impact of establishing strong mentoring programs as the key to recruit and retain women students in the sciences."
Serving as the principle investigator for the project is Joyce Kronberg, professor of biology. The projectís lead teachers are Mickie Richardson of Williamstown High School and Katrina Andrew of Ritchie County Middle School. Four WVU Parkersburg women undergraduate science majors will serve as the projectís science mentors.
The "Moving Mountains" planning grant is the first step in developing a full NSF proposal to include additional public schools in partnership with WVU Parkersburg, college officials noted.
( Project Abstract: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/servlet/showaward?award=0120762 )
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