May 26, 2005: Headlines: Figures: COS - Sierra Leone: Staff: Science: Space: VOA: Mae Jemison says the survey also found a bias that may discourage young women from considering science studies

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Sierra Leone: Special Report: Sierra Leone Peace Corps Medical Officer and NASA Mission Specialist Dr. Mae Jemison: February 9, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: Staffer Mae Jemison : May 26, 2005: Headlines: Figures: COS - Sierra Leone: Staff: Science: Space: VOA: Mae Jemison says the survey also found a bias that may discourage young women from considering science studies

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 1:22 pm: Edit Post

Mae Jemison says the survey also found a bias that may discourage young women from considering science studies

Mae Jemison says the survey also found a bias that may discourage young women from considering science studies

Mae Jemison says the survey also found a bias that may discourage young women from considering science studies

Survey: Minority Students Key to Maintaining US Edge in Science
By Barbara Schoetzau
New York
26 May 2005

A new nationwide survey of minority parents underscores concerns that the United States risks losing its competitive edge unless more women and minority students pursue careers in science and engineering.

The under-representation of women, African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans in science and engineering fields has been well documented. At the same time, fewer students are pursuing careers in those fields.

The situation has led the National Science Foundation to warn that U.S. leadership in science and engineering could be threatened unless personnel trends change.

Some experts believe that the United States can remain competitive by encouraging more girls and under-represented minorities to study science and engineering.

The new survey by the Bayer Corporation focuses on parental attitudes towards science education and finds that 90 percent of those surveyed think their children can do well in science. But spokesperson Mae Jemison says the survey also found a bias that may discourage young women from considering science studies.

"Parents thought that there were greater challenges to girls in science, about a 10 percent spread. They also were less confident about girls doing as well in sciences, that is, their daughters doing well, than their sons," she said.

According to the survey's findings, misunderstanding about educational requirements are another obstacle. Ms. Jemison, the first African-American woman astronaut, says 50 percent of the parents surveyed thought advanced degrees were necessary for jobs in science and engineering fields.

"They did not recognize, for instance, that the person who dressed me in my space shuttle suit, who took care of all my equipment, that is a science and engineering career and they did not have a college degree, but they were science literate," she noted.

Still, the 1,000 parents surveyed said science education, particularly in elementary school, is key to ensuring that more women and minorities enter science and engineering fields. Ms. Jemison says the majority of the parents recommended a more hands-on approach to science education, helping students learn science concepts instead of facts and figures.

"The overwhelming majority of parents said science needs to be taught hands-on," she explained. "That is, you need to wire a flashlight in order to understand electricity. They also recommended that science get more emphasis in the classroom. They also made recommendations that the scientific industry get the word out more about the jobs and opportunities there are in the science fields and that you do not require a Ph.D. to do everything."

The survey was sponsored by the Bayer Corporation as part of its program called Making Science Make Sense. The program encourages scientists working for the healthcare corporation to volunteer in their local communities, working with students and teachers in schools, conducting experiments, and serving as judges at science fairs.

Bayer company spokesperson Sarah Toulouse says more than 1,000 employee volunteers currently participate in the program. She says one popular experiment uses one of the Bayer Corporation's best-known products, the antacid tablet Alka Seltzer, to teach children about pressure and chemical reactions.

"We give them a canister and we fill it up with a little bit of water and we have them drop a piece of the Alka Seltzer tablet into the film canister, put the lid on the top, shake it up a little bit," she said. "They can experiment to see how high the film canister goes based on how much water they put into it or how much Alka Seltzer they put into it. So they really have to think like a scientist and observe what happened and make predictions and evaluate what they see".

Ms. Toulouse says the Bayer Corporation hopes the survey results will lead to a national forum to encourage science education and parent participation.

When this story was posted in May 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
The Peace Corps Library Date: March 27 2005 No: 536 The Peace Corps Library
Peace Corps Online is proud to announce that the Peace Corps Library is now available online. With over 30,000 index entries in 500 categories, this is the largest collection of Peace Corps related stories in the world. From Acting to Zucchini, you can find hundreds of stories about what RPCVs with your same interests or from your Country of Service are doing today. If you have a web site, support the "Peace Corps Library" and link to it today.

Top Stories and Breaking News PCOL Magazine Peace Corps Library RPCV Directory Sign Up

May 7, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: May 7 2005 No: 583 May 7, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
"Peace Corps Online" on recess until May 21 7 May
Carol Bellamy taking the reins at World Learning 7 May
Gopal Khanna appointed White House CFO 7 May
Clare Bastable named Conservationist of the Year 7 May
Director Gaddi Vasquez visits PCVs in Bulgaria 5 May
Abe Pena sets up scholarship fund 5 May
Peace Corps closes recruiting sites 4 May
Hill pessimistic over Korean nuclear program 4 May
Leslie Hawke says PC should split into two organizations 4 May
Peace Corps helps students find themselves 3 May
Kevin Griffith's Tsunami Assistance Project collects 50k 3 May
Tim Wright studied Quechua at UCLA 2 May
Doyle not worried about competition 2 May
Dodd discusses President's Social Security plan 1 May
Randy Mager works in Blue Moon Safaris 1 May
PCVs safe in Togo after disputed elections 30 Apr
Michael Sells teaches Islamic History and Literature 28 Apr

May 7, 2005:  Special Events Date: May 7 2005 No: 582 May 7, 2005: Special Events
"Iowa in Ghana" on exhibit in Waterloo through June 30
"American Taboo" author Phil Weiss in Maryland on June 18
Leland Foerster opens photo exhibition at Cal State
RPCV Writers scholarship in Baltimore - deadline June 1
Gary Edwards' music performed in Idaho on May 24
RPCVs: Post your stories or press releases here for inclusion next week.

Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000  strong Date: April 2 2005 No: 543 Friends of the Peace Corps 170,000 strong
170,000 is a very special number for the RPCV community - it's the number of Volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps since 1961. It's also a number that is very special to us because March is the first month since our founding in January, 2001 that our readership has exceeded 170,000. And while we know that not everyone who comes to this site is an RPCV, they are all "Friends of the Peace Corps." Thanks everybody for making PCOL your source of news for the Returned Volunteer community.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: VOA

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Figures; COS - Sierra Leone; Staff; Science; Space



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.