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Girls Explore Future Careers in Math and Science

March 19, 2007 -- To increase their interest in math and science—and help expand their future career options—Mount Saint Mary’s University hosted hundreds of middle school girls from throughout Los Angeles at a series of workshops on March 17.

The 28th annual Expanding Your Horizons in Science and Mathematics Career Conference was sponsored by Math/Science Interchange (MSI), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting science and math education for girls. The event was held at MSMU's Doheny Campus near downtown Los Angeles.

The conference is designed to close the gap for women and minorities who are typically underrepresented in the fields of math, science, and engineering. Studies show that girls often lose interest in and stop taking math and science courses earlier than boys. The long-term result is that girls have fewer career options available to them.

Twenty-five Los Angles-area women who work in math and science careers presented hands-on workshops for conference participants. Girls in grades 5 through 8 chose from workshops about such diverse fields as theoretical physics, engineering, chemistry, and veterinary medicine. The workshops delved into information like:
* how police discover and analyze evidence to solve crimes
* how civil engineers create asphalt using chocolate, peanut butter, nuts, and coconut,
* how engineers send satellites to outer space, and
* how doctors learn about anatomy through dissection.

The conference also included an adult program for parents, teachers, and school counselors with workshops on how to nurture prospective young scientists and how to obtain financial aid for college.

Organizers of the event include women working in math and science research and education at institutions including Mount Saint Mary’s University, RAND Corporation, Cal State Northridge, UCLA, and St. Jude Medical Center.

To contact event organizers, call Eleanor Siebert, MSMU provost and an MSI board member, at 310.954.4015 or Carol Fan, MSI board member, at 310.393.0411, ext. 6271.

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