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WIST PURSE ANNA CAI

SENIOR THESIS1

PAUL CARLOS

FALL 2011 PUCD 4205 F

CRN: 5339


[Lisette, rainbeams.xanga.com]


My project seeks to encourage young girls to pursue careers/degrees in science and technology. Although this group is one of the fastest growing industries, it lacks a strong female voice. WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) is an organization that tries to increase the number of girls/ women pursing degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, while fostering their future success. Schools that try to teach these subjects, known as S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) schools, aim to help the nation’s youth to gain the skills required to succeed in today’s challenging world. This includes the ability to think critically, solve complex problems, and drive advancements in science and technology. While the future stability of our economy is unknown and we currently face an economic downturn, science and engineering jobs are growing 70% faster than other occupations. This means that those who pursue these fields will be at an advantage when competing for the high-tech, high-wage jobs of the future. The problem is that the percentage of women within these fields is not adequately represented, at less than 40%. In terms of well-known historical figures in the scientific community, Marie Curie was the first woman to earn a Noble Prize for both physics and chemistry, while Randice-Lisa Altschul invented the world’s first disposable cell phone. These women do not outnumber the percentage of men and are barely acknowledged as central figures in comparison to the number of men. More female role models need to be known and heard in order to motivate young girls into pursuing a better future for themselves. In order to change the status quo and to get girls motivated to create change, I will make a personal carrying bag (“tool kit”) that will help prepare, and hopefully inspire and inform, these girls. To appeal to a young target audience, the bag will contain items such as a phone, media player, wallet, keys, make-up, and stationary items. In thinking about the fields of science and technology, the items will also include a calculator, Swiss army knife, a USB thumb drive, and specimen samples that seek to inspire, such as mineral crystals. They will be both appealing and functional. The items will be branded to fit my kit and will contain both informative and inspirational phrases. The target demographic are girls between the ages of 15-18 that are still in high school who are looking to determine their futures and careers.


WISE (WOMEN IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING) Designed to increase the number of girls/women pursing degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics while fostering their future success. WOJ (WOMEN ON THE JOB) Non-profit advocacy & education project of the Long Island Fund for Women & Girls dedicated to the advancement of women in the workplace NOW (National Organization of Women) Aim to reach hearts and minds, break down barriers and promote understanding between cultures and genders and to empower women to make an even greater contribution to the local and national workforce 9TO5 Eliminating workplace discrimination through educating about legal rights on the job, monitoring enforcement agencies, and expanding antidiscrimination laws.

opportunities life choices broad, contextual, expectations, resources (differ by country, social group, cohort)

proximal environment (home, school, work, peers)

motivation, attitudes, interests, & activities (play, socializing, work, care giving)

math-verbal balance status (career: tenure, adjunct, STEM, not school gifted program, mainstream, remedial

published statistics bias

biological sex (genes, hormones)

tenure structure

assessed performance (grades, SATS, tenure evaluations, etc.)

work productivity stereotype threat

brain functioning, development (size, structure, etc.)

abilities (self discipline, problem solving, communication, organization, social, etc.)

gatekeeper test results


STEM (SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS) SCHOOL Focuses on these subjects to help the nation’s youth gain the skills required to succeed in today’s challenging world, to think critically, solve complex problems, and drive advancements in science and technology. While the future stability of our economy is unknown and we currently face an economic downturn, parents will take comfort in knowing that science and engineering jobs are growing 70%faster than other occupations. This means STEM School students will be at an advantage when competing for the high-tech, high-wage jobs of the future.

[ESA calculations from American Community Survey public-use microdata *estimates are for employed persons age 16 and over]


INTERVIEWS 1. What inspired you to go into your current field? Someone, something, or an experience? What’s your story? I am now a particle physicist, studying what matter is made of. This is something I always wanted to know, since I was 10 years old... God knows why!!! 2. What kind of items do you carry in your bag? I don’t carry a bag. But if I have my bicycle bag, I have a swiss army knife. This might be the object I have carried the most in my life. So I can always tinker with something. 3. What kind of items do you think should go into my promotional bag? Maybe some sort of multi-tool [to crack things open, to fix things]; a USB key? A smartphone so you can always check something on the internet... At least a nice little notebook, very small, but where you can note interesting things, maybe with some sort of a “magic” pen [like pen, flashlight and USB in one]. You could also put samples of special chemicals or interesting crystals. 4. What keeps you motivated? The possibility of contributing to elucidate how it all works. Crack open some of the mysteries of the universe, like dark matter... 5. The field of science and technology seems fairly male-dominated. What keeps you going when it seems that there isn’t a strong female voice? How do you get your voice heard? Having female scientists friends who are also feminists helps a lot. 6. Did you start thinking about your future career goals at a young age? Maybe in high school or later on in life? At age 10, I wanted to be a chemistry professor. But then I was socially discouraged from doing it until I was an adult, and became a re-entry student.

---Pauline Gagnon [CERN, European Organization for Nuclear Research]


[fashionable, designer leather bags]


[fashionable, designer leather bags]


[suitcase with specialized pockets and compartments]

[inside of suitcase or purse, items in purse]


[solar-paneled purse]

[led light purse, plastic material, white/clear]


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Anna Cai Thesis  

Women In Science and Technology

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