For Girls and Young Women
Girls and women interested in exploring careers in science might be interested in visiting the following sites.
Summer and math camps
Many colleges and universities offer summer science opportunities for middle school and high school girls as well as coed opportunities. Here's a sampler of summer science activities for girls:
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Girls in Science Programs North Carolina's Girls in Science Statewide Project provides sixth-grade girls with hands-on experience with living things, along with interaction with female science mentors. In addition, Outdoor Ed-ventures, six-day residential science camps for seventh-grade girls, provide campers with canoeing, rafting, camping and hiking experiences.
The USC Summer Science Program
The program is designed to engage middle school girls in hands-on scientific exploration and give students the opportunity to explore science as they interact with undergraduate and graduate students in various scientific fields and with women already engaged in careers in environmental, biological and physical sciences.
Girlstart Summer Camps
The Girls' Technology Center in Austin, Texas, offers weeklong day-camp programs in which girls aged 10 to 15 explore science, math, engineering and technology concepts.
Additional fun math, science and technology websites for girls and young women:
Design Your Future: Math, Science and Technology for Girls
This educational initiative, created and maintained by an AutoDesk-a software design firm, includes a Cool Links section packed with information about math, science, technology, online fun and organizations for girls and women role models.
The Association for Women in Science and Engineering (AWISE)
AWiSE is a multi-disciplinary membership organization composed of individuals, businesses, associations, institutions and other organizations, all of whom share the common goal of advancing the interests of women in science, engineering and technology.
MentorNet is the award-winning nonprofit e-mentoring network that addresses the retention and success of those in engineering, science and mathematics, particularly but not exclusively women. Founded in 1997, MentorNet provides highly motivated protégés from many of the world's top colleges and universities with positive, one-on-one, email-based mentoring relationships with mentors from industry and academia. In addition, the MentorNet Community provides opportunities to connect with others from around the world that are interested in diversifying engineering and science.
Studying science offers some of the most exciting, innovative and powerful skills available for understanding, working and living in our ever-changing world.
A World of Opportunities and Discovery
If you pursue a career in science, your studies can take you from the inner workings of the invisible microbial world to the surface of colossal asteroids orbiting in outer space, from the complex insides of new hybrid cars to the eye of the most ferocious hurricanes.
You can delve into the physical, chemical and biological secrets of life on the planet-and find yourself traveling from order to chaos and back-all in the course of one day.
Importantly, you can gain skills that will help you devise creative solutions and join your ideas with the world's best and brightest to tackle some of today's most challenging environmental problems.
The Scientific Method of Inquiry
Scientists use a type of methodology known as the scientific method of inquiry. Studying and practicing the scientific method develops not only your investigative skills but also trains you in diverse laboratory and field techniques and teaches you essential tools for critical analysis and communication. These skills will be vital throughout your entire life.
While no single scientific method fits all scientific inquiries, there are a number of features common to all scientific endeavors:
- All good scientific inquiry stems from asking a compelling and testable question.
- Answering that question requires the careful collection of data through precise observation and if possible measurement.
- The next step involves reviewing these data and using this evidence to develop new ideas and form new informed hypotheses. All good hypotheses should offer testable predictions.
- Scientists should also seek alternative explanations to explain their observations--formulating multiple working hypotheses during their investigations.
- Once a discovery is made, scientists communicate their findings to others and their results are peer-reviewed by the scientific community before being accepted.
The beauty and power of the scientific method of inquiry is that from your discoveries new answers emerge as well as more profound questions. From these new questions, you can continue to build on humanity's robust foundation of discovery and experimentation and learn how best to adapt to our ever-changing world.
Give it a try
Boundless opportunities exist for all ages interested in studying science. The Strange Days on Planet Earth consortium of aquariums, zoos and science centers offers a great place to start:
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Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Aquarium of the Pacific
Long Beach, CA
Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Los Angeles, CA
California Science Center
Los Angeles, CA
Monterey Bay Aquarium
The Florida Aquarium
Audubon Institute / Aquarium of the Americas
New Orleans, LA
Maryland Science Center
New England Aquarium
Missouri Botanical Garden
St. Louis, MO
New York Aquarium
New York, NY
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Columbus Zoo and Botanical Gardens
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Fort Worth Zoo
Fort Worth, TX
Woodland Park Zoo
To find hands-on science centers across the country, visit the Association of Science and Technology Centers website .