Girls Rock At Science!

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Principessa, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. Principessa

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    Girls Make History by Sweeping Top Honors at a Science Contest
    By AMANDA MILLNER-FAIRBANKS

    Girls won top honors for the first time in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, one of the nation’s most coveted student science awards, which were announced yesterday at New York University.

    Janelle Schlossberger and Amanda Marinoff, both 17 and seniors at Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School on Long Island, split the first prize — a $100,000 scholarship — in the team category for creating a molecule that helps block the reproduction of drug-resistant tuberculosis bacteria.

    Isha Himani Jain, 16, a senior at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pa., placed first in the individual category for her studies of bone growth in zebra fish, whose tail fins grow in spurts, similar to the way children’s bones do. She will get a $100,000 scholarship.

    The three girls’ victories is “wonderful news, but I can’t honestly say it’s shocking,” said Nancy Hopkins, a biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    Dr. Hopkins helped start a national discussion about girls and science two years ago when she walked out of a talk by Harvard University’s president, Lawrence H. Summers, after he suggested that innate differences between men and women might be one reason that fewer women than men succeed in math and science careers. Dr. Summers apologized during the ensuing furor; he announced his resignation as Harvard’s president 13 months later.

    “Why do people think girls can’t do science?” Dr. Hopkins said yesterday. “Where did this crazy idea ever come from?”

    James Whaley, president of the Siemens Foundation, which oversees the competition for Siemens AG, a global electronics and engineering company, said the competition results send a great message to young women.

    Alicia Darnell, 17, a senior at Pelham Memorial High School in Pelham, N.Y., won second place and a $50,000 scholarship in the individual category for research that identified genetic defects that could play a role in the development of Lou Gehrig’s disease.

    The Siemens competition was first held in 1998 and is distinct from the Westinghouse Science Talent Search, which was founded in 1941 and is now known as the Intel Science Talent Search. Many high school students enter both.

    This year, more than 1,600 students nationwide entered the Siemens competition. After several rounds of judging, 20 finalists were chosen to present their projects at N.Y.U. and to vie for scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. Eleven of the finalists were girls. It was the first year that girls outnumbered boys in the final round. Most of the finalists attend public school.

    On Sunday, the students gave 12-minute presentations of their projects, filled with explanations about Herceptin resistance (when breast cancer patients with HER2-positive tumors do not respond to the drug Herceptin) and FtsZ inhibitors (experiments on a specific protein that could lead to a new treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis).

    One of the most popular was by three home-schooled girls from Pennsylvania and New Jersey — Caroline Lang, 16; Rebecca Ehrhardt, 15; and Naomi Collipp, 16 — who used a Power Point presentation to demonstrate their “Burgercam” monitoring system. It is designed to determine when E. coli bacteria in hamburgers have been safely eliminated by measuring the shrinkage of each patty when fully cooked.
    Several hundreds of hamburgers later, the girls took home fifth place and $20,000 in scholarship money.

    Caroline, Rebecca and Naomi, called “the Hamburger Girls,” said they had been friends since they were toddlers and had stayed in touch through a group for home-schooled children.

    “They were concerned it wasn’t sophisticated enough, but they wanted to try,” said Rebecca’s mother, Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt, a plasma physicist.
    Three-quarters of the finalists have a parent who is a scientist. The parents of Alicia Darnell, who won second place, are medical researchers at Rockefeller University, and her maternal grandparents were scientists, too. Isha Himani Jain, who took home the top individual prize, published her first research paper with her father, a professor at Lehigh University, when she was 10 or 11; her mother is a doctor.
    The Siemens Foundation arranged some sightseeing for the finalists — an outing to “The Lion King,” bowling at Chelsea Piers and a group picture on the JumboTron in Times Square.

    “It was the most fun I’ve ever had,” said Alexander C. Huang, 17, a senior at Plano Senior High School in Plano, Tex., who earned a $10,000 scholarship for research on combating jet lag.

    He said he enjoyed the opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded students. “The kid next to me was cracking math jokes,” Alexander said of the bus tour during his first night in New York. “They’re even a little bit nerdier than me.”
     
  2. D_Preasteman Breastemann

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    I rate anyone who sits and reads all of that!

    lol
     
  3. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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  4. SpeedoGuy

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    I'm dismayed whenever academic or scientific achievements are celebrated mainly due to gender. I'd prefer that gender distinctions remain irrelevant.
     
  5. D_golden parachute

    D_golden parachute New Member

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    Girls can be intelligent!?!?!?!?!


    No fucking way...
     
  6. whatireallywant

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    In an ideal world this would be the case, but there are too many people with attitudes like that former president of Harvard (the one who thought "innate differences explain why fewer women than men succeed in math and science careers", when actually, in my opinion it is attitudes like that that explains why! :eek:)

    I would like to see a time in which academic and scientific achievements are celebrated regardless of gender, and people would have an attitude that women can do these things just as well as men can. Until then, articles like this one will work to counter the people who don't think women can be as successful.
     
  7. tiff86

    tiff86 New Member

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    Yeah I like how they said most of the girls who won have a parent who is a scientist. My Dad is a science nerd, how come I suck at it?? :smile: :mad: :confused: That story was way cool tho.
     
  8. EagleCowboy

    EagleCowboy Well-Known Member

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    Most of the women I know are really very good at most any math. I would rather be taught any math by a woman vs. a man any day because I've found that they're just better at it.
    My stepmom and one of my best friends is a whiz at chemistry.

    Now if i could just get them to think in 3-D........................
     
  9. odd_fish_9

    odd_fish_9 New Member

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    This is a political statement, not a scientific one.

    Larry Summers had solid grounds for what he said, but too many simply don't want to hear it - Political Correctness at close to its worst. I'm disappointed to see that Nancy Hopkins is still around and spreading her "magical thinking" about as a substitute for a more rigorous scientific attitude. But keep in mind that at MIT the Biology department serves the same function as the Women's Studies departments at other schools.

    Another perfectly good theory for this trendy "girls excel at (fill in the blank)" is that we've spent the last thirty years turning all our schools into girls' schools, the profess surprise when we find that the boys are at best uninterested in, and at worst alienated by, their classes.
     
  10. Principessa

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    Are you sure he is your dad and that you aren't adopted? :tongue: There is another kinda crazy option . . . maybe you take after your mom in that regard. :biggrin1:
     
  11. D_Preasteman Breastemann

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    I can't believe people had the time to read this!!
    WOW!
    I just got back from the pub, what the fuck did you guys do with ur saturday night?

    PS:
    lol @ Geordie's comment. Love u dude!
     
  12. SpeedoGuy

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    I keep hearing this about public schools increasingly favoring girls over boys. I even started a thread about it last year:

    http://www.lpsg.org/30351-gender-gap-in-education.html

    Is there any real evidence to suggest that gains in girls' academic performance in the US is coming at the expense of boys'?

    Just interested.
     
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