Breaking Barriers: Women in Science

Friday 1/13/2012

Science Museum of Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota

Breaking Barriers: African American Women in Science was the first ScienceMakers public program of 2012. On Friday, January 13, the four scientists and the moderator convened in Discovery Hall to present first one at a time and then as a panel about their life and work. Dinner was served directly preceding the event. The moderator, Dr. Frank Snowden, Professor of Engineering at the University of Minnesota, focused on "The Double Bind" - a paper written by Shirley Malcom and two others about the cost of being a minority woman in science. Each woman explained the impact "the double bind" had on them as well as their first awakenings to science.  The Science Museum of Minnesota was one of ScienceMakers' science centers partners in 2012.


The participating scientists included:


      • Jeannette Brown, Chemist, Faculty Associate (formerly), Department of Pre-College Programs at the New Jersey Institute of Technology
      • Trachette Jackson, Professor of Mathematics, University of Michigan
      • Reatha Clark King, President & Executive Director (formerly), General Mills Foundation
      • Valerie Taylor, Professor of Computer Science, Texas A&M University
During the day program, ten students from the museum's Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center presented science proejcts they had been working on.  The projects ranged from wood fungus to cheek cells.  The scientists offered feedback on the students' projects as well as their scientific methods and were able to both see and try out the experiments for themselves.
About the Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center:

The KAYSC engages 100 youth yearly in grades 7-12 in out-of-school-time (OST) science programming afterschool, on Saturdays, and during the summer.  Programs target students from communities underrepresented in STEM disciplines:    
      • 75% of participants are from low-income families
      • 60% are girls
      • 90% are youth of color
For more information about the Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center, see their website.