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The Best of Our Knowledge # 933

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wamc/local-wamc-736877.mp3

Albany, NY – NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION SERIES

THE SOUNDS OF PROGRESS: THE CHANGING ROLE OF GIRLS AND WOMEN IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

GENDER DIFFERENCES IN SCIENCE AND MATH: DIVERSITY AND THE ROLE OF SOCIAL CONTEXT -

It seems not so long ago that advanced math and science courses in high
school were predominately the domain of boys. But as times changed, and
more girls started taking these tougher courses, their friendship groups'
became an important part of the equation, so to speak.

According to research findings from the University of Texas at Austin, having
high-performance, same-sex friends is beneficial for girls whose high school friendships can promote academic success. And since advanced math and science courses can be a prerequisite to careers in STEM - science, technology, engineering and math, high school course selection is crucial.

These findings were put into practice this past year at a new all-girls middle school. And just released test scores seem to validate research conclusions. Fully 98% of 7th grade girls, and 99% of 6th grade girls passed their math tests,
far outperforming the entire school district.

Larry Schooler reports from the University of Texas at Austin. (14:36)

Featured in the above story are:
Dr. Chandra Muller, Principal Investigator, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Texas at Austin; Dr. Catherine Riegle-Crumb, Co-PI and Assistant Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, UT, Austin, Texas; Keith Robinson, Sociology Professor, Research Team Member, UT; Kelly Raley, Sociology Professor, Research Team Member, UT; Shama Lakshmanan, STEM Teacher, Middle School Teacher of the Year, Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, a new all-girls middle school, Austin, Texas; Anna Hernandez, 7th grader, Ann Richards School

The preceding material is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant HRD 0631603. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this story are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.

If you would like to hear this story again, or other similar stories in our exclusive documentary radio series, see pictures related to the stories, and links to research reported on, visit our dedicated website at www.womeninscience.org, then click on The Sounds of Progress button.

GUEST ESSAY:
HIGHER EDUCATION SHOULD LINK WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT TO ECONOMIC NEEDS" -

Recent graduates can likely testify that in some areas of the economy, jobs
may be hard to come by right now. This is the subject of our guest essay
today from Dr. Bilita Mattes, Associated Provost of Strategic Markets at Harrisburg University of Science and Technology in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Bilita Mattes comments. (3:56)