October 5, 2001

The Sally Ride Science Club

supporting girls in science

Did you know that in elementary school, roughly the same number of girls and boys are interested in science and math? But beginning in about sixth grade, more girls than boys drift away from these subjects. One consequence of this leaky pipeline is that women remain underrepresented in most technical professions-while our nation's need for scientists and engineers remains unmet. Fueled by her passion for science, former astronaut Sally Ride has created the first national club dedicated to supporting girls in their exploration of the exciting universe of science and technology.

The mission of the Sally Ride Science Club is to keep middle school girls engaged in science adventures by connecting them to people, information, and attitudes that will nurture their relationship with science at a critical time in their lives and encourage them to reach for the stars! The club will hosts its first community science festival, which provides a way for these connections to be made on the local level, on Saturday, October 6, on the University of San Diego campus.

The San Diego Science Festival for middle school girls (and their parents and teachers as well) is presented in association with the University of San Diego and is sponsored by International Rectifier, the oldest dedicated semiconductor manu-facturer in the world, which is headquartered in El Segundo, Calif. The festival will feature two identical half-day sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The $10 registration fee includes full participation in the festival, materials and souvenirs.

Highlights of the Sally Ride Science Club's San Diego Festival include:

• Keynote addresses by Sally Ride

• More than 20 hands-on, creative and fun science, math and tech-related Discovery Workshops for girls including: "Colorful Chemistry"; "Scientific Sleuths"; and "A Vision of Earth"

• Helpful workshops for parents and educators such as: "Making the Grade: A Step-by-Step Guide to Funding College Education" and "The `Trek' to Gender Equality: How are We Doing?"

• A festive "Street Fair" atmosphere providing opportunities for girls to connect with like-minded friends (old and new), network with professional women in the diverse fields of science, explore possible vocations, visit booths sponsored by local organizations, and enjoy entertainment, food, and science-related shopping options.

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