What do you know about Rosalind Franklin? Chances are that you didn't read about her in school. However, she made some very important contributions to our world! You see...Rosalind Franklin was a crystallographer. Her work helped to uncover the detailed structures of coal, graphite, viruses, and DNA. In fact, the work she did on DNA allowed James D. Watson and Francis Crick to develop their model of the structure of DNA in 1953. You know...that double-helix we all build with toothpicks and gumdrops in school. It earned Watson and Crick a place in every biology textbook since and a Nobel Prize, which they shared with Maurice Wilkins. Unfortunately, very few people know about the contributions of Dr. Franklin.
Rosalind Franklin is just one example of the ways in which women have contributed to the fields of science, engineering, and mathematics. Despite these success stories, however, women are still severely underrepresented in the engineering profession. In fact, research shows that girls and young women lose interest in subjects and the fields of study leading to engineering careers long before they enter college.
Enter Introduce a Girl To Engineering Day! The program - an outgrowth of the first National Engineers Week Diversity Summit, held in October 1999 - aims to mobilize women and men in an effort to connect girls in K-12 schools to careers in engineering. The program is supported by universities and private organization such as ExxonMobil, The Motorola Solutions Foundation, The National Coalition of Girls' Schools, SciGirls, and The Society of Women Engineers.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Introduce A Girl To Engineering Day and as a part of the anniversary celebration there is a special 10 for 10 anniversary campaign. The goal of 10 for 10 is to generate interests in engineering careers by giving 10,000 10-year-old girls a positive engineering experience. The campaign launches nationally on February 24, 2011 and runs for 10 weeks, concluding on May 8, Mother’s Day. You can read more about the campaign and find out how you can be involved at at www.eweek.org or simply click here.
Other interesting sites:
- Association for Women in Science (www.awis.org)
- I Was Wondering: A Curious Look At Women's Adventures in Science (www.iwaswondering.org)