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Ellen Freudenheim

Women's History Month 2013 Celebrates Gals in a Guys World: Math, Science, Engineering, Tech

By January 22, 2013

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The theme of Women's History Month 2013 is "Celebrating Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics."

Observed in March, Women's History Month 2013 offers public and private school teachers from kindergarten through college an immense opportunity to encourage girls in the sciences, to showcase women leaders, and to discuss the challenges -- perceived and real, internal and external -- to women making strides in these traditionally male occupational tracks.

Quite a number of  colleges in Brooklyn afford young women educational opportunities -- from the medical and health sciences program at Downstate to NYU-Polytechnic in Downtown Brooklyn, not to mention math programs at Brooklyn College, and  high school math and science programs at such prestigious public high schools as Midwood,  Brooklyn Tech and others.

But Brooklyn has a rep as a creative, arty, literary, foodie borough. (A quick Google search of "Brooklyn" +"mathematician" yields  the URL of a clothing store with the clever name, Dangerous Mathmeticians. Similarly, Google "Brooklyn" + "science" and one gets listings for the Bell House performance/lecture series titled The Secret Science Club.)

Let's hope that Borough President Markowitz  and Brooklyn's educational leaders take the opportunity of Women's History Month to explore how Brooklyn could do more to encourage women in the sciences. Are Brooklyn's schools training the next generation of female researchers, doctors, engineers and mathematicians?  Is there a prestigious, motivating award in Brooklyn for promising women in these fields, beyond students who happen to win the local science fair? Do little girls have role models for women scientists? Do we Brooklyn moms initiate math and science games with our daughters? Are we even discussing educational and career opportunities for girls in these fields?

One great start would be to support the idea, emanating from a Greenpoint community organization called Town Square, to build a  BROOKLYN SCIENCE & ART MUSEUM. They've had a few meetings;  info@townsquareinc.com.

This year's Women's History Month theme offers up a good challenge, for Brooklyn educators, the Brooklyn Public Library,  community leaders, parents and elected officials.



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