Last week, a group of young women waded through a creek and toiled in a computer lab to experience science first-hand as participants of the Young Women’s Summer Institute.
OSC Young Women's Summer Institute Class of 2010
OSC Young Women's Summer Institute students visit the Big Darby Watershed.
On Saturday, the 15 middle-school girls celebrated their many accomplishments at a final ceremony attended by parents, teachers and staff at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC). YWSI was designed by OSC to help young women develop a deeper interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, by solving a practical, interesting scientific problem.
During the week, students conducted hands-on, streamside quality monitoring and chemical testing of Darby Creek, a state and national scenic river just southeast of Columbus. They then analyzed their samples with the latest in computer technology, comparing their results with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency data for their small-group watershed projects. Participants also interacted with successful women scientists to learn about their professional contributions to math, engineering and science fields.
Throughout the weeklong residential program, students shared in activities at OSC, took field trips to the creek and specialized Ohio State University facilities and stayed in residence halls on the OSU campus.
“YWSI provides girls with not only the skills, but also the confidence, to pursue science and technology fields,” said Kathryn Kelley, director of YWSI. “If this class’s enthusiasm and proficiency during the activities are a good indication, they stand to make strong contributions in these fields in the not-too-distant future.”
Through annual surveys and longitudinal studies conducted in 2004 and 2010, YWSI participants have indicated that they learn a great deal from the program. One participant commented in her final program evaluation, “I liked everything! I especially liked the way it was designed so that we got to experience many different types of science, the way we got to explore OSU and how we learned so much!”
Five teachers selected for the program also benefited by gaining practical experience in project-based teaching, using real data to teach and conduct research and learning to effectively integrate technology into classroom activities.
YWSI is a program of the Center’s Ralph Regula School of Computational Science and was sponsored this year by Battelle, American Electric Power, P&G and OSC. For more information about the YWSI program for sixth and seventh grade girls, please visit www.ywsi.org.
Editors: The list below, arranged by last name, identifies the students and teachers who participated in YWSI.
2010 YWSI participating students:
Caitlyn Baird, Benjamin Logan Middle School
Ellen Butts, Hilliard Weaver Middle School
Bailey Eckerle, Plains School
Becina Ganther, Jones Middle School
Madysen George, Davis Middle School
Jenna Hardin, Benjamin Logan Middle School
Jane Kelleher, Wilson Hill Elementary
Christina Liu, Worthingway Middle School
Aubrey Milligan, Bowling Green Middle School
Sonia Pattisam, Davis Middle School
Rachel Reinhart, Hilliard Tharp School
Aarathi Sahadevan, Cincinnati Country Day School
Elli Schwartz, Dominion Middle School
Kirsten Simpson, Cincinnati Country Day
Deepthi Tumuluri, Karrer Middle School
2010 YWSI participating teachers:
Luna Alsharaiha, St. Michael School
Kasey Harris, Alexander High School
Kristi Krupp, Bowling Green Middle School
Jenny Lang, Alexander High School
Jill Prout, Upper Arlington City Schools
Paula Williams, Bowling Green Middle School (lead teacher
The Ohio Supercomputer Center is a catalytic partner of Ohio universities and industries that provides a reliable high performance computing infrastructure for a diverse statewide/regional community. OSC promotes and stimulates computational research and education in order to act as a key enabler for the state's aspirations in advanced technology, information systems, and advanced industries. For additional information, visit http://www.osc.edu