The Best of Our Knowledge
Mon December 5, 2005
The Best of Our Knowledge # 794
Albany, NY – NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION SERIES
POWERFUL SIGNALS: TRANSFORMING THE ROLE OF
WOMEN AND GIRLS IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
GEMS: GIRLS EXCELLING IN MATH AND SCIENCE
FAIRFAX COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, VIRGINIA -
Just three weeks ago, International Education Week was celebrated.
This year's theme was International Education: Improving Student
Achievement Around the World. One of the major events was a live
downlink between the crew of the International Space Station, and
students at Thomas Jefferson High School in Virginia. Why that
particular school? Well, Thomas Jefferson is a Virginia Governor's
School, dedicated to excellence in mathematics, science and
technology in education. It was no accident Thomas Jefferson
school was honored with that distinction. Fairfax County, Virginia
has been home the past ten years for GEMS - Girls Excelling in
Math and Science. It's an after school club for girls that's so
popular, it's been doubling in size each year. Student's academic
performance is being researched and tracked from the age of ten,
right on through Thomas Jefferson High School. This is part of our
new monthly National Science Foundation series.
Richard Paul reports from Virginia. (14:48)
**(Attention Program Directors. For parents or educators listening
who are interested in learning how to start a GEMS Club like the
one just featured, visit the Girls Excelling in Math and Science website: .
Also, if listeners would like more information about the many other
stories in this exclusive radio series, go to: .)**
ESSAY: SCIENCE IN YESTERDAY'S CHILDREN'S BOOKS -
Emphasizing science in education is not a recent development.
The Center for Children's Literature and Culture at the University
of Florida has a program called, Transforming Encounters:
Children and Science, Imagination and Inquiry. As we learn in
this essay from Rita Smith, many children's books during the
1800's used a variety of approaches to interest young people in
the many facets of the scientific world. Smith is the Curator of
the Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature at the
University of Florida in Gainesville.
Rita Smith comments. (2:31)
EDUCATION HEADLINES AND UPDATES -
* First, in briefs from Canada...According to a report by Statistics
Canada, record numbers of students are enrolling at Canadian
universities. That's six years in a row. The most striking statistic
is the large rise in international students.
* Then, in another report compiled by the Association of Universities
and Colleges of Canada...Canadian universities are on track to fulfill
their promise to double financial support for campus research, and to
triple their gross income from commercializing discoveries by 2010.
* And while we're on the subject of money...at the time this show was
produced, the U.S. House of Representatives had passed legislation
cutting 14.3 billion dollars in federal student financial aid. The cuts
were part of the Deficit Reduction Act, and passed by a narrow two
vote margin. A Congressman who voted against the act called it the
Raid on Student Aid. He said this largest cut to student assistance
in U.S. history, will place undue financial stress on students. According
to the United States Student Association, the average student borrower
would gain about 58-hundred dollars in added debt.
Dr. Karen Hitchcock reports. (1:30)