The Best of Our Knowledge
11:27 am
Mon July 31, 2006

The Best of Our Knowledge # 828

Albany, NY – NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION SERIES
POWERFUL SIGNALS: TRANSFORMING THE ROLE OF WOMEN AND GIRLS IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
THE RIVER PROGRAM: ST. MARGARET'S SCHOOL FOR GIRLS -
The National Coalition of Girls' Schools is a leading proponent of single-
sex education for girls. Since its founding in 1991, NCGS has grown to
include 105 girl's independent and public, day and boarding schools
across the United States. And it also has affiliated with partners in
Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and other locations. Currently,
there are some 45-thousand students attending National Coalition of
Girls' Schools in the U.S. alone. The Coalition's major areas of focus
include: math, science and technology; academic achievement; financial
literacy; and global citizenship. NCGS annually commissions an
independent survey, asking recent graduates (among other things) how
well they felt prepared for college and for science? Across the country,
50% of the girls' school graduates responded they were either well
prepared...or better prepared...than their peers from coed institutions.
But for one particular school, the graduates from St. Margaret's School
for Girls in Virginia, that figure jumped to an overwhelming...93% who
felt they were very prepared. That's a true testament to the innovative, collaborative nature of the science curriculum and qualified staff at the
school. So naturally, we were curious to learn what they are doing that
other schools can emulate. St. Margaret's School for Girls is located in
the small, river front town of Tappanhannock, Virginia. Over the past 85
years, the school has expanded from teaching 17 students in a room
above a pharmacy...to an idyllic boarding school serving more than 150
young women, grades eight through twelve. The diverse student body
comes from 12 countries and 14 states, and maintains an enviable 6 to 1
student to faculty ratio. Plus, 99% of its graduates continue on to attend
college. St. Margaret's School for Girls places a special emphasis on
science education. It realizes girls may view math and science careers
in an unfavorable light for women. So, the girl's school has formulated
special programs that offer students a real chance to enjoy science and
succeed at it. One way St. Margaret's does this, is by bringing the river
that flows right by its classrooms into its curriculum. TBOOK speaks
with Margaret Broad, Head of School, St. Margaret's School for Girls, Tappanannock, Virginia and President, National Coalition of Girls'
Schools; Mollie Conklin, Science Department Head; Sara Brooks,
Chemistry Teacher; Sydney Harris, Student, 12th Grade; Anna Cooper,
Student, 11th Grade; Heather Lin, Student, 10th Grade; Hannah Hunt,
Student, 9th Grade; Alum, Lindsay Neist, Biology Major, Virginia Tech;
and Alum, Kimberly Clark, Chemistry & Environmental Major,
Randolph-Macon College.
Shea Shackleford reports from Virginia. (12:58)

The preceding material is supported by the National Science Foundation
under grant HRD-0436130. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this story are those of the authors, and
do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.
This is the final story in this current series.

**(Attention Program Directors. To find out more about the St. Margaret's
School for Girls, check out their website at www.sms.org. To learn more
about the National Coalition of Girls' Schools, their website is: www.ncgs.org)**

COMMENTARY: BRAIN GAIN EDUCATION MODEL
KEY TO NATION'S GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS -
In recent months on TBOOK, we've broadcast stories on both
brain drain and brain gain in higher education. All this year,
we've been featuring our National Science Foundation series on
STEM - science, technology, engineering an math. And more
recently, we've reported on the national initiatives to boost student's
learning in these areas to maintain global competitiveness. All of
these issues come together in our guest commentary today. It's
from the President of Harrisburg University of Science and
Technology, Dr. Melvyn Schiavelli.
Dr. Melvyn Schiavelli comments. (4:14)

**(Attention Program Directors. For listeners interested in more information about Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, their website is:
www.HarrisburgU,net)**

 

Related program: