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Women in Science on the Air
Sun March 1, 2009
Sounds of Progress, Part I: Gender Differences in Science and Math--The Role of Social Context
By Larry Schooler
Austin, TX – Researchers Dr. Chandra Muller Dr. Catherine Riegle-Crumb at the University of Texas at Austin are conducting a study to determine how young girls' friendships affect their performance in math and science. Research suggests that having academically high-performing, same-sex friends can determine whether they succeed in math and science. These findings were put into practice this past year at a new all-girls middle school, where friendships are fostered in STEM classes through team-building exercises. And just released test scores seem to validate research conclusions. Fully 98% of 7th grade girls and 99% of 6th grade girls passed their math tests, far outperforming the entire school district.