Girls in Science: HSU Conducts Study

A research team of ten Humboldt State University students celebrated the culmination of a study analyzing girls' decisions to study math and sciences -- and how those relate to future career goals -- by hosting the 64 participating local high school girls for a party and raffle on campus June 10.

Mary Virnoche, an associate professor of sociology at HSU, developed the project with Beth Eschenbach, professor of environmental resources engineering. The outcome included an evaluation of the Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) Conference for middle school girls.

EYH is a hands-on, all-day conference for girls, encouraging them to take more math and science in high school so they have more choices later on,” said Dr. Eschenbach.

“About one-third of the girls who participated in the study attended EYH while in middle school,” said Dr. Virnoche. “But whether they attended EYH or not, most girls recognized their teachers and parents as significant role models and counselors when it came to studying math and sciences.”

Ten sociology graduate and undergraduate students and two local high schools girls administered the study, funded by a community action grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) Educational Foundation with matching grants and donations from HSU.

At the party on June 10, the participants celebrated with hands-on engineering activities hosted by students from HSU’s Society for Women Engineers. Hoopa High School student Samantha Cordero-O’Neale, of Willow Creek, won the raffle and took home a laptop computer.