Women in Science Day

Washburn University

TOPEKA – The third annual Women in Science Day is Thursday, Oct. 8, at Washburn University. Women in Science Day invites young women in the seventh and eighth grades to the Washburn campus for a day of science-filled activities aimed at inspiring young women to continue taking math, science and technology classes throughout junior high and high school, so they are prepared to tackle college level courses in these subjects.

Keynote speaker Julie Adolphson is the meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service office in Pleasant Hill/Kansas City, Mo., the federal government office that issues severe weather warnings in 44 counties in northern Missouri and eastern Kansas. Adolphson taught at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, where she chased an F-5 tornado with the team portrayed in the movie “Twister.” Before her return to the weather world, she was a space physicist in the U.S. Air Force, where she was the last investigator for the Roswell, N.M. claim of alien landings.

Students attending Women In Science Day will also participate in two hands-on labs that range from forensic chemistry to magnets and physiology to volcanoes. There will be a total of 15 labs conducted throughout the Women in Science Day event with many labs taught by professors and instructors at Washburn. Other professional female scientists from the Topeka area will conduct labs or attend the event, providing the young women with excellent role models and resources.

Studies have shown that females perform as well as boys in math and science throughout elementary school, but begin to lose interest in these courses in junior high and high school. Studies have also shown that the wage gap between genders shrinks or disappears in the fields of science and technology.

Washburn University, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Weather Service, the Topeka Zonta Club, and the Sunflower Chapter of AWIS are sponsoring the event.

For more information, contact Karen Camarda at (785) 670-2145 or e-mail Linda Garinger, U.S. Geological Survey, at [email protected].