May 3, 2013
Women in Science and Tech Industries Profiled in State Agency Project
Project Leads to Conference to Encourage Students to Enter Science and Tech Fields
SACRAMENTO—Trailblazing women from California in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) will be profiled each week in a state project leading to California's first STEM Conference this fall, said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
The California Department of Education, the California State Library, the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, and the California Research Bureau are joining forces in this work, designed to encourage more students—especially underrepresented groups, such as young women and students of color—to enter the STEM fields.
"Maintaining our place on the cutting edge of science and technology depends on educating the next generation of leaders in these fields," said Torlakson. "Every student deserves the opportunity to acquire a world-class education that prepares them for college and careers."
A different California woman has been profiled each week since March, through the California State Library [http://www.library.ca.gov/] Web site, using the keywords "California Women in STEM." For the month of March, these include research pathologist Dr. Edith Claypole [http://www.library.ca.gov/calhist/calendar1.html] ; information scientists The Gillis Girls [http://www.library.ca.gov/calhist/calendar2.html] ; pilot and physicist Margaret Gee [http://www.library.ca.gov/calhist/calendar3.html] ; field botanist and horticulturalist Lester Rowntree [http://www.library.ca.gov/calhist/calendar3.html] ; and bookbinder Idah Meacham Strobridge [http://www.library.ca.gov/calhist/calendar5.html] . The month of April includes botanist Rebecca Austin [http://www.library.ca.gov/calhist/calendar4-1.html] ; geographer and Arctic explorer Louise Boyd [http://www.library.ca.gov/calhist/calendar4-2.html] ; economist and sociologist Charlotte Gilman [http://www.library.ca.gov/calhist/calendar4-2.html] ; and inventor and agriculturist Harriet Strong [http://www.library.ca.gov/calhist/calendar4-4.html] . The month of May includes civil engineer, Marilyn Reece [http://www.library.ca.gov/calhist/calendar5-1.html?utm_source=cde0513] ; paleontologist and field researcher Annie Alexander [http://www.library.ca.gov/calhist/calendar5-2.html] ; psychologist Dorothy Baruch [http://www.library.ca.gov/calhist/calendar5-3.html] ; osteopath Louisa Burns [http://www.library.ca.gov/calhist/calendar5-4.html] ; and physicist Maria Simani [http://www.library.ca.gov/calhist/calendar5-5.html] . More California women will be profiled each week leading up to the STEM Conference planned for November 18-19, 2013, in Sacramento.
The Conference, titled "Invest in California STEM Education: Innovate, Integrate, and Inspire! " will help schools share best practices, provide professional development for teachers, help districts form partnerships with business and higher education, and provide STEM resources for the attendees. Keynote speakers and special guests include Academy Award® winning actor Geena Davis [http://www.thegeenadavisinstitute.org/] of the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, and education researcher Sugata Mitra [http://www.ted.com/speakers/sugata_mitra.html] . The Conference is sponsored by the California Department of Education and the Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation.
A 2011 U.S. Department of Commerce study, "STEM: Good Jobs Now and For the Future (PDF) ," found that over the past 10 years, growth in jobs involving STEM fields was three times greater than that of non-STEM occupations. The report also forecast that STEM jobs are expected to continue to grow at a faster rate than others in the coming decade. STEM-related industries are a major component of California's economy.
For more information on STEM education in California, visit the California Department of Education's Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics Web page.
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Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100