It wasn’t that long ago that the dream of a career in science was one not entertained by many girls from elementary school on up. Most of the role models they saw in the sciences were men.
The avenues certainly are more open than they used to be, but young women still need encouragement, and they get it at the SMART Scholars Workshop, created through a foundation started in 2012. Last weekend, the young scholars enjoyed indulging their curiosity for science at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at N.C. State University. A total of 125 girls participated in free workshops, conducting experiments including DNA extraction and other hands-on projects. Fifty women with careers in science worked with the young people.
The foundation that helped create the program, called the Brilliant and Beautiful Foundation, was founded by Tashni-Ann Dubroy and Tiffani Bailey Lash, who earned doctorates in chemistry at N.C. State University at the same time. Today, Lash is with the National Institutes of Health in Washington, and Dubroy is president of Shaw University.
Middle school girls are the target audience for the program. “What we are trying to do is tell them there is no stereotype to what a scientist looks like or who a scientist is,” Dubroy said.
Dubroy and Lash have generously done their part to prove it.