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Laboratory Workshop For Mothers And Daughters

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.271.1 - 2.271.7



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Neda Fabris

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2392

Laboratory Workshop for Mothers and Daughters

Neda Fabris California State University, Los Angeles

ABSTRACT During the last two years I have organized and conducted two six week workshops for female high school students and their mothers at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), to awaken their interest in engineering careers. In this paper I am describing the project and discussing the results obtained.


In an increasingly technology-and engineering-oriented society, it is imperative that every person have a basic knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the functions and basic principals of math, science, technology and engineering. In his article “Teaching Engineering as a Social Science” Edward Wenk, Jr. states: ”In propelling change and altering our belief of systems and culture, technology has joined religion, tradition, and family in the scope of its influence”[1] * .

According to US Department of Labor predictions, between now and the year 2000, nearly two- thirds of the new entrants into the work force will be women and by the same year, nearly two- thirds of working age women will have jobs [2]. Moreover, the jobs facing these new workers will require higher skill levels in science and engineering. The current low level of participation of women in the physical science, mathematics and engineering fields is precluding them from entering these promising professions.

When asked what they would like to study, most high school girls answer, "I do not know". When asked who is the biggest influence in their careers the answer is usually the parents; for girls, the mother is the main influence. Mothers are intentionally or unintentionally molding the career path of teenage girls. Unfortunately, most mothers, due to previous and existing bias, have very limited formal mathematical and physical science background. Questions asked in math and science areas are referred to fathers, proving the stereotype that these problems can be solved only by men; therefore, math and physical science should be avoided by girls. Most math and science teachers are also male, so it is no wonder girls feel lost in "a man's world" of science and mathematics. While boys getting C's and B's in math in junior high school consider science and engineering for their careers, only girls with A's in math might do so. Others are "scared to death", they "hate * Number in [] represent the references at the end of the article

Fabris, N. (1997, June), Laboratory Workshop For Mothers And Daughters Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6662

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