Girls Just Want to Have Astro Fun

I was out of the office teaching what’s hot in astrophysics much of this week to a wonderful audience – the best and brightest middle school girls in science in California. The American Association of University Women of California (AAUW) sponsored a one week summer program for young women at Stanford University called “Tech Trek Science, Math, & Computer Camp” on July 11-17 2004. There were 125 seventh graders attending from all over California this year – all vital and curious.

I put together a presentation on current topics in astronomy and astrophysics. It’s a great time for a girl to consider this area as a career, with the Rutan’s SpaceShip One and the robotics successes of Spirit and Opportunity. Plus, as I mentioned in my presentation, there is very little gender discrimination in the field – in other words, equal pay and equal work is the norm in physics and astronomy, plus many mixed teams and interesting projects.

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