Fontbonne University is proud to announce that Dr. Kelly Lane-deGraaf, assistant professor of biology, is the recipient of a $22,000 Bayer Fund grant to expand the Girls-in-Science Summer Research Experience, which encourages St. Louis area girls in grades 7-9 to consider science as a future career.
Lane-deGraaf founded the program in 2015 to expose girls to biology, ecology and chemistry and give them a chance to design and participate in legitimate scientific research. Girls-in-Science also connects girls from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds to working women scientists and Fontbonne’s university-level scientific research programs.
Grant funds will cover a variety of expenses, including the purchase of bicycles for students to ride to nearby Forest Park to study stream biodiversity and learn methods in field ecology. “We are delighted to receive this grant from Bayer Fund to improve the Girls-in-Science program,” said Lane-deGraaf. “The Bayer Fund’s support in the past has allowed us to expand dramatically, provide a unique educational experience for our participants and reach kids from all backgrounds.”
According to the National Girls Collaborative Project and a report on science and engineering indicators published by the National Science Foundation in 2018, while women earn half of bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields, they represent less than a third of the workforce in STEM fields. Even greater challenges confront women of color, who make up less than 10% of the STEM workforce.