Fontbonne University is proud to announce that Dr. Kelly Lane-deGraaf, assistant professor of biology, is the recipient of a $26,000 Boeing grant to expand the Girls-in-Science Summer Research Program, which promotes science as a future career among seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade girls in the St. Louis region.
Established in 2015, the Girls-in-Science Summer Research Program now exposes students to four scientific fields: biology, ecology, chemistry and physics. The program, eight weeks in total, offers two-week programs exploring each. Girls-In-Science is designed to connect girls from diverse racial and socio-economic backgrounds to women scientists and their scientific research programs.
“We are delighted to receive this grant from Boeing to expand the Girls-in-Science program,” said Lane-DeGraaf, creator of the Girls-in-Science program. “This funding will help broaden the program scientifically and allow us to reach more girls than ever before, especially those from traditionally underserved populations who otherwise may not have been able to participate.”
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 50.3 percent of bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields, they only represent 29 percent of the workforce in the science and engineering fields. Even greater challenges confront women of color, who in 2013 earned only 11.3 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 8.2 percent of master’s degrees, and 4.1 percent of doctoral degrees in STEM fields. Workforce representation of minority women in STEM fields is less than 10 percent.
“Representation matters,” said Lane-deGraaf. “Girls-in-Science aims to increase inclusion for women in the sciences by partnering girls with real women scientists to participate in accessible, engaging research opportunities.”