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Women In Science

Welcome to Women in Science programs at the Connecticut Science Center.

Petit Family Foundation Women in Science Leadership Award


This award recognizes a woman working in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) who is a leader in her field, and who makes a significant effort to support other women and encourage girls’ interests in STEM.

The honoree is selected by the Connecticut Science Center’s Women in Science steering committee and the award will be presented at the Green Gala on September 26, 2015.

Past recipients:

  • 2014 – Dr. Kristine Larsen, Professor of Astronomy, Central Connecticut State University
  • 2013 – Kimberly McLean, Principal Engineer, General Dynamics Electric Boat

Congratulations to the 2014 Petit Family Foundation Women in Science Leadership Award winner, Dr. Kristine Larsen!

Posted September 23, 2014

The Connecticut Science Center, New England’s premier informal science-learning
institution, is pleased to announce the recipient of its second annual Petit Family
Foundation Women in Science Leadership Award: Dr. Kristine Larsen, Professor of Astronomy at
Central Connecticut State University. Part of the Science Center’s Women in Science
initiative, this award recognizes exceptional leadership in promoting women’s participation and interest in
STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

Read More

Events & Programs


WHY STEM NEEDS WOMEN

An evening with science evangelist and co-author of Newton’s Football: The Science Behind America’s Game Dr. Ainissa G. Ramirez, Ph.D.

Enjoy a reception and hear an inspiring talk showcasing the work of female superheroes in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

#BEAUTYBYME GIRLS-ONLY HACKATHON

The Connecticut Science Center is hosting a 2-Day, girls only Hackathon, #BeautyByMe. Teams of girls will collaborate and develop Apps that help girls everywhere overcome powerful media messages about how they should look, and encourage self- acceptance.

This 2-Day event will commence with a theater talk by Lyndsey Scott that will address the unique challenges of being a woman in the computer science field, and include visions of beauty from around the world through the lens of her career as a high fashion model.


Cost: $35 per participant include lunch, snacks and t-shirt


Sponsor: Hubbell Foundation
Partners: CTCSTA (Connecticut Computer Science Teachers Association), ManyMentors

  • Saturday, May 9 –
    Sunday, May 10
  • 10:00AM – 5:00PM

THE POWER AND PROMISE OF STEM CELL RESEARCH

An evening with Caroline N. Dealy, Ph.D., Associate Professor at University of Connecticut Health Center

Enjoy a reception and hear an inspiring talk about stem cells and therapies, Connecticut’s role in stem cell research, and the future of this exciting field.

  • Wednesday, June 10
  • 6:00PM – 8:30PM
April 11, 2015, 11AM–2PM
Jessica Tatarczuk, Senior Engineer and Chair of Women in Nuclear (Windsor Chapter), with Candy Nuclear Reactors: Explore how plants safely generate power by building your own candy reactor!
May 9, 2015, 11AM–2PM
Staff Scientist Elizabeth Timpe with Springtime Salamanders: See some of Connecticut’s secretive salamanders up close and learn about these unique animals.
June 13, 2015, 11AM–2PM
Carolyn Begnoche, Professional Section Outreach Chair for Society of Women Engineers, Hartford, with Hovercrafts: Create your own hovercraft using everyday household materials!

News


Congratulations to the 2014 Petit Family Foundation Women in Science Leadership Award winner, Dr. Kristine Larsen!

Posted September 23, 2014

The Connecticut Science Center, New England’s premier informalscience-learning
institution, is pleased to announce the recipient of its second annual Petit Family
Foundation Women in Science Leadership Award: Dr. Kristine Larsen, Professor of Astronomy at
Central Connecticut State University. Part of the Science Center’s Women in Science
initiative, this award recognizes exceptional leadership in promoting women’s participation and interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

Read More

Welcome to the Women in Science Staff Corner


Many of the Connecticut Science Center’s Staff Scientists are women, and we would like to share some of our favorite things about science with you. Check this page for bi-monthly updates, including interviews, experiments, challenges, and more!


Stephanie Airoldi, PhD in Genetics

STEM Educator at the Connecticut Science Center

What drew you to the field of genetics?

I have always been intrigued by biology and living things. The complexity of life, both macro-scale and on a cellular level, is fascinating. I went into the study of genetics because DNA is the key to unlocking the mysteries of all of that complexity. Genetics reveals so much about structure, function, evolution, and cellular biology, and greatly influences our use of medicine and our treatment of diseases. It helps us to understand so much about ourselves—who we are, how we got here, and how our bodies carry on an amazing array of processes every day.

What kind of research did you do?

In graduate school I used fruit flies as a model system to study the process of cell division. Understanding how processes function normally can help us to understand what happens when something goes wrong – when cells divide unchecked and become cancerous, for example.

That sounds cool. Can I try?

Anyone can get involved in genetics! If you enjoy solving puzzles, you can help scientists discover how proteins fold by going to https://fold.it/portal/. After learning a few simple rules about how proteins work, you can play around and discover new forms. Discoveries made by Fold It players have contributed to our knowledge of proteins and have even been included in research articles!


Ask a Woman in Science

Do you have a question for one of our Staff Scientists? Here’s your chance to ask it! Submit your question using the form below and we’ll post your answer on this page.

Resources


Whether you’re a woman or girl in the sciences, or are interested in helping more girls and women enter STEM fields, the links below will help you on your way.


  • Girls RISEnet: Girls RISEnet, a partnership between the Miami Science Museum, the Association of Science-Technology Centers, and SECME, Inc., is strengthening the professional capacity of informal science educators to engage and motivate minority girls in grades 6-12 to explore and pursue science and engineering careers.
  • Ebony Horsewomen: The mission of the Ebony Horsewomen is to empower youth toward successful lives through the use of horses. Our goal is to provide Comprehensive Equine Education with profound benefits of Equine and Animal Assisted Growth and Learning, Equine Assisted Therapy, Horsemanship Training, and academic programming to build leaders, deter destructive behavior, and increase academic achievement.
  • Girl Scouts of Connecticut: Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.
  • ManyMentors: Through the power of peer mentoring, ManyMentors will inspire, encourage, and support underrepresented middle and high school students’ interest in, pursuit, and attainment of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees at universities across the country.
  • The National Girls Collaborative Project: The National Girls Collaborative Project™ (NGCP) brings together organizations throughout the United States that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in STEM.
  • American Association of University Women (AAUW): The American Association of University Women (AAUW) is the nation’s leading voice promoting equity and education for women and girls. Since our founding in 1881, AAUW members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day—educational, social, economic, and political.
  • National Engineers Week Foundation: Engineers Week celebrates the positive contributions engineers make to society and is a catalyst for outreach across the country to kids and adults alike. Engineers Week is part of many corporate and government cultures and is celebrated on every U.S. engineering college campus.
  • SciGirls on PBS: SciGirls is a new show for kids ages 8–12 that showcases bright, curious, real tween girls who put science and engineering to work in their everyday lives. Each half-hour episode follows a different group of middle school girls, whose eagerness to find answers to their questions will inspire your children to explore the world around them and discover that science and technology are everywhere!
  • EngineerGirl: The EngineerGirl website is designed to bring national attention to the exciting opportunities that engineering represents for girls and women.
  • uheart.wordpress.com/: Updates on health-related research by Dr. Beth Taylor, Director for the Center for Health, Care and Well-Being at the University of Hartford and Director of Exercise Physiology Research at Hartford Hospital.

Special Thanks to the Supporters of Women in Science at the Connecticut Science Center

Founding sponsor:

Additional supporter:

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About

The Connecticut Science Center’s Women in Science initiative encourages girls and young women to pursue studies and career paths in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and celebrates the achievements of women in the sciences.

The initiative seeks to bridge the gender gap in STEM by developing original programming to engage girls in science and providing lectures and discussion series to build the community of women in the sciences.

Steering Committee

Keshia Ashe
Doctoral Candidate, Institute for Regenerative Engineering, UCONN Health Center
Rebeccah Eldridge
Architect, MBH Architecture, LLC.
Joseph O. Ierna
Board Member/Secretary, Petit Family Foundation
Dr. Sandra Inga
STEM Director, Hartford Public Schools
Dr. Marilyn Katz
Physician, Hartford
Marie O’Brien
Chairwoman, Bristol Hospital & Health Care Group
Dr. William A. Petit
Jr.President, Petit Family Foundation
Kay Rahardjo
Course Developer, Columbia University
Ellyn Savard
Program Initiatives Manager, Girl Scouts of Connecticut
Jessica Tatarczuk
Senior Engineer, Westinghouse Electric Company
Dr. Beth Taylor
Director of Exercise Physiology Research, Hartford Hospital