Wayne State’s University’s “GO-GIRL” program launching winter session
Detroit: Wayne State University’s “GO-GIRL” (Gaining Options-Girls Investigate Real Life™) program, designed to promote interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) related careers and to boost mathematics skills and confidence in seventh-grade girls, is now accepting applications for the winter 2009 semester.
The 10-week Saturday program, hosted by Wayne State’s College of Education, will launch the winter semester on Jan. 31, 2009 and culminate with graduation ceremonies on May 2. GO-GIRL is free and open to a limited number of seventh-grade female students.
Middle school students interested in participating at Wayne State may visit: http://www.gogirls.wayne.edu and download the application forms. The application deadline is Dec. 15, 2008. Further information about the GO-GIRL project is also available by contacting Professor Sally Roberts, faculty advisor, at [email protected]
Winter 2009 marks the tenth semester of the GO-GIRL program. Since its inception in 2002, GO-GIRL has helped more than 400 middle school girls from public and private schools in the Detroit metropolitan area develop mathematical confidence, skills and conceptual understanding by integrating mathematics and social science research into a single-sex, technology-rich environment supported by university student mentors.
Initially funded by a National Foundation grant, and collaboratively developed by faculty and staff from the University of Michigan Institute for Research on Women and Gender and Wayne State’s College of Education, GO-GIRL was developed in response to research findings suggesting a decline in interest in mathematics among middle school girls and minority youth. Pamela Trotman Reid, president of Saint Joseph College, Connecticut, founded the GO-GIRL program.
Sally K. Roberts, assistant professor in Wayne State University’s College of Education and faculty advisor for the program, says seventh-grade is a pivotal time for girls in their experiences with math and science. “Boys and girls traditionally maintain an equal performance level in mathematics and science until the seventh-grade, and then a change occurs. We send messages that girls are not as capable in the sciences and mathematics as boys," Roberts says. “GO-Girl offers a solution to that perspective as the girls develop new skills and enjoy added confidence.”
Pre-post comparisons indicate that GO-GIRL positively impacts participants’ confidence in their ability to do well in mathematics. Roberts believes that the structure of the GO-GIRL program is an empowering experience to the young girls.
GO-GIRL expanded nationally during the 2005-2007 academic years with support from a National Science Foundation Gender in Science and Engineering Grant, awarded to Roosevelt University, Chicago. The grant helped support the development of sistership programs at Howard University, Washington DC; University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; Roosevelt University, Chicago; Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington; and Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage. Saint Joseph College (Connecticut) has recently joined the GO-GIRL sistership programs.
GO-GIRL has received contributions in the past from the Michigan Department of Education; RGK Foundation; Wayne State University College of Education; and private contributions, and is reaching out to the community for support to sustain and expand the program at Wayne State University. GO-GIRL is dedicated to offering the program at no cost to participants in order to widely recruit potentially talented girls.
To find out how you can help, contact the Dean’s Office in the College of Education at 313-577-1620.