January 28, 2017

Central Oregon middle school students to celebrate careers in science

From High Desert Education Service District, 

Central Oregon middle school girls join in a celebration of careers in science
Five local middle schools take part in viewing party of Hidden Figures film

Prineville, OR (January 27, 2017) -- More than 30 young girls from middle schools throughout Central Oregon will travel on buses to the Pine Theater in Prineville on Thursday February 2 at 11 am for a private viewing party for the Oscar nominated film Hidden Figures

   The event, designed to inspire and encourage girls to see the possibility of careers in the sciences, will include students from Crook County Middle School, Culver Middle School, Elton Gregory Middle School, Obsidian Middle School and Jefferson County Middle School.
According to the National Science Board, women remain largely underrepresented in the nation’s STEM workforce. 

   For example, women make up 35 percent of chemists, 34 percent of environmental scientists, 22 percent of chemical engineers and just 11 percent of physicists and astronomers. The NSB says that the drop-off in interest starts happening at middle school and gets worse in high school.

   Sponsored by the High Desert Education Service District, in partnership with Prineville’s Pine Theater, the girls who attend the private viewing will go back to school with a challenge to create a math lesson for grades 3-5.

   “The movie Hidden Figures is encouraging young women to dream with its reminder of the strong, but hidden, figures in our past who overcame barriers to succeed in their careers in the sciences,” said HDESD Chief Information Officer Rachel Wente-Chaney who helped create the event.

   Wente-Chaney also announced the launch of a new Modern Figures Website which HDESD will be using beginning next week to share resources with teachers in the region and to host guest speakers via Skype and Google Hangouts this Spring. The HDESD plans to host at least one other viewing party opportunity once the movie is out on DVD. Plans for summer enrichment camps and workshops are also underway.

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