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UAF program seeks to attract artistic girls to science

Alaska Dispatch

The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) announces a new science program pointed toward convincing "art-interested" girls to foster an interest, perhaps even a career, in science.

"Project STEAM: Integrating art with science to build science identities among girls" is a new four-year program led by UAF director Laura Connor and funded by a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Beginning in 2013 until 2016, STEAM will offer non-residential, two-week summer academies and a series of science cafés in Fairbanks and Tucson, Ariz. The program is designed for sixth to eighth graders, but parents, teachers, youth leaders and members of the public are encouraged to attend.

Conner, director of outreach for UAF's College of Natural Science and Mathematics and STEAM's project leader, said:

Research suggests that girls who gravitate toward art often have strong visual-spatial abilities that would serve them well in science careers. If you can connect them to science at an age when their own larger identity is developing, it’s more likely that their interest in science will continue through life.

The application process will begin in early 2013. Learn more, including how to sign up for information regarding the program, here.