With a mutual interest in the future of women in science, Kristina Lynch, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, and Julie Hogue, Behavior Counselor for the Mascoma Regional Valley School District, have joined efforts to design a mentoring program geared toward bringing together high school girls and women in science at Dartmouth. Now in its second year, the program consists of six participants from Mascoma—three seniors and three juniors—and six Dartmouth graduate students.
According to Hogue, “[the program] is a way for the girls to get exposure to sciences and scientists and also a way for the Dartmouth women to gain some perspective on their accomplishments—to really see how far they’ve come.”
With the guidance of their mentors, the girls are developing new perspectives and realizing that there’s more to science than just difficult math and technical terms. By connecting with scientists on a personal level, each girl is able to recognize that a future in science is within her reach. As Hogue explains, “the Dartmouth volunteers are real people that the girls can relate to.”
When asked about her favorite things to do at Dartmouth, Linnea, a senior from Mascoma, says, “we sometimes tour buildings on campus—the greenhouse was my favorite!” Program facilitator Julie Skinner, a PhD candidate in the Physics and Astronomy Department, adds, “they’ve also been to a public lecture given by a Nobel Laureate.”
Their time together isn’t all tours, science, and lectures, though—they also enjoy getting together to chat over coffee at local Hanover café Rosey Jekes.
While none of the girls has specific plans for college yet, they all agree that the time spent with their Dartmouth mentors has been invaluable. Not only has it increased the girls’ interests in science, but it has also helped get them excited about college, or as Linnea puts it, “life after high school.”
by Tennile Sunday
photo by Tennile Sunday