Exploding Molecules (and Stereotypes)

Information on Google’s Science Competition:

 We’ve become accustomed to assuming boys do better in
science and math, while girls dominate in language and history. But it’s high
time these stereotypes became a thing of the past. In Google’s first annual
science competition in 2011, all three of the finalists were girls,
and they beat out 10,000 other students from 90 countries, demonstrating
both female and U.S. prominence in science.
winner discovered a way to make ovarian cancer treatments more effective.
Another wants to revise the Clean Air Act using her model, quantifying air
pollution among asthmatics. And the third winning project could lead to a
barbeque meat marinade that reduces carcinogens.
Girls ruled again in 2012, with Brittany Wenger, a
17-year-old from Lakewood Ranch, FL taking home the grand prize for creating a
Global Neural Network Cloud Service for Breast
Cancer Detection. Across the country science-loving girls are doing amazing things,
and not just in competitions. In February, Clara Lazen, a 10-year-old from
Kansas City, MO,
accidentally discovered a potentially explosive
molecule in her fifth-grade science class. Clara’s assignment was to build a
molecule using a modeling kit with colorful balls and plastic connectors. Clara
randomly pieced together a combination of oxygen, nitrogen and carbon atoms to
create a molecule her chemistry teacher, Kenneth Boehr, had never seen before. “I
just saw that these go together more,” Clara told a Fox News local affiliate in
Kansas City. “Like they fit more together. And they look better. And all the
holes have to be filled in for it to be stable.”  
More on Clara’s discovery.
More on ReSET’s work to further science career interest in
girls. See July 2012 ReSET Report.

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