Girls Powered Science event comes to Columbia Public Schools

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COLUMBIA- Columbia Public Schools' first Girl Powered Science events kicks off Monday morning.

The event which is aimed at encouraging girls to take an interest in science, is organized by the CPS Science Department, National Geographic, and Stephens College.

200 middle school girls will take part in the day long event, which will include a speech from National Geographic explorer Jill Pruetz, a panel discussion with female professionals in science, and an interactive lab.

CPS Science Coordinator Mike Szydlowski said continued interaction with science through such events allows an opportunity to help chip away at the historic gap between male and female involvement in the field of science.

"Traditionally girls have not gone into math and sciences. However I believe that's changing. If you look at the trends in our high school courses, that is definitely changing and we just want to do something to make sure that continues that trend," Szydlowski said.

$2,400 dollars from CPS's Science Department budget is being used to fund the lunch and bus services for the event.

Regardless of the career paths these young women ultimately choose to pursue, Szydlowski said he is convinced the continued interaction with science will help these girls throughout their lives.

"Whether they are scientists or not, they are going to be voting on these topics, they are going to be picking candidates based on these topics. So we don't tell them how to vote, but they need to know how t take a piece of data or a story and realize, is that fact or fiction, is that just somebody's opinion? Or is there actually some scientific data that validates that."

The event Monday takes place in the Stephens College Ballroom from 9:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.