Johnston, Iowa – Today, the Chrysalis Foundation announced that dozens of girls from its local after-school programs will spend the afternoon of October 2nd with women leaders at a DuPont Pioneer research facility to learn about careers in agriculture, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
“Many girls are competent in science, mathematics, and engineering, but it is important that they are also exposed to career role models in these important disciplines that they may emulate,” said Tracy Linbo, Business Strategy Planning director for DuPont Pioneer and a Chrysalis Foundation Board member. “Our team of women scientists is anxious to show them that the fields of agriculture and science are fun and engaging, as well as potential career paths.”
The Chrysalis Foundation provides education and programming opportunities for girls and women in Polk, Warren, and Dallas counties. Students from its flagship program, Chrysalis After-School, will participate in the STEM experience at DuPont Pioneer. They will engage with female scientists and leaders in activities ranging from entomology and robotics to DNA extraction. As part of the experience, the girls will receive lab coats and science journals to pursue their STEM studies long after the visit.
Women represent half of the American population and capacity, yet females represent only 24 percent of the STEM workforce, according to the Association for Women in Science. In addition, a September 2013 Census report found that women are less likely to be in a science or engineering major at the start of their college experience, and less likely to remain in these majors by graduation.
“Partnering with programs like Chrysalis After-School helps us match girls who have an interest in science and engineering with female leaders in the field,” Linbo said. “Having a mentor who can coach and encourage will make a tremendous difference in their vision for the future.”
Chrysalis is a public foundation established in Des Moines in 1989, funding education and programming for girls and women in Polk, Warren, and Dallas Counties in central Iowa. Its flagship program, Chrysalis After-School, now serves over 600 girls in grades 5 – 12 in 33 local schools.