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What does a scientist look like? Ms. Chabot’s 7th grade Life Science class started the school year with a discussion about the stereotypes that exist around this very question.
In this initial activity, Chabot said that the class examined the limitations of stereotypes that portray scientists as a "man in a white lab coat with beakers and flasks," and discussed the diversity of locations and people who are involved in science in the world today. Chabot has led this activity in her middle school science classes at Westridge since the '90s, but not until the past several years has she seen the mindset of her students shifting.
"Over time," she explained, "I have noticed that while the students’ initial mental image of a scientist is still usually a chemist, it is more and more often a woman. Some do not have any sense of the gender of the person they picture. It’s been heartening to see this trend."
This "portrait of a scientist" activity has been used in a number of studies and social experiments throughout the years, and while generally the outcomes have shown a lack of female and other minority representation, in recent years the results have portrayed more equal representation (we wrote about the possible causes behind this change and why it matters in our 2018 blog post here).
After their discussion in class, each student then created an illustration of a scientist at work. The result? An inspiring collage decorating the walls of the Life Science classroom, displaying an incredible diversity of both gender and cultural backgrounds, incorporating a range of technology and scientific fields. Click through the slideshow below to see a handful of their portraits and be encouraged that the world is indeed changing—our girls are leading the way!
Seniors Elisa D., Reese O., Jaya S., and Leah S.-G. were announced as Semifinalists for the National Merit Scholarship program yesterday. To earn this recognition, these students scored among the top 16,000 on the PSAT (that's in the top 1% of high school seniors from across the country!).
To compete for the National Merit Scholarships, they will complete a detailed application that demonstrates their academic prowess, as well as involvement and leadership in school and community activities. We're excited to support them as they compete for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be announced this spring.
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It is a community where academic achievement goes hand in hand with becoming imaginative, independent thinkers - where students discover themselves and the world around them - where they learn what it means to make a difference.
Here, girls are immersed in a curriculum designed specifically for girls and taught by teachers who are not just experts in their fields, but experts at educating young women. They learn in a joyful environment that develops critical thinking and leadership in its many forms. They are supported by a purposeful community that values personal challenge, inclusion, connection, and enriching our world.
Westridge is an independent, forward-thinking girls’ school for students in grades 4-12. We are committed to educating intellectually adventurous thinkers, and courageous, compassionate leaders.
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Calendar HighlightsView More
- WedSep18 (Wednesday AM Session) WPA Parent Ed: Under Pressure by Lisa Damour 8:00 AM to 9:00 AMPitcairn Living Room
- ThuSep19 (Thursday AM Session) WPA Parent Ed: Under Pressure by Lisa Damour 8:00 AM to 9:00 AMPitcairn Living Room
- ThuSep19 Greek & Roman Assembly (All School - Late Dismissal) 2:40 PM to 3:10 PMGYM
- ThuSep19 (Thursday PM Session) WPA Parent Ed: Under Pressure by Lisa Damour 7:00 PM to 8:00 PMPitcairn Living Room