AAUW Awards Campus Action Project Grant to Dakota State University

Dakota State University has been awarded a 2009–10 Campus Action Project (CAP) grant from AAUW for Women in Science and Technology Campus Action Project 2010, which will break through the barriers to entering and staying in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields faced by women and girls.

The Women in Science and Technology (WIST) program at Dakota State University provides mentoring and activities aimed at attracting and retaining female students in traditionally male dominated fields. To consider careers in science, mathematics, computer and information technologies, young women need to be aware of potential careers as well as to see other women successfully pursuing careers in those fields. Therefore, the objectives of this project are (1) to increase awareness and understanding among regional female college, middle school, and high school students about a variety of STEM fields and careers through a series of workshops, (2) to provide opportunities for girls and women to meet and begin to network with professional women working in STEM fields, (3) to establish mentoring between WIST students and local middle and high school students, and (4) to provide opportunities for WIST students to gain leadership experience through active participation in Women in Science's Career Day for Women as well as a Design Challenge at Sioux Falls Kirby Discovery Science Center.

Each year, AAUW selects a project topic based on our mission statement. The 2009–10 CAP teams will focus on the issues raised by AAUW's upcoming 2010 research report, which will highlight key findings from recent research on women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in three areas: middle and high school, college and university, and the workplace.

AAUW picked just 12 teams from around the country to implement projects. The selected projects focus on mentoring and on exposing some of the barriers that girls experience in math and science, as well as on networking and professional development to retain college women in math, science, engineering, and technology fields. Projects also aim to raise awareness about women in these fields through initiatives such as documentary filmmaking and a poster contest.

"AAUW is breaking through educational barriers so that all women and girls have a fair chance, and that is exactly what the CAP teams selected this year are doing in their communities," said Kate C. Farrar, director of AAUW's leadership programs. "Our teams are increasing the number of young women in these critical fields by addressing the barriers women face in school, college, and the workplace."

One member from each CAP team will present the project at the June 3–5, 2010, AAUW / NASPA National Conference for College Women Student Leaders at the University of Maryland, College Park. The conference helps young women connect with other students and successful women while honing their leadership skills for their work on campus and in their communities.

For more information on Campus Action Projects, visit http://www.aauw.org/education/cap/breakingbarriersSTEM.cfm.

For more information about the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders, visit www.nccwsl.org.

AAUW advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. Since 1881, AAUW has been one of the nation's leading voices promoting education and equity for women and girls. AAUW has a nationwide network of nearly 100,000 members, 1,000 branches, and 500 college/university institutional partners. Since AAUW's founding more than 128 years ago, members have examined and taken positions on the fundamental issues of the day — educational, social, economic, and political. AAUW's commitment to educational equity is reflected in its public policy advocacy, community programs, leadership development, conventions and conferences, national partnerships, and international connections.

Visit the AAUW website at www.aauw.org

Last Updated: 1/12/12