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Education Collaborative Helps Young Women Leap into Mathematics and Science

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This is a "leap" year, and area colleges are making good use of the extra day. The University of California Riverside, San Bernardino Valley College and the Alliance for Education will hold "Celebrating Women in Math & Science" from 9:30 a.m. until noon at San Bernardino Valley College. The annual event combines lectures and panel discussions to illustrate to young women the importance of leaping into careers related to mathematics and science.

More than 150 students from Eisenhower High School, Rialto High School, San Gorgonio High School, Bloomington High School and Middle College High School will be in the audience. Attendees will meet role models with science backgrounds, who will tell their stories of challenges and success.Image

"Women represent 57% of the nation's college population, but less that 1/3 major in science, technology, engineering or mathematics - better known as the STEM fields," said Pamela Clute, Assistant Vice Provost Academic Partnerships and Executive Director of the ALPHA Center at the University of California, Riverside. "Research shows they have the ability but they lack the interest."

Clute pointed out that the U.S. Department of Labor reports the fastest growing and highest paying job opportunities require mathematical and scientific savvy including areas related to: computer science, engineering, multi-media communication, energy and medicine.

Image"Research still indicates that women are under-represented in careers with strong mathematics and science background," said Haragewen Kinde, Dean of Mathematics at San Bernardino Valley College. "We need to reverse this gap by educating young girls about mathematics and science-related career choices and opportunities that would enable them to participate in a competitive global employment market."

High school students will receive the benefit of experiences shared by mathematics professors, a science dean, a medical doctor and other education experts during the half-day event.

"This is one of dozens of programs offered through UC Riverside to reach out to K-12 students in the Inland region to ensure that more get accepted to college," Clute said. "We want our young women in the Inland Empire prepared and motivated for these opportunities."

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