Women, science and nail polish

March is Women’s History Month. Among other events going on around campus, Women and Science Day was held on campus last Friday. The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Continuing Education Department organized the event. The program was open to 7th and 8th grade girls and provided them with a variety of workshops to help introduce them to careers in science.

     “[The event was to] open their eyes and say ‘I can do anything’,” said co-organizer for the event, Linda Rice.

     Women and Science Day has been put on for over twenty years. This year they welcomed over 400 girls and 40 chaperones on Friday. The day opened with the keynote speaker, Sue Hall, the Polymer Ambassador for the American Chemical Society.

     The girls were able to choose out of a large variety of workshops. One of the workshops was “The Polymers of Custom Nail Polish!” with Karyn Schroeder. Schroeder gave a brief presentation of chemistry and explained the marketing process of nail polish. After Schroeder’s presentation she allowed the girls to role play in groups and let them mix their own nail polishes. 

     Freshman elementary education major Grace Ferari volunteered as a presenter’s assistant for the day. “[Schroeder] did a good job making science ‘girly’ and not just a simple boring ‘you mix this chemical and this chemical and got this chemical,’” said Ferari. 

     Schroeder talked about playing with nail polish when she was a kid. “She showed how you can turn your obsession with nail polish into a career,” said Ferari.

     There was a large turnout of volunteers. “There was a remarkable response,” said Rice. Many professionals came from all over the state to volunteer to do workshops for the day. Many Departments were also part of the event with the Continuing Education Department coordinating. The University Dining Services and janitorial services helped as well.

    At the end of the day, girls that attended Women and Science Day had the opportunity to go to three workshops. Rice hoped that the event would change their lives.



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