Women in Science

A teacher here at OHS recently questioned the change in perception for girls taking advanced science classes, and why that stereotype began in the first place.

“It was very stereotypical that girls don’t take [advanced] science or math classes,” Ms. Kristin Pierce, an OHS physics teacher, said. “It’s a question of ‘why that perception’ because now finally we have balanced classes.”

Pierce explained that this year, there is only one girl taking AP Physics, last year there was only one girl, and two years ago, there were no girls at all. After looking at the schedules for next year, Pierce found that almost half of the students who signed up for AP Physics are girls, and she’s curious as to what changed for her students and if there was any discouragement  to begin with.

“I don’t think there is any discouragement given to girls wanting to take advanced science classes. I think we just happen to have quite a few girls who are interested in going into the science field- and hopefully that continues to happen.” Ellie Sona (11) said.

Grace Popielewski (11) agreed that there is no discouragement, but rather “encouragement from other science teachers and students.”

“People say that you can do anything you set your mind to, so there should be no reason why girls should be discouraged to take these classes,” Popielewski continued. “I think the change that occurred was that girls who had an interest in science and a determination to succeed finally decided to step out of their comfort zone and leave the gender stereotypes behind them. I would definitely recommend this class to any girls or boys who are interested in science courses and are up for a challenge.”

“All of my science teachers that I have had in high school have encouraged girls to take more challenging classes and push themselves.” Nicole Carey (11), “I think because my class has been told that all of high school, they believed in themselves and are striving to succeed in the high level courses.”

The girls planning to join AP Physics next year seem to all agree that all students should be encouraged to challenge themselves in all of their classes. They also agree that there has been nothing but encouragement from their teachers to achieve in all aspects of education.