Last month three high school students and two teachers from Lawrence, Kansas, attended the 23rd Annual Women in Science Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska.

By featuring role models of successful women in a variety of fields, this conference seeks to expand understanding of the kinds of work scientists do and to dispel myths about science careers for women.

“It was an amazing trip and so helpful to see people investing in women’s future,” said Francis Parker, Lawrence High School (LHS) junior. She and two students from Free State High School (FSHS), Naheen Jamal and Grace Xie, were selected to attend the event by drawing names out of a hat.

Biology teachers Marci Leuschen (LHS) and Wendy Haas (FSHS) accompanied the students to the conference with funding from Kansas NSF EPSCoR.

“Thank you so much for sponsoring us so we could attend this amazing conference,” said Ms. Leuschen. “It was an informative and inspirational weekend!”

In addition to visiting the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, conference attendees toured an aviation center, learned about veterinary science, and discovered ecology related careers.

Francis also enjoyed building friendships with the other students and hoped that they would stay in touch. She said, “My favorite thing was the community. It was a very supportive group.”

Nebraska EPSCoR and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln host the Women in Science conference.

EPSCoR stands for Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research. This federal initiative seeks to level the playing field for states and U.S. territories whose scientists receive a lower percentage of federal support. Both Kansas and Nebraska are EPSCoR-funded states.

Teens and teachers smiling

Learning from Role Models

Lawrence teens and teachers journeyed to Nebraska in April to meet women role models in science.