Science Jumpstart Program for Talented Girls…

Wallace Research Symposium on Talent Development

Poster Presentations

Poster Presentation 19 — Science Jumpstart Program for Talented Girls—Providing Opportunities for Israeli Teenage Girls to Enter Academic Programs in Exact SciencesOrni Meerbaum-Salant, Rachel Zorman, & Eli Fried

Monday, May 20, 2024, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Student Union Ballroom, Rooms 330/331

Female underrepresentation in the exact sciences is a well-known international challenge. The Future Scientists Center for the Advancement of the Talented and Gifted in Israel faces this challenge in the national Odyssey program. The center implements the Odyssey program since 2017 in partnership with six universities and the Ministry of Education. The program provides four years of academic studies in the exact sciences to hundreds of highly talented 9th-12th grade students. Girls constitute a minority of 30% of the students. The Future Scientists Center created Science Jumpstart in 2022. This one-year program for talented 7th grade girls aims to increase their participation in academic studies of exact sciences, particularly in the Odyssey program. The program consists of three intertwined components: cognitive, personal, and social. It exposes participants to exact sciences experientially, using cooperative learning and project-based activities, working with women scientists, and female graduates of the Odyssey program, providing inspirational role models. It focuses on personal self-efficacy and self-confidence, while building a cohesive group through social activities and collaborative academic tasks. Key promising findings from the first two cohorts in the Science Jumpstart program will be discussed in the session with their implications for bridging gender gaps in STEM education.