Motivating Girls in Science: Measuring Monkey Calls on Moonlit Nights

Motivating Girls in Science: Measuring Monkey Calls on Moonlit Nights is an educatinal program intended to encourage young girls from the community to pursue careers in science.

By the age of 13, girls begin to fall behind boys in science proficiency exams and continue to score lower on standardized testing throughout high school. studies have shown that since social attitudes tend to become fixed during middle school and early high school, girls that develop negative attitudes during this period of development towards science, are unlikely to pursue the academic background necessary for careers in the science filed (Milbourne, 2004).

We are fortunate to have enthusiastic and talented girls join us from three locations: the Girls Scout Troop from Mays Middle School in Goulds, as well as the Haitian Organization of Women and the South Dade Labor Camp, both located in Homestead.

Twelve college students drawn from Florida International University, the University of Miami, and Florida Atlantic University mentored 25 girls. The girls were chauffeur driver from their homes to visit Monkey Jungle during the day and the wonderful Owl Monkeys of the DuMond Conservancy in the evenings. There, the girls prepared and fed the Owl Monkeys and then waited patiently as dusk fell. They then measured the fading light, noting when the monkeys would wake up, and recorded the excited vocalizations the monkeys made as they enjoyed their fruit, salad, and monkey biscuit feast.

Special thanks to our sponsors:

Women's Fund
The Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade County

Association of American University Women (AAUW)
The Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade County

Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida, Inc.

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