OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

It’s an uphill battle for girls who like science.  This was expressed too clearly during a JPL presentation at my local library this past Saturday.

I and my husband attended the program, mainly because the presenter (no, I do not remember his name) promised new pictures from Curiosity (these pictures did not materialize, and I was disappointed).  The presentation targeted a general audience, and the presenter was an ex-science teacher with an amiable style and infectious laughter.  His enthusiasm for his subject was obvious.

There were several people at the event, and two children, one boy, one girl, with their respective parents, sat in front.  Both were excited to be there.  Both eagerly raised their hands when the presenter asked questions.  Both did not correctly answer every question they thought they knew the answer to.  And that is where the similarities ended.

The presenter called on the boy far more frequently than the girl.  He claimed to call on whoever raised their hand first, but that was not the case.  He applauded the boy and heaped praised on him for answering simple questions.  He even got the audience to clap for him.  He called the boy bright.  When the girl answered questions, he thanked her for the answer and continued.  He never applauded her answers, and tended to shy away from her by the end of the talk because she was giving more sophisticated answers than the boy.

How?  One question in particular clearly pointed out the difference.  When the presenter asked how one might be able to tell whether this certain picture was taken on Earth or on Mars, the girl answered first and pointed out that grass grew in the picture, so it must be Earth.  The presenter semi-stammered and said that was correct, but not the answer most people gave.  The boy piped up and said the rock was not red, and the man congratulated him on the answer.  

And so it went.  The little girl persevered but was only thanked for her answers, while the boy was applauded for his--to the point that, by the end of the presentation, he made a "Well everyone knows that" remark to the little girl that made me wince and made his dad lean over to speak to him, hopefully about attitude.  We left before the audience asked questions, mainly because I was fuming at the little girl’s treatment.  I immediately regretted not speaking up after her answers and telling her that she did a good job—and I should have.  That might have clued the presenter to the fact he treated the two differently.  I might have gotten some applause for her, since she, too, deserved it.  Don’t get me wrong—it was wonderful to see the boy excited about the subject.  It's wonderful to see any child excited about science. All I wanted was the presenter to encourage the girl in the same manner that he encouraged the boy.

If a little girl can’t even be treated the same as a little boy in a generalized presentation on outer space, how can they expect to find acceptance in the sciences when they become older?  Remember, the presenter once taught high school science—and I wonder if he treated those boys and girls in the same manner as he treated the two children in his audience on Saturday.

Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Thu Jan 24, 2013 at  7:56 AM PT: UPDATE: Since I answered this question several times in the comments but they seemed to have gotten lost: JPL stands for Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  

Thu Jan 24, 2013 at  7:58 AM PT: Thanks for the rescue and rec!


Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to shiobe on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 05:09 PM PST.

Also republished by Feminism, Pro-Feminism, Womanism: Feminist Issues, Ideas, & Activism and Community Spotlight.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.