December 4, 2007, - 5:12 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
For years, feminists have been telling us that we must spend more and more money on girls in public schools because they are “behind” boys in science and math. And, for years, though it violates federal law against gender-based discrimination, our government and academia have responded nationwide, with girl-friendly and girl-specific seminars, tutorials, and other programs to get girls on par in the two academic areas where they do not dominate boys.
Well, now, despite feminist yelling and screaming, girls are dominating math and science, too. And boys? Well, now they’re behind in everything. At least, that’s the case when you look at the prestigious Seimens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, in which awards were announced yesterday in New York City.
Lots of media outlets are reporting that girls swept the competition:
Girls walked away with top honors in both the individual and team categories.
The individual grand prize of a $100,000 scholarship went to Isha Jain, a senior at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pa., for research into bone growth. Results of the nine-year-old competition were announced on Dec. 3. As winners of the team grand prize, Janelle Schlossberger and Amanda Marinoff, seniors at Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School in Plainview, N.Y., will split a $100,000 scholarship awarded for their research on tuberculosis. . . .
[Jain] and her fellow champs beat out 1,641 students and 1,361 projects, persevering through grueling local and regional competitions. . . . Sponsored by the Siemens Foundation, the contest was started in 1998 after Siemens (SI) lost its bid to take over the original Westinghouse Science Competition, which was first held in 1942 and is now known as the Intel Science Talent Search (INTC).
Women lag far behind men in professional math, science, and computer fields, an issue that became the subject of renewed debate in 2005 when then Harvard President Lawrence Summers suggested the lack of top female scientists may stem in part from biological differences between men and women. Jain vehemently disagrees, but acknowledges with some annoyance that “the guy-to-girl ratio in math and science competitions is absolutely ridiculous. It’s usually seven or eight guys to one girl.” [DS: Um, this is a free country. If they're not interested, they're not interested.] The results of this year’s Siemens Competition may signify that more girls are “finally stepping up to the plate and are more than capable,” Jain says. “And I’m proud to be a part of that.”
Siemens Foundation President James Whaley says the percentage of girls entering the competition has increased each year; this year, 48% of the contestants were female. Eighty percent of this year’s competitors were from public schools, and one team of finalists consisted of home-schooled girls. Many of the schools whose students were represented also have close ties to nearby universities or research labs. “There are very few [high] schools that have the resources or labs to support this high level of research,” Whaley notes.
So, what was it that feminists were squawking about regarding the “bias against girls” in math and science? I’d say it’s a bias in favor of them at this point.
Time to swing the pendulum back to, hopefully, arrive at some balance. Maybe if they got rid of this math and science feminism and spent equally on everyone and used the excess to support labs and advanced science for everyone, America would not repeatedly be behind other major Western industrial countries in math and science.
Tags: Amanda Marinoff, Amanda Marinoff Girls, America, Bethlehem, Debbie Schlussel, federal law, Freedom High School, Harvard, Intel, James Whaley, Janelle Schlossberger, Lawrence Summers, Major, Math, media outlets, New York, New York City, Pennsylvania, Plainview, Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School, President, Siemens, Siemens Foundation, tuberculosis, USD, Winners Janelle Schlossberger