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Science for Girls: How to Encourage Her Interest

Veer

Girls still lag behind boys in science, say researchers  -- and it's in middle school that their scores start to head south. Why? They may be losing interest because they're not encouraged properly, says Joan Herbers, dean of the College of Biological Sciences at The Ohio State University in Columbus and mom of two.

Besides simply telling your child that you think science matters, there are some effective ways to incorporate science into her life:

Take it outside. Watch what's happening in your own backyard. Have your child keep track of things like the temperature or the time the sun sets: She can plot them on a graph and learn a few things about how the world turns.

Watch scientific TV shows and movies together. Discovery Kids has great programs, but don't overlook Discovery's other channels (Discovery, The Sci-ence Channel, Animal Planet) or the National Geographic Channel. Plenty of their specials are suitable for preteens.

Look it up. When your child wonders about the world, encourage that inquisitive mind and show her how to find the answers. Some great sites for kids: • Extremescience.com • The American Museum of Natural History's site, ology.amnh.org • The popular PBS show Zoom! posts dozens of simple science experiments kids will have a blast doing right at home. Find them at pbskids.org/zoom/activities/sci.

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