Women in Science Project (Dartmouth College)

Women in Science Project  (WISP) is a six-year old co-curricular initiative that supplements women s introduction to college-level mathematics and the sciences by offering experiences and connections with scientists that are designed to enhance and reinforce their initial science interests WISP is an impressive program that: I. Utilizes three basic types of mentoring for young women -- first-year research internships, linking faculty mentors with students; peer mentoring, using upper level women science majors as mentors for first year students; and electronic mentoring, matching undergraduate and graduate women with mentors from industry; and II. Demonstrated progress and success of students mentored in six years: -- the percentage of women majoring in science has increased from 12% (45 women) in 1990 to 25% (124) in 1995; -- one out of every four science majors were women in 1990; in 1995, four out of every ten (40%) science majors were women; many have gone on to graduate school; -- 159 science faculty have been involved in effecting this change; -- approximately 60% of women entering Dartmouth express an interest in science vs. 40-45% prior to the project; -- participation in all programs has jumped from approximately 100 to approximately 1,000; -- faculty have mentored over 446 first-year research interns, 55% of which have declared a science major at the close of their sophomore year; -- 472 first-year women have been mentored by upper-class peers in science.