|Limestone to Unveil High-Tech Duke Energy Science Lab on Feb. 26th|
Limestone College will unveil its Duke Energy Science Lab during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, February 26th, at 10:30 a.m.
The event will showcase high-tech mobile computing equipment that has transformed the lab into one akin to those seen on the popular "CSI" television series.
The lab is located in room 235 of the College's Hamrick Hall of Science. Purchase of the equipment was made possible by a $50,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation in support of the school's annual Women in Technology and Science (WITS) Conference.
Limestone female faculty and students in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education will be on-hand to demonstrate how the various pieces of equipment can be utilized. Among the items to be featured and demonstrated are:
• A Comparison Microscope
• A FlashGel System for DNA study
• Trauma Full Body Manikin
• Wireless Vernier System Probes with iPad Minis
• 70-inch Aquos Smart Board
The 2013 WITS Conference is scheduled for Friday, March 1st, and will attract approximately 110 women from high schools in Cherokee, Spartanburg, and Union counties. The equipment will be used to engage WITS participants through experiments and exercises in STEM education. Participants will be mentored by Limestone's female STEM faculty and students through a series of mathematics, computer science, chemistry, biology, and athletic training workshops.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, many of the best career paths leading to high paying jobs are in the STEM fields, which are projected to grow by 17 per cent by 2018. Employers, however, struggle to find qualified female candidates with degrees in STEM disciplines. In fact, a 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce stated that women will fill fewer than 25 per cent of STEM jobs.
Dr. Watkins says one of the reasons there are so few women in science and technology fields is a problem of self-efficacy. "Many of the female students I've advised have said that they do not feel encouraged or qualified to pursue technology and health degrees, but their test scores show otherwise. Many of these students may not have had their hands on technological equipment, including gadgets, as often as their male counterparts but data does indicate that once women get over that initial hurdle, they actually surpass males."