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Behavioral Science





Girls in Research Project

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The University of Kentucky, Center on Drug and Alcohol Research was awarded a Science Education Drug Abuse Partnership Award from the National Institutes of Health that looked at how young women can be supported and encouraged to pursue careers in science (Grant Number: DA011388). From 2004-2007, this NIH funded program reached 120 girls, 24 middle school teachers and 210 parents from Appalachia Kentucky.  

Brief Description

This intensive three-year project targeted 60 girls entering the sixth-grade from 21 southeastern Kentucky counties, parents of these girls, and a minimum of 24 rural Appalachia Kentucky middle school teachers. This exciting project targeted a select group of middle school girls with a fun way to learn about research through program that involved

  1. A weeklong summer camp for each girl at the University of Kentucky campus for three years,
  2. Saturday sessions throughout three academic school years, and
  3. Mentoring relationships with University scientists and community mentors.

In addition, the project targeted middle school math and science teachers through professional development courses focused on engaging Girls in science and research over three years.  This project included parental involvement with a series of workshops.  Girls and teachers who enrolled in the program were the primary beneficiaries; however, the program was designed to have a broad-based impact on other students, teachers, relatives, and ultimately Kentucky.

Counties Targeted

Girls from the following counties were recruited for the program:  Bell, Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Rockcastle, Whitley, and Wolfe. 


Goals and Objectives
The overall goals and objectives for this demonstration project are to:

1.  To increase the scientific, technological and interpersonal knowledge as well as skills of participating middle-school girls ages 11 to 15 from rural Appalachian Kentucky. 

  • A. Develop and implement a one-week summer session at the University of Kentucky Campus, which were focused on science and research content for middle school students. The summer session was scheduled each summer for three years.
  • B. Convene bi-monthly Saturday sessions from September through April for each of the three project years.  Participants attended Saturday sessions in the participants’ local communities during their program involvement.
  • C. Provide at least two mentoring relationships for program participants during the course of their three-year participation in the program.  One mentor was from the University of Kentucky community and one from the participant’s local community. 
2. To increase the knowledge of parents and middle schoolteachers on gender equity strategies, and teaching techniques to increase the science participation of middle school girls in rural Appalachian Kentucky.

  • A. Develop and implement a series of 5 workshops each year for two years for parents on gender equity and strategies to increase female participation in science, math, engineering and technology.
  • B. Develop and implement two-day seminars each year for two years for teachers on gender equity and strategies to increase female participation in science.

3.  Enhance science education at the middle school level in Appalachia Kentucky.

  • A.  This project will make a systemic impact in rural Appalachian Kentucky by collaborating with the Kentucky Department of Education, Division of Gender Equity to develop and disseminate a guide for “Promoting Gender Equity in the Classrooms.”
  • B.  Develop and disseminate a model curriculum to enhance science, as well as drug abuse research in rural Appalachian Kentucky and across the country. This objective will be met through the development of the "Girls in Research Replication Manual."

Girls in Research Replication Manual.

The Girls in Research Replication Manual (link will open in a new browser window) is now available for online viewing and printing.

To request a copy of the Girls in Science Replication Manual, contact Gary Case, -
Phone: (859) 257-4401.

Girls in Research Website

The Girls in Research Website (link will open in a new browser window) is now available for online viewing.

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Page last updated Wednesday, November 26, 2008