Women in Science and Technology Program
"To me, this program is about giving women more opportunities and showing that women can succeed in these fields even though in the past they have been male-dominated." - Former WST participant
Beginning in 2006, the Women in Science and Technology Program (WST) has brought together hundreds of female students from Boston-area high schools for a month-long weekend program of research, lectures, field trips, and the opportunity to meet mentors and role models from scientific disciplines. Participants spend morning sessions engaged in laboratory experiments led by women undergraduate science majors from Boston College, who volunteer their time and serve in leadership roles. In the afternoon sessions, participants enjoy field trips and special lectures designed to demystify science with real-life applications. Activities have included a tour of a research lab at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute where they saw brain surgery performed on a mouse. They have visited the New England Wildlife Center for a hands-on tour of their treatment care facilities and educational center and the Weston Observatory. A detective from the Sexual Assault Unit of the Boston Police Department discussed the use of science-based techniques on crime scene investigations.
Dr. Elizabeth O’Day initiated the WST Program in 2006 when she was a Boston College undergraduate student because she wanted to share her enthusiasm for science with young women and introduce them to career opportunities in the field. Dr. O’Day received her Ph.D. from Harvard University and founded the Cambridge based pharmaceutical company Olaris Therapeutics. In 2015, she led the WST students on a tour of the Olaris research laboratories.”
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Presentations about the WST program were given by Lynne O’Connell and Elizabeth O’Day at the International Conference on Chemistry Education in Toronto in 2014 and at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) meeting in Boston in 2015. The abstract and poster for the ASBMB meeting can be found on this webpage.