The Transylvania Times -

WISE Scholarship Recipients Thank AAUW

 

November 30, 2017

Norah Davis

Left to right are Chloe Reynolds, Mia Hughes and Eve Thomas, with Harriet Walls, AAUW liaison with the WISE Program at Clemson.

At the Brevard AAUW Branch's November meeting, members welcomed three of the four girls who received scholarships to attend the WISE program at Clemson University this past summer.

WISE stands for Women in Science and Engineering and the program is a fun-filled week in June in which girls live in college dorms and get hands-on learning in biology, bio-engineering, mathematics and civil, environmental and electrical engineering. The camp is designed to encourage young women to consider STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) as exciting and rewarding careers.

The Brevard AAUW Branch has provided scholarships to girls from Brevard and Rosman middle schools to attend this program since the summer of 2012. To date, 23 girls have attended WISE Program at Clemson.

In 2017, four girls were selected from the sixth and seventh grades - two from Brevard Middle School and two from Rosman Middle. The students for this year were Chloe Reynolds, now in seventh grade, and Jasmine Grooms in eighth grade at Rosman Middle School and Mia Hughes and Eve Thomas, both now eighth grades at Brevard Middle School.

What may not be known is that AAUW does not make the selection of scholarship recipients. The girls are selected by their math and science teachers and school counselors.

AAUW member Harriet Walls, the Scholarship Committee liaison with Clemson University, introduced the three scholarship recipients: Chloe Reynolds, Mia Hughes and Eve Thomas. Jasmine Grooms was unable to attend the AAUW meeting.

All three of the girls expressed what an amazing experience it was to live in dorms on the Clemson campus – "just like real college students!" Having meals together with the other girls in the cafeteria was a special time for meeting and making new friends.

For each, their favorite classroom experience was bio-engineering. During their engineering classes they investigated a "pretend" crime scene using forensic science techniques – "just like on Bones or CSI!"

As AAUW members have heard from other recipients in prior years, building solar powered robots was a real hit. None of the three could imagine beforehand that electrical engineering could be so exciting and rewarding.

Teresa Duvall, one of the science teachers at Brevard Middle School, who also attended the meeting, expressed her gratitude to the AAUW Brevard Branch for providing this opportunity for the middle school students in Transylvania County.

She said, "Because of the girls' experience at Clemson, some have already chosen to participate in TIME for Real Science when they go to high school. Their experience at Clemson has made that much of a difference in their future."

TIME is an innovative science program in which the students engage in their own creative science projects, much as they did at the WISE Camp at Clemson. The difference is that in the TIME program, they are the ones designing their own projects. It was clear that this was a life-changing experience for the girls.

AAUW's mission is to promote equity for all women and girls through advocacy, philanthropy, education and research. The primary fund raising activity of the branch is the annual book sale held in June at Brevard College's Boshamer Gym.

Proceeds from the book sale are used to fund scholarships for Transylvania County girls and young women to attend Brevard College, Blue Ridge Community College, Green River Preserve Camp as well as Clemson University's WISE program. The branch takes great pride in the fact that their book sale is a community-driven operation, with books coming from the community and scholarships going back to the community.

More information about the branch and its many activities is available on their website http://www.brevard-nc.aauw.net. For membership information, contact Maury Bandurraga (862-5984) or Leslie Chepenik (877-5721).

The American Association of University Women is open to all graduates who hold a two-year associate degree (or equivalent) or higher degree from an accredited college or university.

 
 

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