Overall, Theresa Johnson believes they’ve been very effective, because she’s seeing the results for herself.

“This program has increased the students’ awareness of career options and various majors within the fields of anthropology and science. I find that the girls are engaging in conversations involving what majors they will pursue in the future. They are talking about options at ASU and looking forward to becoming Sun Devils,” she said.

Kent Johnson attributes the tremendous impact of the program to the people at SHESC.

“SHESC faculty and graduate students have been very supportive of the program from the very beginning. Their support and participation helped make the program a great success,” he said.

With such encouraging outcomes so far, it makes sense that the Johnsons — and SHESC — want to continue this partnership in the future. Possibilities for the students at GLAAZ include more guest lectures in the fall and even scientific internships.

“We are working with Kelly Knudson to develop an internship program for our girls to help some graduate students in SHESC and promote our partnership with the department,” Theresa Johnson said.

Knudson, an associate professor at SHESC and the director of the Archaeological Chemistry Lab, is eager to apply her experience to the new challenge of helping mentor high schoolers.

“Having students learning about archaeology and chemistry through hands-on laboratory work has been a very important part of our educational program in the Archaeological Chemistry Laboratory, but traditionally I’ve worked with undergraduate and graduate students. Bringing motivated high school students from GLAAZ to intern in the ACL will be a wonderful way to show them how science works and to expose them to different scientists at ASU,” she said. 

At least one grad student has already taken steps to get the high school girls into some serious lab science.

“I am working with professor Knudson and GLAAZ to organize a volunteering opportunity for two to three GLAAZ students to assist me with my research in the ACL and get hands-on chemistry lab work experience,” Pacheco-Fores said.

Theresa Johnson commented that she is looking forward to continuing the SHESC-GLAAZ Outreach Program for years to come – and surely, little by little, raising up a small army of passionate new female scientists.

Written by Mikala Kass, School of Human Evolution and Social Change

Mikala Kass

Editorial Communications Coordinator, School of Human Evolution and Social Change