Summer program logo
image description
College Preparation Program: IN FOCUS Seminar

The Future is Female: Wonder Women in STEM

High school students of all genders will be inspired by the stories of wonder women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) from historical greats like Zhenyi Wang and Marie Curie to modern-day masterminds. This exploration will traverse time and geography and a myriad of scientific fields. Students will learn about accomplished women scientists’ and professionals’ resilience and success stories and how to chart their own educational and career pathways to become the STEM super stars of the future. In reading about wonder women of the past, and before meeting wonder women of the present, students will learn some of the science/math/coding behind what they did/do. In this course, students will also discover the history behind the creation and success of everyone’s favorite superhero, Wonder Woman. Students will each also create their own STEM superhero, receiving instruction on drawing, writing, and storyboard construction.

Request info Apply now College Prep Facebook Page     College Prep Instagram Page   College Prep YouTube Page
  • Dates: July 23-Aug 3, 2018
  • Instructor: Shelby Hatch, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Chemistry, Weinberg Adviser
  • Enrollment Capacity: 15


Class time will include a variety of activities: discussions of readings, individual and small group in-class work (writing, drawing, and laboratory work), hosting guest speakers, and going on class trips.


By the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Name and describe the scientific contributions of several historically important women in STEM
  2. Be aware of some of the challenges facing women in STEM fields
  3. Do some science
  4. Understand the science behind the scientists
  5. Have a better understanding of the career possibilities in STEM


This seminar is appropriate for high school students of all genders who are interested in learning about the world-changing scientific contributions that women have been making, are making, and will continue to make, despite being significantly underrepresented in all STEM fields. No previous knowledge of any of these issues is required.

A Typical Classroom Session

Each day will focus on a particular Wonder Woman in STEM – past, present, or future.


Discuss yesterday’s reading of Alice Ball’s 1914 article in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS), “Benzolylations in Ether Solution”.


Laboratory experiment based on Alice Ball’s treatment for leprosy – isolating ethyl esters of fatty acids from awa root.



11:15am–12:00 pm:

Discussion – What challenges did Alice Ball face, not only as a woman in STEM, but as a young black woman growing up in a predominantly white city?


Writing/drawing time. Like Alice Ball, your STEM Superhero is presented the challenge of treating a debilitating and contagious disease. What scientific tools will they employ?

Resources and Materials

Some readings may be distributed (or links provided) at the start of the course. Film and television clips along with other multimedia sources will also be part of this seminar.