For Immediate Release
July 8, 2003
Contact: Robert Florida
NJIT Summer Program Helps Girls Overcome Gender Gap in Math and Science
WHAT:The FEMME program (Women in Engineering and Technology Initiative) helps girls overcome
the gender gap in math, science and engineering. Elementary school girls perform as well as boys
in math and science, yet fall behind them during middle school and high school. To redress that
imbalance, 120 girls – fourth through eighth graders – will come to New Jersey Institute of
Technology (NJIT) campus to study aeronautical, biomedical and mechanical engineering.
WHEN: Classes begin Monday, July 7, and end August 7. They meet Monday through Friday,
9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: New Jersey Institute of Technology campus, Newark, N.J.
HOW: Beginning July 14, reporters and photographers are invited to come to NJIT to
observe classes and talk to the girls, and their teachers, about the relation between gender
and academics. Each week students will work on interesting projects such as rocket launches,
boat building and chocolate chemistry.
WHY: FEMME challenges the premise that boys are better in math and science than girls,
who are underrepresented in engineering – 90 percent of engineers are men. Studies also show an
achievement gap separates students in affluent communities from those in low-income communities.
Most of the girls in Femme are black and Hispanic and live in low-income cities and suburbs
across the region.
Editor’s Note: The girls attending FEMME live in the following towns or cities: Chester,
East Orange, Elizabeth, Green Brook, Guttenberg, Harrison, Hillside, Irvington, Maplewood, Montville,
Newark, North Bergen, Nutley, Orange, Paterson, Piscataway, Plainfield, Rahway, Ridgefield Park,
Roselle, Schnecksville, Somerset, South Orange, Teaneck, Union, Union City, Vauxhall, Wayne,
NJIT is a public, scientific and technological research university enrolling more
than 8,800 students. The university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees to students in
80 degree programs throughout its six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School of
Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, Albert Dorman Honors College
and College of Computing Sciences. The division of continuing professional education offers adults
eLearning, off campus degrees and short courses. Expertise and research initiatives include architecture
and building science, applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and science,
information technology, manufacturing, materials, microelectronics, multimedia, telecommunications,
transportation and solar astrophysics. NJIT ranks in Tier 2 of U.S. News & World Report’s list of
national doctoral universities.