WISER Comes to Monticello

October 15, 2012
Cleveland Heights, OH

The Girls’ Science and Engineering Club at Monticello Middle School began its second year of programming, thanks to Case Western Reserve University’s Women In Science and Engineering Roundtable (WISER) program. At the community level, the program exposes girls to careers in science through two, six-week sessions during the school year. Last year, 15 sixth-grade female students participated in the club, and this year, 24 students are participating.

Students must apply to join the club, and Monticello sixth-grade science teacher Jason Jeske selects the students who participate. Before deciding, he carefully considers which students show an aptitude for science and are likely to gain the most from the experience. The school’s principal, Brian Sharosky, appreciates how Mr. Jeske encourages his female students to pursue science and his continual work to grow the partnership between the WISER program and the District.  

The girls in the Girls’ Science and Engineering Club meet once a week to conduct hands-on experiments and explore topics that include genetics, electrical engineering, polymer chemistry and ocean engineering. The program is facilitated by Rebecca R. Carter, WISER Outreach Programming Specialist and full time PhD student in Epidemiology and Biostatistics.  Each session Rebecca brings at least four WISER volunteers to work with the students. During the experiments, the volunteers explain how the work they’re doing could evolve into careers in science, technology, engineering, math and the medical fields.

Sixth grade student Amanee Muhammad is a member of the club.

“You learn new things that you don’t usually learn in middle school,” Amanee said.

In addition to weekly meetings, members of the Girls’ Science and Engineering Club may attend two events on Case Western Reserve University’s (CWRU) campus:  “Introduce a Girl to Science” and “Introduce a Girl to Engineering.” Both full-day events promote the sciences as career paths for young women. And, during the visits, the girls also tour CWRU’s research and innovation labs, assets that help make it one of Ohio’s prestigious universities. Heather Clayton Terry, a Cleveland Heights High School alumna, is the Associate Director for Women in Science and Engineering and the WISER Advisor at the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women at CWRU.

“More women have come to Case Western Reserve University with majors in science, technology, engineering, math and pre-med than ever before,” Mrs. Terry said.

The WISER program supports female students, staff and faculty within science, engineering, technology, math and pre-med departments on CWRU’s campus, but the program also seeks to reach out to young girls in the community. Mrs. Terry is thrilled to help bring programs like WISER to our District.  To learn more about the program, please email or check out their website at .

Ashlie Dyer is the Pathway Partnership Specialist for the CH-UH City School District.  Ashlie is developing and maintaining partnerships in the community to promote the development of programs like WISER with Case Western Reserve University.  Please contact Ashlie if you have any information on new and innovative programs that would benefit our students.