UNEARTHING INTEREST IN PALEONTOLOGY FOR WINS INTERNS
Since its founding in 1982, WINS has introduced over 700 girls to careers in science and other professions by providing hands-on science workshops, career and college exploration, and positive youth development. The program’s mentoring and support has resulted in 100% of WINS students graduating high school (compared to 60% graduation rate for the Philadelphia School District) and over 96% enrolling into college immediately after graduating (compared to 48% for the district). Of these, 60% go on to study in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) field.
WINS girls are employed as either ANSDU scientific interns or as museum Explainers. Internship opportunities are available in various departments, including the paleontology lab, ichthyology, vertebrate zoology and botany. Travel is also an important component of the program.
In the summer of 2012, four paleontology interns from the WINS program, along with the WINS Manager, participated in a paleontological expedition with the New Jersey State Museum’s Paleontology Field School based in Red Lodge, Montana. This trip provides them with an opportunity to experience many of the paleontological and scientific processes of prospecting, discovery, excavation, lab preparation and identification of the same fossils, and interpretation. WINS participants then are able to better interpret the science and their experiences to the general public and their peers, thus becoming effective mentors and role models within their communities.