Exciting women through chemistry

40,275 grams of slime, 4,030 ink dots, 3,876 M&Ms, 977 baby diapers, 489 cups of milk and a few electrified pickles could make all the difference in whether adolescent girls become engaged in science. Aside from the deliberately ironic precision of those values, there is a serious message as numbers of females entering science, and particularly, chemistry continues to fall. University of Missouri researcher Sheryl Tucker is combating this issue through the creation of a program that has kept girls interested in science. Results reported in Science show that her program of rotating workshops held in conjunction with National Girl Scout and National Chemistry weeks. The follow-up studies have shown that more four out of five girls taking part in the "Magic of Chemistry" professed an interest in learning more about science and related careers.