About the program...

Begun in 1993, this series of programs was supported by two National Science Foundation grants. The project spans grades 5-12, and involves collaboration among teachers and administrators of the Columbia Public Schools, University of Missouri faculty, local industries and parents. Curricular, extracurricular and training components are designed to nurture the participation, interest and knowledge of female students in the physical sciences.

The project supports extracurricular programs at four levels: Exploring Physics for 5-7 grade girls; Family Evenings with Science and Technology (FEST), a middle school parent / student program; Saturday Scientist, in collaboration with local industries for 8-9 grade students; and the Newton Summer Science Academy for 9-11 grade girls, which integrates Science, engineering and mathematics through a toy factory building project.  Training components include physics summer institutes and a gender equity course for science teachers; curricular components offer support to 9th grade science classes and a female targeted section of physics.

Resources developed as part of the program:

  • Physics Activities for middle level students in Optics, Matter, and Sound. Several hands-on activities have been uploaded, and we are working on uploading more activities throughout 2013.
  • A CD of hands-on activities in Electricity and Magnetis. Sample activities from the CD are on our site, Exploring Physics. The CD targets teachers and students at the middle level (5-9). Equipment for several activities is also available on that site.
  • Evaluation Materials for the four extracurricular programs - feel free to download and use them.
  • Materials developed for a Gender Equity Course, taught by Kathy Phillips and Rebecca Litherland in Winter 1999.

The members of the above projects are currently involved in conducting a teacher training and leadership institute program A TIME for Physics First, also funded by the National Science Foundation.

EPIC Program Developers and Contact Persons

  • Dr. Rebecca Q. Litherland
    Science Coordinator, Parkway School District,
    Chesterfield, MO
    Email: rlith@charter.net