A trio of girls has scooped the honors in Siemens' Math, Science and Technology Prize, the first time in the competition's nine-year history. According to James Whaley, President of the Siemens Foundation, the percentage of girls taking part in the competition has been steadily increasing each year — and this year, 48% of the contestants were female. So, does this double victory dispel the theory that women just don't have it when it comes to excelling at sciences?Isha Jain, who netted the individual title (bagging herself a $US100,000 scholarship in the process) acknowledges that women are under-represented in those disciplines. "The guy-to-girl ratio in math and science competitions is absolutely ridiculous," admitted Isha, above, a student at Freedom High School in Bethlehem, Pa. "It's usually seven or eight guys to one girl."
So what does her win mean in the general scheme of things? "[That girls are]finally stepping up to the plate and are more than capable," she suggests. "And I'm proud to be a part of that."
The team prize, another $US100,000 scholarship, was shared by Janelle Schlossberger and Amanda Harinoff, seniors at Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School in Plainview, N.Y., for their research into tuberculosis. [BusinessWeek]