February 11th – International Day of Women and Girls in Science


Abby Vance

Gabrielle Basiliko educates her students about tectonic plates.

Abby Vance, Staff Writer

“Let us choose for ourselves our path in life, and let us try to strew that path with flowers.”

Emilie du Chatelet, mathematician, physicist, and author

Feb. 11, 2023 marked the seventh anniversary of the creation of “International Day of Women and Girls in Science”. This day celebrates the inspirational women that have changed the world in the sciences: Marie Curie, Sally Ride, Katherine Johnson, Rosalind Franklin, and many more. 

Gabrielle Basiliko is a student teacher for Earth Systems Science at State High. “I think it is important [for there to be women in science] because science doesn’t have any limits,” Basiliko said. “We’re constantly developing, constantly learning about the scientific world and I just don’t think science is something that you can put a label on.” 

Ms. Rosensteel is the advanced Biology Electives teacher and former Science Olympiad advisor for State High. To her, celebrating women in science is important. “Promoting different groups that might not be as well established in the science field is always going to be important. I also think it is important to celebrate the unique features that we see in a lot of the women here at the school and how passionate they are about science. And, how creative they are. And, how well they work together. And, how well they can bring the community together to see the broader impacts of the research that were doing.”

Though this celebration is important and brings to light many inspirational women, it’s truly not talked about enough at State High. “[I think we can celebrate their work] just by showing the work that they’re doing, and getting the word out. Even though we are kind of hiding up here in A329, they are doing some amazing work from beginning to end. They’re doing college-level research that really is impacting areas all around the world, not just our community,” Rosensteel added.

The college-level research includes a pilot program with a team at Penn State and a team in Bogotá, Colombia. In this project, they are working with women and changing weather patterns that are affecting Colombia’s groundwater levels.

They are also doing research on how to heal bones with hydrogels. “We’re working with rat bones right now, and we’re fracturing the rat bones and then we’re covering them with this hydrogel,” Rosensteel explained. “The hydrogel will then help with the bone healing. We will be presenting this project and six others at our spring symposium in April,” she added. 

The projects not only spark curiosity in the students but also help their future. “We’re doing various college-level projects and experiments to highlight what these students are able to do in the research area and to give them the confidence they need to move to the next level so they can start with these entry-level positions and go right into these research labs and be confident with their skills,” Rosensteel said.

There are many female students who are involved in science here at State High. One of them is Quiana Guo, a senior who is co-president of Science Olympiad and hopes to go into biochemistry. “I think it is important for us to celebrate [women in science] because then you can see that other women have done just as important things as men,” Guo believed. “Maybe they’re not as famous, but they definitely contributed a lot.”

When asked if there are any women in science that they look up to, Guo said, “I would say I definitely look up to my mom, who is in the IT department. I also look up to Ms. Rosensteel, as well as so many of our amazing teachers.”

With all of the amazing women scientists in the world, it is important to bring them to light and celebrate their accomplishments. From student researchers, to student teachers—from the classroom to the fieldwork— there is so much to appreciate. They have accomplished so much, and there is a great deal to look forward to.