In about 2 weeks, Argonne will be hosting the Science Careers in Search of Women conference. This is the 20th anniversary of this project of introducing girls in high school to scientists and a career in science.
This will be my 4th year of involvement in this effort. I've always tried to volunteer for projects that try to introduce what we do to the general public (see the Argonne Open House report), but this one is rather special. While I'm not from the female gender, I can see how women may have a tougher time getting the encouragement to choose a science career. The previous times that I've been involved with this project have been a lot of fun. I get to host between 10 to 20 high schools students and show them our experimental facilities. Now I can honestly tell you that these girls mean business. They certainly did not take this as a "vacation" from school, because they came here will armed with very intelligent questions. I had so much fun the first time I did this that I volunteered to do this the following year.
It is too bad that we have no women working in our group, which would have been a more effective role model for them. Still, I try to do the best I can short of dressing up in drag.