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2014 Girls in Science Scientist of the Year

July 9, 2014


The Science Center of Iowa (SCI) recently awarded Laura Higgins, DuPont Pioneer research director and board-certified entomologist, their Girls in Science Scientist of the Year award. The award, in its inaugural year, recognizes a local scientist who exemplifies the Girls in Science Initiative goal to empower and equip girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The Science Center of Iowa chose Higgins for embodying the spirit of SCI's Girls in Science Initiative throughout the community as a Girl Scout leader, a student mentor for "Science Bound" at Roosevelt High School, a member of the Grand View University Biology Advisory Committee, a presenter at "Taking the Road Less Traveled" sponsored by Iowa State University's Program for Women in Science and Engineering, and a regular participant in area science fairs for Des Moines Public Schools. Laura was also in the first class of "Portal to the Public" scientists at the Science Center. That group received specialized training by SCI in scientific outreach.

Higgins has been an active volunteer participating in many Girls in Science programs and events for the past several years. In January, she joined the SCI Board of Directors.

"It is such an honor to be selected for this award. As a mother of two daughters, I feel like I've been doing girls in science programming daily for the past 15 years! I feel strongly that scientists have an obligation to help the general public understand the work they do. We can't really complain about science illiteracy if we do nothing to help. Insects are an incredibly interesting vehicle for science education - who doesn't love or hate a bug?& You can eat them, they can eat you, they can eat your house - the fascinating facts are endless..."

To learn more about SCI's Girls in Science Initiative, visit www.sciowa.org/girlsinscience.

Photo caption: 2014 Girls in Science Scientist of the Year Laura Higgins (middle) with Leisha Barcus, SCI VP Community Engagement, and Curt Simmons, SCI President and CEO