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"Dummies Make Us Smarter," Says Engineer to Girls at Women in Science and Engineering Program


Lowell-Alison Japiskse, a vehicle crash safety engineer with the Ford Motor Company, works every day with dummies-crash dummies, that is-to make vehicles safer.

Japikse will be the keynote speaker at the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program at UMass Lowell, sponsored by a major grant from Philips Medical Systems in Andover. Philips Medical Systems is part of Royal Philips Electronics, one of the world's largest electronics companies.

About 400 girls from seventh and eighth grades will participate in WISE 2003 on Friday, May 2. Each girl attends three workshops from a selection of 26, presented by working professional women in the sciences, engineering, and technical fields. 

            Enthusiasm for the workshops runs high, as the girls practice crime-lab techniques, medical illustration, weather forecasting, veterinary procedures, product engineering, and many more hands-on activities that relate to the daily work of the presenters.

            The professional women also serve as role models to the girls, offering advice about high school courses, describing their own career choices, and answering questions about their work and lives.

            Women continue to be underrepresented in the sciences and engineering. The award-winning WISE program, now in its eighth year, has been credited by earlier participants with influencing their career aspirations and their choices of science and math courses in high school.

            Philips Medical Systems and WISE will be presenting scholarships for summer science and engineering camps to 25 of the career day participants.

Students come from schools in Andover, Ayer, Bedford, Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Groton, Lawrence, Lowell, Maynard, Methuen, North Andover, Pepperell, Reading, Shirley, Tewksbury, Townsend, Tyngsboro, Westford and Wilmington; and from Bow, New Hampshire.

When/Where:             Friday, May 2, 2003

Workshops begin at 9:10, 10:10, and 11:10 a.m.

in the Chem (Olney) and Bio (Olsen) buildings, North Campus 

Keynote speaker at 12:40 p.m., in Olney 150


WISE 2003 Workshops

Aviation, Aviatrix, and Angels: Captain Katie Stinson, Pilot, Boeing 737, Southwest Airlines

Take a flight as we plan our destination (where do you want to go?), chart our course (how do you use maps in the clouds?), and make sure we have enough fuel (why do we use pounds instead of gallons?).

Becoming a Science Writer: Carole G. Vogel, M.A.T., Freelance Science Writer, Editor, Speaker

The process of becoming a science writer, including the role of curiosity, the need for top-notch research and interview skills, tips for organizing information, the writing process, and the special tools of a science writer.

Biotechnology: What Makes Our Bodies Work? Angela Zapata, Ph.D., Biotechnology Teacher, Cambridge Rindge and Latin School

Conduct some experiments to explore what makes our bodies work; and we will learn about various ways biotechnology can help our bodies stay working properly. 

Body Art: Sue Lee, Medical Illustrator, Sue Lee Medical Illustration

Construct an eye out of different colored clays, using photographs from an anatomy atlas, then draw the model that you have created.

Breaking the Box:  Designing a Special Place Just for You: Linda A. Moody, AIA,
Principal, Linda Moody & Associates, Architects, Inc.

Modeling techniques to help everyone design a space they can create themselves. We will explore the various tasks involved in a typical architect's day. 

Building Blocks of Software Engineering: Nancy Brooks Phillips, Senior Software Engineer/Developer; Heather Craven, Associate Software Engineer/Developer, Fidelity Investments

Working as a team on a project to give a concept of what software engineers do to gather requirements, implement a project, and release it to production.

Catapult Design Of Experiments: Kathieann Hall, Senior Engineer; Michelle M. Gauthier, Ph.D., Engineering Fellow, Raytheon Company

Use a catapult to launch balls a specific distance, then implement  "Design of Experiments", which uses mathematical concepts to predict where the ball will hit every time.

Cell Preparation for Manufacturing: Kellie M. Bonin, Production Planner; Jennifer Cormier, Fermentation Quality Coordinator, Dowpharma BCMS

Learn the steps taken to prepare cells for examination under a microscope, a technique used in cell culture and fermentation in biotechnology.

Channel 5 and the Weather: J C Monahan, Weekend Meteorologist, WCVB, Channel Five

Learn about weather symbols found on surface level maps and plot them on national charts and discuss how we can interpret them in our forecasting.

Emergency 101:Teresa Pazdral, MD; Mary F. Buechler, MD, Staff Physicians, Emergency Dept,
Lawrence General Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Medford,

Hands on with tools of the trade, with particular emphasis of CPR and Resuscitation.

Engineering Personal Care Products: Teresia Kiangi, Assoc. Chemical Engineer, Gillette Co.

Presentation on Process Engineering; unit-operation experiments on distillation, fluidization and pumping.

How Old is that Deer? Marion E. Larson, Wildlife Outreach Coordinator/Biologist, Mass. Division of Fisheries & Wildlife (MassWildlife)

A number of deer jaws (bones) and a brief "deer aging" course will help us figure out the age of some unknown deer jaws and predict the reproduction of deer in a particular part of the state.

How Puzzling! Mary Bedell, Principal Software Engineer, Chrisanthi Bouris, Sr. Software Engineer; Nicole Soucy, Sr. Software Engineer; Celeste Dufresne, Sr. Software Engineer II, Raytheon Company

Software is solving puzzles. We will be the computer and solve puzzles as the computer does.

Human Error-How YOU Can Stop It: Anne Marie Chesno, Technical Manager/Nuclear Engineer; Geryl Janinski, Environmental Engineer,North Atlantic Energy Service Corp - Seabrook Station

How simple techniques like self checking and repeat backs can prevent tragedies. Think you know what a penny looks like? Do you always hear directions the first time? Come and take our test!

On Being Pharmaceutically Elegant: Candace MB Gregorian, RPh, Chief of Pharmacy, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates

Use tools and references to fill a prescription and compound a product accurate in every detail of measurement, aesthetically appealing (as makeup might appear), and free of debris.

Plastics as Soap: Erin McLaughlin, Staff Engineer, Triton Systems

What is a polymer nanocomposite?" Experiments with various compatibilizers, like soap, to see how they can change an incompatible system.

Programming a Human Robot: Becky Gibson, Senior Software Engineer; Annette Riffe, Advisory Software Engineer, IBM

Use a limited set of instructions to tell a human how to make a peanut butter sandwich. Our 'robot' will carry out our instructions to the letter, so we'll have to go back and fix the program.

Putting It All Together: Fun, Functional, Funky! Janay Marriel Johnson, MSPD, Product Design Research Engineer, The Gillette Company

A hands-on exploration through the process of designing products (toothbrushes, cars, ice cream cones, DVD players, etc.). We will 'dissect' existing products and imagine new ones.

Step Aside Paper Airplanes: We're Making Paper Satellites! Joy Stafford-Evans, Senior Project Specialist / Mechanical Engineer, Physical Sciences, Inc.

Learn about engineering compromise by designing a satellite, making decisions between different materials and configurations, then test the results.

Sugar You Can See Through! Michele LaCourse, Senior Product Development Engineer, 3M

I am a ceramic/glass engineer and one of the things I do is take certain materials and make them into glass.  We are going to be making hard candy which is very similar to making glass.

The CSI Lab : Melissa O'Meara and Cailin Lally, Forensic Chemists, State Police Crime Laboratory

A hands on workshop demonstrating each area of the MSP Crime Laboratory will be conducted so you can see how science interacts with criminal law-the real-life version, not the TV version!

The Science of Art & Archaeology: Molly McNamara, Associate Objects Conservator, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston

Science applications from the physics of X-radiography to the chemistry of removing an old discolored varnish from a painting. We will repair ceramic objects and clean metal objects.

The Water You Drink: Where Does It Come From? Judy A. Gilbert, Environmental Consultant, Project Manager, GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.

Construct a model of an aquifer, then a model of a groundwater monitoring well and observe the effects of a spill or release of oil or hazardous materials on the aquifer.

Veterinary Emergency Medicine: Lisa Moses, VMD, Emergency/Critical Care, and colleagues, The Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, MSPCA

Examine radiographs (x-rays) of various animals, and make a "diagnosis." Perform the basics of CPR on dogs and cats using our dog, "Resusci-Jerry". 

What Does the Army Eat? Food Engineering: Ann Barrett, PhD, Research Food Engineer, U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Center

Taste test a variety of army rations, then hold a mini ration-development session to develop a very compact and very caloric food, which can both sustain the soldiers and be easily carried.

Why Am I So Tired? Elsa M. Moniz, ASCP, Kristin Panunzio, ASCP, Medical Technologists, Lahey Clinic

Role-play at the emergency room-a  young athletic teenager who presents with fatigue, malaise and swollen glands, then use microscopes to look at lab results.

Participants in WISE 2003

School                        Town                        District

Bow High School                        Bow, NH                      Bow, NH

Doherty Middle School               Andover                        Andover

West Middle Schl                       Andover                        Andover

Wood Hill Middle Schl                Andover                       Andover

Ayer Middle Schl                        Ayer                             Ayer

John Glen Middle Schl                 Bedford                        Bedford

Locke Middle Schl                      Billerica                        Billerica

Marshall Middle Schl                   Billerica                        Billerica

McCarthy Middle Schl                Chelmsford                   Chelmsford

Murdoch Middle Schl (Public Charter School)                  Chelmsford                        Chelmsford

Parker Middle Schl                        Chelmsford                  Chelmsford

Lakeview Junior High Schl               Dracut                        Dracut

Groton-Dunstable Middle Schl        Groton                        Groton-Dunstable Regional

Alexander B. Bruce School             Lawrence                    Lawrence

Arlington School                              Lawrence                   Lawrence

Henry K. Oliver School                   Lawrence                    Lawrence

Robert Frost Schl                            Lawrence                    Lawrence

South Lawrence East Schl               Lawrence                     Lawrence

B. F. Butler Middle Schl                  Lowell                         Lowell

Bartlett Middle Schl                        Lowell                          Lowell

Dr. An Wang Middle Schl                Lowell                         Lowell

E. N. Rogers Middle Schl                 Lowell                         Lowell

James Daley Middle School              Lowell                         Lowell

James F. Sullivan Middle Schl           Lowell                         Lowell

McDonough City Magnet Schl          Lowell                         Lowell

Fowler School                                  Maynard                     Maynard

Timony Grammar Schl                        Methuen                     Methuen

North Andover Middle Schl               North Andover           North Andover

Nissitissit Middle Schl                        Pepperell                    North Middlesex Regional

Walter S. Parker Middle School         Reading                     Reading

Lura A. White Schl                            Shirley                         Shirley

John W. Wynn Middle Schl               Tewksbury                 Tewksbury

Hawthorne Brook Middle Schl           Townsend                  North Middlesex Regional

Tyngsborough Jr/Sr High Schl            Tyngsborough              Tyngsborough

Blanchard Middle Schl                       Westford                    Westford

Wilmington Middle Schl                     Wilmington                   Wilmington

For more information, contact or 978-934-3224