Developing Scientific Womanpower: Gender and the Cold War-Era Science Fair

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Issue Date
2014-05-24
Authors
Adams, Ellen E.
Beatty, Joshua F.
Publisher
Keywords
science fair , gender , cold war , educational sociology
Abstract
This paper examines the intersection of gender and science in the U.S. during the Cold War by looking at girls' participation in science fairs. Official rhetoric encouraged both boys and girls to develop their skills in science and technology in the interest of national security, and in the years after World War II science fairs became popular vehicles for the display and promotion of science. Although boys participated in larger numbers than girls, young women were visible participants in science fairs, both at the local level and in national competitions such as the Westinghouse Science Talent Search (established in 1942) and the National Science Fair (begun in 1950).
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