New Program Encourages Moms to Explore Science

OGDEN, Utah – Botany, chemistry and physics … subjects that once caused many moms to say “oh my” will be a little less intimidating thanks to a new program at Weber State University.

On Nov. 13, WSU’s College of Science will offer the first of eight courses in a fun, free, hands-on program called Science Moms. Created by AmyJo Proctor, assistant director of WSU’s Ott Planetarium, the program is a chance for moms to get together in a friendly environment and learn more about science.

“Oftentimes, women shy away from the subject,” Proctor said. “We want to make science friendly and approachable; after all, science is all around us. We want to show moms how it works in their daily lives and how they can help their children better understand it.”

Participants will meet from 9 a.m. to noon on the second Saturday of the month from November to June. Each class will focus on a different area of science, from botany, chemistry and physics to zoology, microbiology, geosciences and mathematics. By participating in activities like growing microorganisms, looking at DNA and learning how home strep tests work, moms can then show their children how fun — and important — science is.

“Science sets children up to succeed in life,” said WSU physics professor Adam Johnston, who assisted Proctor in developing the curriculum for Science Moms. “It’s everywhere ... in jobs, technology, medicine, you name it. Science also helps you make decisions on a personal level, from what foods do I eat to what kind of car do I buy?”

Through the program, Proctor wants to help mothers get their children involved in science early in life.
“In elementary school, kids are still at an age where they enjoy science,” she said. “If we can get moms to encourage that interest early on, we can keep children from developing an ‘ewwww, science is gross’ attitude later. If they’re doing science at home with their families, it won’t seem weird to them in school.” 

When the idea for Science Moms first came to Proctor, she said she couldn’t help but think of how influential moms are.
“If children have big decisions to make, if something exciting happens to them, or if they have a problem, who do they go to? Mom. Moms make great role models,” she said.

While the program will help mothers help their children in school, it also will give them a place to meet other moms and a chance to work with highly regarded female mentors and scientists from WSU’s College of Science.

Science Moms is open to mothers of children of all ages. Funded by the Utah Families Foundation, all materials will be provided free of charge. The first class will meet Nov. 13 at 9 a.m. in Lind Lecture Hall Room 231. Childcare will be available and will feature science-oriented activities.

Space is limited. Register online at webersci.org/sciencemoms.

For more information, contact Proctor at 801-626-6871 or amyjoproctor@weber.edu.

Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.

Contact:
AmyJo Proctor, assistant director of the Ott Planetarium and founder of Science Moms
801-626-6871 • amyjoproctor@weber.edu
Author:
Amy Hendricks, office of Media Relations
801-626-6346 • amyhendricks@weber.edu