Virtual Mentors

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Aside from conducting her postdoctoral studies in the Institute's Neurobiology Department, Dr. Neta Rimmerman also mentors an 11th-grade student from Holon.

Dr. Netta Maoz of the Davidson Institute of Science Education believes that girls who are about to choose their matriculation track shy away from science studies – not because they don't possess scientific aptitude, but mainly due to the lack of a "role model" as well as a prevailing social stigma: high school girls are afraid of being perceived as "too smart."

To this end, a new initiative directed by Maoz intends to encourage young women to choose a career in science, helping them to overcome these difficulties by way of a supporting network that provides encouragement and professional advice. The program, called "Women Scientists of Today and Tomorrow," is a virtual mentoring project in which 8th- to 12th-grade female students are put in touch with a woman scientist from the Weizmann Institute, as well as other academic institutions.

Conducted primarily via e-mail, the students are able to ask their mentors questions about scientific projects as well as approach them about more personal issues – such as advice on balancing a scientific career with motherhood.

Rimmerman: "At the moment, I am still trying to get to know my student and to create some kind of connection and common language between us, with the aim of understanding what she is interested in, what her ambitions are and how she envisions her future. This way I hope to be able to find the most effective way to help her."

If you are a Hebrew-speaking female scientist or engineer who would like to get involved in this virtual mentoring program, please contact Dr. Netta Maoz for more information: