Washington University in St. Louis has established itself as a leading scientific institution with such initiatives as the Human Genome Project. Now the school is supporting a new project that could be just as revolutionary: fostering the next generation of female scientists. The university is sponsoring a girls-only charter school focused on science and engineering, projected to open in St. Louis in August 2015, and here’s the revolutionary part—it won’t cost students a dime. A combination of private donors and public funding will finance the school, which hopes to enroll 500 students a year by 2020, although it’s starting with only sixth and seventh graders.
Hawthorn’s founder, Mary Danforth Stillman, told Diane Toroian Keaggy of Washington University:
“The single-sex option is out there for people who can pay, and now we are saying, ‘Let’s provide that option to students with limited financial resources.’ At Hawthorn, every leadership role will be filled by a girl. Every classroom discussion will be led by a girl. Hawthorn girls will be encouraged to reach their highest potential in and out of the classroom, and our faculty and staff will provide the support and encouragement they need to realize that potential.”
How’s that for girl power?