SHiPS Resource Center ||   BOOK BRIEF

reviewed 9/97 Women Life Scientists: Past, Present and Future: Connecting Role Models to the Classroom Curriculum. Marsha L. Matyas and Ann E. Haley-Oliphant (eds.). The American Physiological Society (Bethesda, MD). ISBN 1-890251-00-3. (APS Publication #ED97-1). Contact (301) 530-7132 or

This book offers 20 excellent life-science modules "designed to increase students' exposure both to female science role models and to hands-on, inquiry approach activities." Each module includes a brief biography of a female scientist (with photo), along with a related activity using a hands-on, inquiry approach, and/or problem-solving. Suggestions for leading the activities and for assessment, as well as handouts, are included.

The APS is offering two sample modules for free. One is on Maria Mayorga, an African-American in the US Army who researches the physiological effects of potentially toxic gases and shock waves, each resulting from explo-sions. The accompanying labs are on diffusion and using that as a model for diagnosing damaged lungs. The second features Sara Josephine Baker, who tracked down Typhoid Mary. The lab here situates students in a contemporary epidemiological "whodunit."

Many of the more familiar women scientists from history are includedóBarbara McClintock, Gerty Cori and Rachel Carson. But you will also find Ynez Mexia, a Mexican American botanist renowned for her field collections, and Beatrice Potter, who was a mycologist long before she created the endearing character of Peter Rabbit(!). This volume gets four stars for highlighting women in science, for bringing history and social context into science, and for linking them to quality lab activities.

--Douglas Allchin

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