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News Release 09-041

Radio Series on Women in Science Wins Gracie Award

NSF-funded stories hit the right note during Women's History Month

Photo of students in chemistry lab.

High school students do hands-on work in a chemistry lab.

March 12, 2009

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

A series of radio programs about the changing role of girls and women in science and engineering--funded by the National Science Foundation--has won recognition as the winner of two 2009 Gracie Awards. These awards are made by American Women in Radio and Television, a non-profit organization that has worked since 1951 to improve the quality of broadcast programming and the image of women as depicted in radio, television and cable.

Produced by WAMC-Northeast Public Radio in Albany, New York, "The Sounds of Progress: The Changing Role of Girls and Women in Science and Engineering" is a two-part project. Part I is a series of eight stories that examine groundbreaking research and the implementation of research-based practices throughout the U.S. designed to increase the role of young girls and women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Part II offers 26 two-minute radio modules about fascinating women throughout history who were pioneers in STEM fields--from the first woman professor of physics in 18th-century Italy to a Civil War surgeon who was the first and only woman to be awarded the Medal of Honor--as well as stories researched and recorded by middle school-age girls about their favorite women in STEM.

The stories are accessible at

"We are all honored to receive these awards," said Glenn Busby, principal investigator and series producer. "This was a two-year team effort that we hope has an impact on the lives of women in science all around the country."

"The Sounds of Progress" is one of 55 Gracie winners in the Local, Public and Student Award Winners category. The series was recognized both for Outstanding Documentary-Short Format and for Outstanding Public Affairs Program. The awards will be formally made in New York City on June 4.

"We are very excited to have these stories out there and available to researchers, teachers, faculty, and all those interested in what is cutting edge in science education for girls and women," said Jolene Jesse, program director for the Research on Gender in Science and Engineering program at NSF. "The sharing of information and promising practices about what works for women and girls is vital to changing the face of science and ensuring a dynamic and innovative science and engineering enterprise."


Media Contacts
Maria C. Zacharias, NSF, (703) 292-8454, email:

Program Contacts
Jolene K. Jesse, NSF, (703) 292-7303, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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