Women in the Sciences

What is WITS?

WITS is an award-winning program of hands-on science, math, career, and computer exploration activities during a week-long residential summer camp. Girls must be going into 6th through 9th grade to be eligible to participate in WITS. Participants stay on the Marietta College campus, eat in the campus dining hall, and engage in activities in the community of Marietta as well as a field trip to a science-related place. Those interested in applying may contact the Education Department for further information.

WITS mission

The mission of the Marietta College Women in the Sciences Program, an innovative leader in middle school science education, is to foster an increased interest among middle school students, particularly females, in the study of science and the pursuit of scientific careers by providing unique opportunities for middle school students and teachers to work collaboratively with college science faculty and practicing scientists and engineers.

About WITS

WITS was started in 1988 to address a national problem of a disproportionately small number of females enrolling in upper-level math and science courses. Some factors that lead to these inequities are cultural gender biases in the classroom, a failure to encourage an interest in sciences at an early age, and a scarcity of female role models. Also, a nationwide study, Why Schools Shortchange Girls (AAUW, 1992), suggests that teachers favor boys over girls in classroom interactions leading to lower self-esteem and academic confidence in girls, and fewer girls in academically challenging subjects such as math and science. It is hoped that by training teachers in gender awareness in the classroom, in methods of motivating female students in math and science, and by augmenting their knowledge in various scientific disciplines, that more women will choose to enter careers in science.

WITS Supporters

WITS has pursued funding from public and private sources to supplement the modest tuition charges. Two grants, one from the Ohio Board of Regents and the other from the M.H. Jennings Foundation provided initial start-up funds. WITS has been the recipient of an award from the Ameritech Partnership Program. In 1991, WITS won the Merck Foundation Centennial Award and a $100,000 endowment from Consolidated Natural Gas Foundation. The Ohio Environmental Education Fund and the United States EPA provided substantial finding for 1992-1993 activities. Afterschool and summer, for 1993-1994 and 1994-1995, were funded by a grant from the Eisenhower Math and Science Program. Currently, area industries, such as the Shell Chemical Company Foundation and most recently, Kraton Polymers have donated funds for student scholarships.

Dr. Cathy Mowrer

Download the WITS Brochure (PDF)


Traveling Trunks Program

The Traveling Trunk Program allows classroom teachers and event organizers to bring history into the classroom in an authentic and meaningful manner.

Teachers are often challenged when trying to communicate the life experiences of people who lived in earlier centuries to students for whom touch screens and passwords are the stuff of everyday life. Museum tours are valuable but are often used as special events. Movies can be helpful, but providing opportunities for students to see, touch, and use products from an earlier time develop new levels of understanding. For an individual teacher to create multiple collections to use in their teaching, the acquisition can be very costly, and storage becomes an issue.

Trunks contain a thematic unit of lesson plans with accompanying artifacts and supplies for teaching those lessons. Lessons are geared toward grade levels that cover those specific content standards under that unit of study. Items in a trunk might contain music, literature, clothing, games, photographs and more that aid students in understanding and appreciating the topic being studied.

Traveling history trunks have proven to be a relatively low-cost, high impact method of enabling teachers to discuss multiple historical eras, locations, and experiences through a shared-product approach. Materials related to a particular theme are gathered and placed in a wheeled suitcase, which can then be easily stored and moved, just as books from a lending library.

Available Trunks

Underground Railroad
Establishment of Marietta
The Six Historic Native American Tribes of Ohio
Rivers of Ohio (Ohio & Muskingham)
Northwest Ordinance
United States Government
Elementary Economics


Cathy Mowrer


Pioneer Pipeline

Each week, students with disabilities from Warren High School participate in multiple projects, activities, trips, where their focus is gaining social/recreational communication, functional living, academic and employment skills.

Mentors trained by the Education and Psychology Departments meet their assigned Pioneer Pipeline participant throughout the day to assist as job, employment and/or education coaches. Once students gain awareness of the campus, the multiple buildings and what MC has to offer them, they work their way into the Marietta community. Pioneer Pipeline is partially funded by a replication model grant from The Ohio State University Nisonger Center. This program is under the direction of Dr. Bill Bauer, McCoy Associate Professor of Education and Dr. Chris Klein, McCoy Associate Professor of Psychology.

Visit the website

William Bauer Ph.D.

Dr. Chris Klein