Tohoku University in Japan is recruiting "Science Angels"–female volunteer students from its graduate school–to primary, middle and high schools in Sendai to attract more females into science.
The program will start next month, and the university is currently recruiting about 40 volunteers.
The volunteers will visits schools in the city to interest female students in science and will also provide consultations for females visiting the university campus.
Next year, the university may send the volunteers back to their own schools in other parts of the nation. The university also will set up a network for the volunteers to facilitate communications among them.
Tohoku University was the first university in Japan to accept female students when three women entered the school in 1913. But its ratio of females teaching natural science now is only 6.3 percent–one of the lowest in the country.
Prof. Motoko Kotani, who is in charge of the program, said, "An analysis of academic performance by 15-year-olds shows that women are not inferior to men in scientific subjects."
"The Angels will talk about their studies and daily life, and become role models for the younger generations," Kotani said.