VALENCIA – Some 200 seventh- and eighth-grade girls spent Saturday morning learning how to become millionaires, pharmacists and scientists. Women with careers in math and science fields led the hourlong workshops at Valencia High School with the hopes that the young audience in ponytails and low-rise jeans will become tomorrow’s brain surgeons, veterinarians and dentists. “It’s important that junior-high girls realize the opportunities open to them in math and science fields and not to be intimidated by past male stereotypes in those fields,” said Jane Hanson, charter member of the American Association of University Women, which sponsored the event. Some of the professionals have noticed that times are changing in the work force and that fields once dominated by men now have many more women. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 In her work with emergency animal care and animal training, Fawn Nyvold said both fields are heavily saturated with women. It’s a total about-face from 15 years ago, when women were scarcely seen working with animals. Nyvold said there are still a lot of men in the field, but at the same time there are many more women these days graduating from college and pursuing animal-related professions. She wonders if women are drawn to the work because of their nurturing instincts. “I think some of it is maternal instinct and in general more women are doing more jobs that men used to do,” she said. Biology professor Jen Chotiner of Mount St. Mary’s College has noticed that the ratio of women to men in science is about equal. But the problem is that women don’t stay in the field, Chotiner said. Women sometimes leave to raise families and because they’re frustrated that they can’t penetrate science’s upper levels, she said. But science is changing as older people retire. With that, Chotiner hopes that more women will move up the ladder. “As these girls move into science careers, there will be less of that, I imagine,” she said, looking at the 12- and 13-year-old girls in her workshop. “Things are on their way to changing.” As she walked from one workshop to the next, 13-year-old Karinne Smith held up a building she made from Popsicle sticks in a session about structural design. But it was the lesson about biotechnology and DNA that really got the attention of the La Mesa Junior High eighth-grader. “The genetic part of it makes it cool,” she said. “DNA looks so small but it really is large when you think about it.” Sue Doyle, (661) 257-5254 firstname.lastname@example.org 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!