What has been the real effect on the schools of the Reed program? The unfortunate answer is that without it, there would be little or no science in most Beach and Rieke classrooms. At Beach, this is in part because of a necessarily strong emphasis on basic skills; still parents and teachers alike worry about the lack of science. "And at Robert Gray, there's been no funding for science for six years," says Marilyn Day, science teacher there. "Our text books are 12 to 15 years old. We have no lab books or materials."
"Plus," agrees Rieke principal Nancy Verstegen, "the level of sophistication of the Reed program is so high. How many grade school kids get to study microbiology? And the Reedies are great role models. They dispel any myths the kids have about what a scientist looks like." Teacher John Lehman, clearly pleased at the presence of the three young women scientists leading his fifth grade class, points out that a week ago the majority of his students, when thinking of scientists, pictured men.
"The program has had a huge effect school-wide through siblings," Verstegen continues, "and through our science fair, which, although the Reed students aren't directly involved, profits from the lessons they've taught."