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The Catalyst
The newsletter of the ISBA’s Standing Committee on Women and the Law

October 2001, vol. 7, no. 1

Girls and science ­ meet InnerLink

Susan Witt, the past chair of the Women and the Law Committee, would like to introduce you to a small (for now) company located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, called InnerLink. Witt met the company's founder and chief medical officer, Dr. Robert Gillio, at the ISBA Annual Meeting in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and they found themselves in a conversation about girls and science instruction. A fifth grade teacher had told Dr. Gillio, the father of four daughters, that the teacher had to stop calling on Dr. Gillio's daughter in science class to give the boys a chance. In the teacher's view, "boys need to know science, girls don't." Well, not if you know Dr. Gillio and the founding team of InnerLink.

InnerLink is a new, dynamic educational technology company featuring interactive on-line learning products that promote scientific inquiry and exploration. Formed by a dedicated team of professionals in science, medicine, business, and education, the company's goal is to popularize science for learners and genders of all ages. Led by Dr. Gillio, who left a successful career in pulmonology and critical care medicine, the team also includes Martha Harris, chief executive officer, and Michael Curley, Ed.D.

With seven daughters between them, the founders created a company through which their daughters could be engaged in science and scientific research. InnerLink's core competency includes connecting learners to world class scientists to collaboratively solve significant research problems. Examples of their projects include their recent success with plant biology research on the International Space Station, a project called Orbital Laboratory. Students can now get signed up for the next of a series of missions in space, ecology, and health science. Payload 002, the next plant biology mission aboard the International Space Station, launches November 29, 2001, from Kennedy Space Center. In addition to the Orbital Laboratory project, InnerLink also offers Project Breathe (an ongoing project to supply health care professionals with the information they need to better serve and educate people about respiratory and cardiovascular health) and the Earth Ecosystem Project: Water (designed to supply professionals in all disciplines with the information they need to make better decisions, allowing for an adequate supply of water for future generations). Orbital Laboratory is available now for Fall 2000. Project Breathe and Earth Ecosystem Project: Water will be available in Spring 2002.

"Girls increasingly are taking on leadership roles in all professions," says Harris, who has a background in education and workforce development policy. "Women at home are the main influence regarding useful health resources and making the decisions necessary for family health choices. People are constantly exposed to news, marketing materials, and political agendas, all citing scientific research as the basis of their call to action. With InnerLink's Web enabled science lab kits, girls, along with the boys, can become more knowledgeable about science regardless of their future profession."

You can find out more about InnerLink's vision and projects by logging onto their website at www.innerlinkit.com. To reserve a space on the team for a student at home or at school, e-mail InnerLink at info@innerlinkit.com. If you like what you see, please contact Dr. Gillio at rgillio@paonline.com. He would love to tell you more about his company and InnerLink's vision to become the premier company to offer girls (and boys) the first Web-enabled collaborative research learning kits supported by world class research scientists.