ARGONNE, ILL.--Amy Moore, a junior at a suburban Chicago high school, wears a combination madras-and-faded-denim skirt and has zipper pulls hanging from her multipierced ears. She does well in science, is computer literate, and wants to be an astronautical engineer.

She's not sure what first piqued her interest in space, but she knows what influenced her career choice. "The "Challenger accident aggravated me to no end," says Moore. "I never want to see anything like that again. I don't want to go anywhere [in space], but I want to design the vehicles that take people places."

If Moore stays on track, she'll be entering a field where there are relatively few women investigators. But that's not a problem for this hard-nosed teenager. In fact, the dearth of women makes a scientific career even more attractive to her. "It just means more opportunities," says Moore, who's been deluged with college brochures...

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