National Girls Collaborative Project

October 2011

 Building the Capacity of STEM Practitioners to Develop a Diverse Workforce

 NGCP Updates  

STEMconnector™ Conference Call on September 9, 2011


"We have to create an action around America to unleash the potential that

women and girls and minorities have to create economic growth in this country." 


These were the opening remarks by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senate, when she spoke on Friday, September 9, 2011, during a conference call focused on women and girls and STEM. The call included more than 200 participants and featured speakers such as Sara Manzano-Diaz, U.S. Department of Labor, and leaders from the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), the Society of Women Engineers, the National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity (NAPE), Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN), and others.  Karen Peterson, Principal Investigator for the National Girls Collaborative Project shared hosting duties with Edie Fraser, CEO for the STEMConnector™ Project which is dedicated to improving STEM Education by identifying, profiling, connecting, and supporting a comprehensive set of initiatives from around the United States.  Watch for the official website launch in November.    


National Girls Collaborative Project New Collaborative Forming in California

In April 2011, the National Girls Collaborative Project received funding from the National Science Foundation to reach additional states identified as high priority areas. We are pleased to announce a Collaborative beginning to re-organize in California. Program managers, guidance counselors, business partners, technical professionals, teachers, and representatives from professional organizations and higher education are invited to learn how the NGCP model can help your program, and to network with colleagues to identify collaboration opportunities.


California Girls in STEM (CalGirlS) Collaborative Project Informational Meeting

Berkeley, CA

November 7, 2011

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM Pacific

The CalGirlS Collaborative Project is sponsored by the Lawrence Hall of Science.



NGCP Webinar Girls RISEnet: Strategies to Build Capacity to Engage Minority Girls

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific

Learn about strategies and resources developed by the Girls RISEnet National Museum Network, an NSF-funded initiative that is strengthening the professional capacity of informal science educators across the country to engage and motivate minority girls to explore and pursue careers in science and engineering.



NGCP Program Directory: Search for Programs Today!

The online Program Directory lists organizations and programs that focus on motivating girls to pursue STEM careers. The purpose of the directory is to help organizations and individuals network, share resources, and collaborate on STEM-related projects for girls. Did you know you can search the NGCP Program Directory by age group, zip code, service delivery format, population served, and many other criteria? Whether you are a program director, parent, or fund development officer, use the advanced search feature today and find a collaborative partner or a program in your area.


Collaborative Events  

collaborationOhio Girls Collaborative Project Annual Conference: Growing STEM Interest and Success - Informal STEM Learning to Engage Underrepresented Students

Youngstown, OH

October 8, 2011

9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Eastern

This conference will focus on helping practitioners to increase the interest, skills, and success of underrepresented students in STEM.  Presenters will showcase exemplary practices and innovative methods for cultivating student success in STEM both in and out of the classroom.



GRITS (Girls Raised in Tennessee Science) Collaborative Project Forum

Murfreesboro, TN

October 22, 2011

8:30 AM - 3:00 PM Central

This special GRITS Collaborative Project Forum is for adults whose daughters/students are attending the Middle Tennessee State University's Expanding Your Horizons (MTSU-EYH) Conference and are interested in learning about strategies that provide support for considering a career in a STEM field. Sessions include information on preparing to attend a college or university, an introduction to STEM majors and careers, and more.  



GRITS Collaborative Project Annual Conference

Murfreesboro, TN

November 5, 2011

8:00 AM - 3:00 PM Central

This conference will include a STEM Education and Industry Showcase, GRITS Collaborative Project mini-grant project reports, breakout sessions, and a keynote speech from Nancy Holliday, General Manager at Microsoft. A special breakout session sponsored by the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Forensics Institute for Research and Education is available for high school girls. A mixer for attendees will be held in the same location from 6:00 - 8:00 PM on November 4, 2011.

Register for Conference:

Register for Mixer:


Connecticut Girls Collaborative Project Annual Conference: Where are They? Building Awareness about Gender Equity

Hartford, CT

November 7, 2011

9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Eastern

Examine the latest research concerning underrepresentation of girls and minorities in science and engineering to increase awareness of issues affecting participation in the STEM field. Develop strategies to better engage girls in STEM related activities and network with other professionals in the field who are passionate about STEM knowledge and practice. Interact with a panel of women in STEM careers who will share their experiences in male-dominated fields and identify their most influential role models and mentors.


 Exemplary Practice Spotlight

The Exemplary Practice Spotlight for October is excerpted from the 10-Year Retrospective Program Evaluation Report of Project Exploration, conducted by the Lawrence Hall of Science.  Project Exploration is a nonprofit organization that works to ensure communities traditionally overlooked by scienc, particularly students of color and girls, have access to personalized experiences with science and scientists. The independent study, conducted by a research team from the University of California Berkeley, found that Project Exploration (PE) youth programs create a community of practice in which youth are welcomed and encouraged to learn and do science, providing a powerful support for participants.


Jameela Jafri and Elsa Rodriguez of PE describe a few ways their girl-focused programs work to create this valuable community:

  • Putting girls' interests at the center of the program, including having girls co-create curriculum and design activities that reflect their interests and incorporate their personal experiences.
  • Being explicit about the community they are building. Program staff and scientists discuss the issue of girls being underrepresented in science and the importance of working together to 'change the face of science'.
  • Creating a routine of doing science as a community, including journaling in a structured way designed to connect science to girls' lives and experiences.
  • Bringing in women scientists who not only serve as role models but who lead science activities based on the work they do as professionals.

 Featured Mini-Grant

STEM Summer Learning: 3D Architectural Design Youth using Architect design software on laptops.

A collaboration between Open Doors Academy (ODA) and Children's Technology Workshop gave middle-school students living in at risk environments the opportunity to attend a one-week 3D Architectural Design summer camp. Students learned architecture and design terminology, how to identify various types of architecture, and how to design and build the house of their dreams. The camp enabled students to experiment with creative design technology, as well as to build upon their math, engineering, and science skills (e.g. applying geometry concepts, adjusting designs based on building limitations, and choosing weather-resistant building materials).


Upcoming STEM Events

World Space Week

October 4-10, 2011

World Space Week is an opportunity for teachers to promote student intereste in science and mathematics. The free K-12 Teacher Activity Guide provides high quality space-related activities.


Lights On Afterschool
October 20, 2011

Lights On Afterschool, brought to you by the Afterschool Alliance, is a nationwide celebration of afterschool programs designed to draw attention to the reality that high-quality afterschool and summer learning programs are crucial to children, youth, families, and communities.

Register your Lights on Afterschool event: 


Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) Annual Conference 2011
Anaheim, CA
October 26 - 30, 2011

Ideal for pre-college, college and graduate students, teachers and advisors, and professionals who are pursuing careers or are employed in disciplines concentrating on STEM fields. This year's conference will include a pre-college symposia designed to inspire Hispanic youth in grades 6 through 12.



Scientists Dedicated to Advancing Hispanics/Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Annual Conference 2011
San Jose, CA
October 27 - 30, 2011
Interdisciplinary, inclusive, and interactive, the SACNAS annual conference offers a venue devoted to the advancement of scientists and science students. The theme, "Empowering Innovation & Synergy Through Diversity," will include scientific research presentations, professional development, networking, exhibits, culture, and community.


Calling All Digital Divas, Web Chix, and Coder Girls!

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is seeking applications from young women (grades 9-12) for the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing. Awardees are selected for their computing and IT aptitude, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education. National award winners will receive cash and prizes. Many states have local affiliates that also offer awards and recognition. NGCP Collaboratives help conduct outreach to girls as well as educators that support girls' aspirations in computing. Deadline: October 31, 2011.



Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing 

Portland, OR
November 9 - 12, 2011
This conference is designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. This year's theme "What If?" explores the idea that innovation in technology arises from questions.


American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) 2011 Annual Conference
Minneapolis, MN
November 10-12, 2011

The AISES Annual Conference is a convening of high school juniors and seniors, college and graduate students, teachers, workforce professionals, and corporate partners. The 2011 conference theme explores STEM and issues on food, agriculture, plant science and technology, and the important roles these issues play in American Indian and Alaska Native tradition, health, and the 21st century workforce.



NCWIT Promising Practices LogoHow Do You Introduce Computing in an Engaging Way? Storytelling

Engage students not already drawn to computing by creating academic and social environments where they feel they belong. Students respond positively to solving real-life problems that draw upon existing knowledge and interests and involve collaboration in hands-on projects. By focusing on problem-solving skills, the computer programming environment "Learning to Program with Alice" takes a new approach that helps students see programming as a series of causal relationships.


October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Congress designated each October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Various programs carried out throughout the month increase the public's awareness of the contributions and skills of American workers with disabilities and also highlight the specific employment barriers that still need to be addressed and removed.  This effort to educate the American public about issues related to disability and employment began in 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year as National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week. In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities.


Disability Mentoring Day: October 19, 2011

The American Association of People with Disabilities' (AAPD) Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) program connects students and jobseekers with all types of disabilities to thousands of employers each year and currently takes place in more than 300 locations in every US State and Territory. DMD promotes career development for students and jobseekers with disabilities through hands-on career exploration, on-site job shadowing, and ongoing mentoring leading to internship and employment opportunities.


Our Ability

Our Ability's goal is to inspire youth with disabilities to achieve their education and employment dreams. Our Ability specializes in mentoring people with disabilities worldwide though video stories, social media, and peer-to-peer connection.


Earth Science Week: October 9-15, 2011 

Since its inception in 1998, the American Geological Institute (AGI) has organized Earth Science Week (ESW), an international event to help the public gain a better understanding of and appreciation for the earth sciences and to encourage stewardship of the Earth. The website features: contests, events, and a comprehensive portfolio of geoscience educational materails for K-12 students and teachers.



Kodu is a simple visual programming language, entirely icon-based and made specifically for creating games. Originally developed by Microsoft Research as a project to reach younger children, especially girls, Kodu is an educational way to enjoy technology. Kodu is also available in Spanish.


Mixing in Math: Spanish-Language Resources

Mixing in Math (MiM) is an online project funded by the National Science Foundation based at TERC, Inc. The website offers free online bilingual materials including activities, calendars, posters, and games designed to build confidence and competence in math for both children and caregivers. MiM activities target geometry, measuring, counting, arithmetic, estimation, time, data, money, patterns, and algebra. The feedback section may be used to request translation of additional materials.


ScienceCasts: Online Video Series

from NASA ScienceCasts are short online videos about fun, interesting, and unusual science topics encountered by NASA's science missions. The video series, created by astrophysicists and a team of agency narrators and videographers, offers the public a fast and fun way to learn about scientific discoveries and facts about Earth, the solar system, and beyond. New videos are posted online every Thursday.

Global Resources

UNESCO Institute for Statistics

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) is the statistical branch of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The Institute monitors trends at national and international levels and delivers comparative data for countries at all stages of development to provide a global perspective on education, science and technology, culture, and communication. Covering more than 200 countries and territories, the UIS database covers all education levels and addresses key policy issues such as gender parity, teachers, and financing.


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