National Girls Collaborative Project

February 2012

 Building the Capacity of STEM Practitioners to Develop a Diverse Workforce

NGCP Updates  

NGCP Webinar Engaging Underserved Youth: Strategies for Family Involvement
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific
Research findings consistently illustrate a strong relationship between family involvement and positive youth outcomes. Family involvement has been shown to be especially important in engaging Latino/a youth in educational opportunities. This webinar is a collaboration between the National Girls Collaborative Project and the Computer Science Collaboration Project and will highlight current research and practical examples of family engagement from Washington MESA's Acceso a la Ciencia (Access to Science) project, working with Latino communities in rural eastern Washington.


NGCP Webinar Bringing STEM Learning to Public Libraries: Collaboration and Resources for Librarians

Monday, February 27, 2012
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific
Learn about the STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net) led by the National Center for Interactive Learning (NCIL) at the Space Science Institute. STAR_Net Librarians and others who are successfully programming STEM will also share their strategies for connecting with community resources. STAR_Net is forming a Community of Practice (CoP) for librarians and scientists who want to create innovative STEM programs. Details about the STAR_Net CoP and how to join it will also be shared. The STAR_Net project includes two traveling exhibits: Discover Earth: A Century of Change and Discover Tech: Engineers Make a World of Difference.


NGCP Webinar Effective Tools You Can Use to Change the Image of Computing Among Girls
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific
Interested in changing the image of computer science among college-bound high school girls? Learn how formal and informal educators are using multi-media resources from Dot Diva and Rocket 21 to do just that. During this webinar, we will share the results of a nationwide survey that revealed what high school girls want in a career; discuss how market-tested images and messages are having a positive effect on getting girls interested in computer science careers; and showcase a host of multi-media, customizable resources offered by Dot Diva and Rocket 21 that you can put to use in your community.


2012 NGCP National Collaboration Conference: Advancing the Field through Collaboration, Capacity Building, and Equity

Alexandria, VAStack 'em Up!

April 25-27, 2012

The National Girls Collaborative Project brings together organizations throughout the United States that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers STEM. The Collaboration Conference is an opportunity for representatives from these organizations to connect and learn from each other and from national experts. In addition to offering plenary sessions and both guided and informal networking opportunities, the Conference will offer concurrent sessions throughout the event. These sessions offer participants the opportunity to interact with presenters and the material in-depth in small group settings with a focus on implementation.  Early bird registration ends on March 5, 2012.



Summary of NGCP Mini-Grants:  Partnerships Inspired by Collaboration

This summary of 129 mini-grant projects funded by the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) is based on responses to an online report administered to mini-grant recipients by the external evaluator of NGCP, Evaluation & Research Associates. The mini-grant projects implemented activities in 24 different states and reached a total of 12,163 girls and 5,609 boys. Respondents provided information about their project implementation, the collaboration with their partners, and the exemplary practices they utilized. Findings suggest the collaborations between partners were successful, with 93% selecting a 4 or 5 on a scale from 1 = Not successful to 5 = Very successful. Recipients believed participants had an enhanced experience due to the collaborative effort of the projects and that activities benefited from each partner's resources and expertise. Seventy-one percent of respondents indicated they would continue to work with their partner(s) after their mini-grant project ended. To view a PDF of the publication visit:

 Collaborative News  

National Girls Collaborative Project New Collaboratives Informational Meetings
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 new Collaboratives in Colorado, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, and North Carolina. 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 or organization, and to network with colleagues to identify collaboration opportunities.


Montana Girls Collaborative Project Informational Meeting
Bozeman, MT
February 24, 2012
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Mountain
The Montana Girls Collaborative Project is sponsored by Montana EPSCoR in collaboration with Montana State University and the University of Montana.

Colorado Collaborative Project for Girls in STEM Informational Meeting
Longmont, CO
March 6, 2012
12:30 PM - 2:30 PM Mountain
The Colorado Collaborative Project for Girls in STEM is sponsored by the Cool Girls Science and Art Club.

New Mexico Girls Collaborative Project Informational Meeting
Las Cruces, NM
March 9, 2012
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Mountain
The New Mexico Girls Collaborative Project is sponsored by the Young Women in Computing program at New Mexico State University.
Missouri Girls Collaborative Project Informational Meeting
Kansas City, MO
March 21, 2012
1:00 - 3:00 PM Central
The Missouri Girls Collaborative Project is sponsored by the Missouri AfterSchool Network.

North Carolina Girls Collaborative Project Informational Meeting
Rosman, NC
March 23, 2012
4:30 - 6:30 PM Eastern
The North Carolina Girls Collaborative Project is sponsored by the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute.

Georgia Girls Collaborative Project Informational Meeting
April 2, 2012
1:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern
The Georgia Girls Collaborative Project is sponsored by the University of West Georgia.

 Exemplary Practice Spotlight

The Exemplary Practice Spotlight for February comes from the National Research Council publication, Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits. Edited by Philip Bell, Bruce Lewenstein, Andrew W. Shouse, and Michael A. Feder (2009) this comprehensive review of research on informal learning settings provides a number of relevant and valuable conclusions for girl-serving informal STEM programs. One such finding aimed at program and exhibit designers and educators is that science is more accessible to learners when it is portrayed in contexts that are relevant to the learners.

The practice of making science relevant to learners has been found to be particularly effective in efforts to engage girls and foster their interest in science. Evaluating Promising Practices in Informal Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education for Girls, a report that includes a review of research related to girls STEM learning in informal learning settings (Liston, Peterson, & Ragan, 2008), and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Practice Guide, Encouraging Girls in Math and Science (2007), both cite the importance of making STEM learning relevant to girls, including how STEM can impact the world in positive ways and how it connects to girls' lives. Both publications also provide examples of how programs are or can implement this practice, such as GIS mapping of landmarks or measuring water quality in their neighborhoods.

 Featured Mini-Grant

Cracking Critical ChallengesGirls learning how to use imaging tools to see inside a cardboard box.
A collaboration between the Society of Women Engineers at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab and the Maryland Mathematics Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program brought scientists, engineers, and middle school students together at the 2011 MD-MESA STEM Fair. One hundred students participated in the workshop and learned how science and engineering is used to solve real-world challenges. One group of students used a variety of tools to simulate airport screenings of packages, including: magnetic and radiation detection, thermal imaging, and UV light. Another group used the engineering design process to create straw rockets and learned the importance of testing and redesign in product development.  With a chance to experience how science and engineering is applied in everyday life, participants learned that they too can make a difference in society as a scientist or engineer. 

Upcoming STEM Events

EngineerGirl! 2012 Essay Contest
The EngineerGirl! website provides career descriptions, profiles of successful women engineers, information about exciting engineering projects, and interactive tools for girls, parents, teachers, and guidance counselors, designed to encourage girls to pursue an engineering education and career. EngineerGirl! has announced the 12th annual Essay Contest. Students (grades 3-12) are asked to write about the role of engineering in providing safe and nutritious food. Winners will receive cash prizes. Submission deadline: March 1, 2012.


National STEM Video Game Challenge

Inspired by the Educate to Innovate campaign, President Obama's initiative to promote a renewed focus on STEM education, the National STEM Video Game Challenge aims to motivate interest in STEM learning among America's youth by tapping into students' passions for playing and making video games. The 2011 Challenge features two competitions, a Youth Prize (grades 5-8) and a Developer Prize (open to emerging and experienced game developers). Deadline: March 12, 2012.


International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) Annual Conference

Long Beach, CA
March 15-17, 2012
The ITEEA is a professional association concerned with providing and meeting the professional development needs of classroom teachers, supervisors, curriculum writers, and teacher educators who are interested in developing technological literacy. The conference theme is Changing the Conversation: Improving K-16 Technology and Engineering.


2012 Kavli Science & Engineering Video Contest
Students, grades 6-12, are invited to submit entries to the 2012 USA Science & Engineering Festival Kavli Science Video Contest. Videos must explore the contest theme," Save the World through Science and Engineering." Students should use their imaginations and investigative skills to tackle global challenges, explore new frontiers, and discuss the inventions that help mankind and improve life on our planet. Top entries will receive cash awards and the best videos will be shown at the Festival Expo April 27-29, 2012, in Washington, D.C. The first place winner will receive a travel stipend to attend the Expo. Submission deadline: March 21, 2012.


Women in Science 2012 Forum
New York, NY
March 21, 2012 
"Inspiring women scientists" is the theme of this day-long conference. Topics include: science in academe and career options in science. There will be a poster session and networking reception. This forum aims to support women students, faculty, and professionals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and bring together faculty, staff, and students from institutions across the New York metropolitan area and region.  Free registration deadline is March 9, 2012.


American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) Student Conference

Rapid City, SD
March 24-27, 2012
AIHEC is the collective spirit and unifying voice of Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs). AIHEC provides leadership and influences public policy on American Indian higher education issues through advocacy, research, and program initiatives; promotes and strengthens Indigenous languages, cultures, communities, and tribal nations; and through its unique position, serves member institutions and emerging TCUs.


National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference
Indianapolis, IN
March 29-April 1, 2012
The NSTA helps inform Congress and the public on vital questions affecting science literacy and a well-educated workforce. The conference theme is "At the Crossroads for Science Education." Conference strands include: 

  • Mapping Our Way to Success Through the New Core Standards
  • Pathways to a Sustainable Planet
  • Merging Inquiry, Creativity, and Innovation Through STEM
  • Traveling New Instructional Roads Through Technology 
  • Register:


    National Robotics Week

    April 7-15, 2012
    The third annual National Robotics Week will be held from April 7-15, 2012 with a series of regional events and activities aimed at increasing public awareness of robotics technology as a pillar of 21st century American innovation. The week highlights the growing importance of robotics in a wide variety of application areas and emphasizes its ability to inspire students while building their interest in STEM. Events held throughout the week will feature dozens of opportunities for the public to interact with robots in a hands-on learning environment. Panel discussions, robotics competitions, introductory courses on robotics for kids, educational workshops for businesses, demos, and tours of innovative labs will provide networking opportunities as well as expose many to the genius and wonder of robotics. To find an event in your area or to host your own event visit:


    How Can Encouragement Increase Persistence in Computing? Encouragement Works in Academic SettingsPromising Practices Graphic - two people reading

    Encouragement increases self-efficacy, which is the belief in one's ability to successfully perform a task. Because we are more likely to engage in tasks that we believe we can perform successfully, encouragement may be especially useful for attracting women to male-stereotyped fields such as computing. Simple though encouragement is, fewer than half of the faculty members in the average computer science department in the United States say they do it. This case study shares examples of the role encouragement from teachers, faculty members, and advisors has played in students' decisions to pursue and persist in computing.


    Get Mapped with MOST Science
    MOST-Science is conducting a nation-wide study that seeks to build a broad picture of the extensive activities in out-of-school-time science, technology, and engineering programming for youth. An online questionnaire asks program providers for details about who participates in their programs, the frequency and duration of youth participation, and what kinds of content and hands-on activities are being utilized. Your participation will highlight your organization, help identify common needs and challenges as well as contribute to a study that will inform funders, policy-makers, researchers, and other program providers about the work in this community and the needs that remain to be addressed.

    Techbridge Guide for the Visually Impaired
    Explore It After School: Technology and Science for the Visually Impaired is a free resource guide that includes lesson plans for technology and science projects and career exploration resources designed to broaden the academic and career options for students with visual impairments.


    Science NetLinks
    Science NetLinks is a K-12 science education resource for teachers, students, and families. Produced by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, all of the resources are Internet based and free. Lessons and activities can be printed or used online and include teaching tools, podcasts, and hands-on activities.


     Global Resources

    Evidence and Data for Gender Equality Initiative
    Evidence and Data for Gender Equality Initiative (EDGE) was launched in December 2011 in Busan, Korea, at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness. This initiative, led by the United Nations Statistics Division and UN Women, will improve the availability and use of statistics that capture gender gaps in economic activity. EDGE will include two major activities. First is the development of an online database for a harmonized set of indicators, including education, employment, and entrepreneurship. Second, EDGE will support a set of common, pilot activities in a small number of partner countries to develop protocols and data collection methods for sex-disaggregated data on entrepreneurship and assets, two areas with large data gaps. In the next five years they will report globally on how well women are faring relative to men in entrepreneurial activity and labor markets


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    The EdLab Group is a private, non-profit center with funding from federal and state governments, private foundations, corporations, and individuals. Our mission is to leverage the power of technology and diversity to transform teaching and learning 



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