National Girls Collaborative Project

April 2012

 Building the Capacity of STEM Practitioners to Develop a Diverse Workforce

NGCP Updates  

Join the NGCP Collaboration Movement!
2012 Collaboration Conference: Advancing the Field through Collaboration, Capacity Building, and Equity
Alexandria, VA

April 25-27, 2012
The Collaboration Conference is an opportunity for you to connect, collaborate with others, and learn from innovative national experts. Special thanks to Google for becoming a Collaboration Visionary as our key conference sponsor! Presenters from the National Center for Women & IT, the Computer Science Teachers Association, Museum of Science, Girl Scouts of the USA, WGBH Boston, Society of Women Engineers and more will share exemplary strategies.

Role Models Matter: Recruiting, Retaining and Preparing FabFems for OutreachFabFems Logo
Alexandria, VA
April 25, 2012, 1:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
This pre-conference workshop is hosted by Techbridge and the FabFems Project, two organizations with experience in creating influential role model visits for girls. Participants of this hands-on workshop will gain resources and strategies for recruiting, training, and retaining role models for youth programs. 

NGCP Webinar Is Your Website Accessible? How Do You Find Out?
June 5, 2012
10:00 - 11:00 AM Pacific

In this webinar participants will learn the basics of the web accessibility. A fully accessible website is one in which all visitors, with or without disabilities, using a variety of devices, can easily find the information they are looking for and access all the features of the site. Participants will learn basic steps they can take to assess whether their website might be excluding particular groups of people. No prior knowledge is required. This webinar will be presented by Terrill Thompson, Technology Accessibility Specialist at the University of Washington, where his work is supported in part by AccessComputing, funded by the National Science Foundation to increase the participation of people with disabilities in computing fields.


 Collaborative News  

National Girls Collaborative Project New Collaboratives Informational Meetings
In April 2011, the NGCP received funding from the National Science Foundation to reach additional states identified as high need priority areas. We are pleased to announce new Collaboratives in Colorado, Georgia, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Program coordinators, guidance counselors, teachers, representatives from professional organizations, and higher education are invited to learn how the NGCP model can help your program and network with colleagues to identify collaboration opportunities.


Great Plains Girls Collaborative Project Informational Meeting

Fargo, ND
April 12, 2012, 4:00 - 6:00 PM Central
The Great Plains Girls Collaborative Project is sponsored by the GUESS project at North Dakota State College of Science.


NGCP Collaborative Local Events

Local Collaboratives host events to provide professional development and networking. The following Collaboratives are hosting upcoming events:

Growing STEM for Girls in the Garden State
Monroe Township, NJ
April 18, 2012, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM Eastern
The goal of this event is to strengthen capacity, increase continuation of girl-serving STEM programs, and create a wider audience for gender-related STEM issues. Program managers, guidance counselors, business partners, technical professionals, educators, representatives from professional organizations and higher education are invited to attend the formal launch of the Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative Project.

Marquette-Alger Young Women, Math and Science Professional Development Forum
Marquette, MI
May 4, 2012, 9:00 AM - 1:30 PM Eastern
Designed to further adult's knowledge about encouraging girls to consider STEM careers, this lively, hands-on session will introduce activities adults and youth can do together to improve girls' confidence and interest in STEM careers, using inexpensive and culturally familiar materials commonly found around the home and in classrooms. 

PA STEM Girls Collaborative Project Collaboration Forum
State College, PA
May 21, 2012, 9:30 AM - 2:00 PM Eastern
The PA STEM Girls Collaborative Project invites program managers, guidance counselors, business partners, technical professionals, K-12 teachers and representatives from professional organizations and higher education to join us for a professional development forum, to meet new colleagues and to identify collaboration opportunities. Participants will learn about collaboration and will have the opportunity to develop a collaboration action plan.


 Exemplary Practice Spotlight

The Exemplary Practice Spotlight for April focuses on collaborative learning. Research has shown that girls prefer and benefit from working in collaborative groups. In What We Know about Girls, STEM, and Afterschool Programs: A Summary, Fancsali (2002) summarizes research that suggests cooperative learning groups may foster girls' STEM participation and achievement and Parker & Rennie (2002) discuss the importance of using gender-inclusive instructional strategies in the classroom, such as cooperative group problem-solving and collaborative practical work.

An important finding from this body of research is that for collaborative learning to be a valuable and beneficial experience for girls, the process must be effectively structured and facilitated. Hazari, Tai, & Sadler (2007) present negative and positive examples of group work and conclude that cooperative learning can be strongly positive if it is well-designed and 'moderated in an appropriate gender-fair way'. In a study focusing on learning mathematics in groups, Ismonde (2009) finds that some cooperative learning activities do not benefit all students, even if the groups appear to be collaborating and that cooperative learning activities need to be designed and facilitated to provide all students opportunities to share and develop knowledge. A helpful research brief discussing this study was developed by the Relating Research to Practice Project.


 Featured Mini-Grant

STEM Expo for Middle School Girls

Ninety female middle school students and eight educators from Providence's Sophia Academy and the TIMES  Academy attended Tech Collective's STEM in the Middle Girls Career Expo. The expo was a collaborative effort with the Rhode Island STEM Center at Rhode Island College, the University of Rhode Island's SMILE Program and Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems. STEM in the Middle raised girls' awareness and participation in the science and engineering fields through a day of hands-on interactive workshops designed and delivered by female industry professionals and faculty. Students attended workshops about biotechnology and DNA, mathematics, computer repair, science, electronics, engineering, and computer programming. They gained real-world insight during a lunch session with 15 industry and faculty facilitators from companies and organizations including: Amgen, Moran Shipping Agencies, Inc., the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, Rhode Island College, and the University of Rhode Island's SMILE Program.

Upcoming STEM Events

National Robotics WeekIt's Official 144 total in 50 states logo

April 7-15, 2012
National Robotics Week is here! The week highlights the growing importance of robotics in a wide variety of areas and emphasizes its ability to inspire students while building interest in STEM. Panel discussions, introductory courses on robotics, educational workshops for businesses, demonstrations, and tours of innovative labs will provide networking opportunities and expose many to the genius and wonder of robotics.

Find an event in your area:


National Environmental Education Week
April 15-21, 2012
The 2012 National Environmental Education Week's theme is Greening STEM: The Environment as Inspiration for 21st Century Learning. The environment is a compelling context for teaching STEM, providing teachers with a diverse range of real-world challenges that engage students in hands-on opportunities to apply and reinforce STEM concepts across multiple subject areas. Visit the EE Week website for free planning toolkits with information and activities that incorporate STEM learning into popular environmental topic areas, such as school gardens, energy conservation, and weather.


White House Panel on Women and Girls in STEM Fields
April 24, 2012, 10:30 - 11:45 AM Eastern
The White House Council on Women and Girls is excited to announce a White House event featuring a panel of trailblazing women in STEM who will share their experiences and encourage young women to follow in their footsteps - or blaze a trail of their own.  The event will also include the first public screening of a White House video on girls in STEM (with footage of girls who participated in the White House Science Fair in February). Audience members joining via live-stream will be able to submit their questions for the panelists through Twitter. This event will be broadcast live online from the White House.  More details soon at:

Girl Scout Research Institute STEMinar: The Voices of Girls & Women and the Future of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
April 24, 2012, 2:00 - 3:00 PM Eastern
Experts from diverse backgrounds and different sectors of the STEM work force will speak about the current status of girls' interest and engagement in STEM fields, as well as current efforts to diversify the STEM workforce by boosting the number of women in STEM careers in the next decade. New research from the Girl Scout Research Institute, along with exciting new mentoring opportunities from [email protected], science education programs from the New York Academy of Sciences, and outreach efforts to college STEM majors from Johns Hopkins University will be highlighted.

Lights On Afterschool Poster Contest
The Afterschool Alliance wants your program's artwork for the 2012 Lights On Afterschool poster!  Afterschool program participants are encouraged to submit original artwork that celebrates afterschool programs and conveys the importance of keeping the lights on afterschool. The winning poster design will be printed on 70,000 posters sent to Lights On Afterschool celebrations across the country-not to mention that the winning artist and their program will be featured on the Afterschool Alliance website, blog and Afterschool Storybook. Submission deadline: May 1, 2012.
Contest details:

Afterschool for All Challenge
Washington, DC
May 8-9, 2012
This year's theme is "Transforming Research into Action." The Afterschool for All Challenge provides unique networking and professional development opportunities that empower participants to become informed, capable afterschool advocates of all ages. Speakers include Dr. Paul Sereno and Gabrielle Lyon, founders of Project Exploration.

Prepárate: Help Prepare Latino Students for Opportunities and Success in Education
Miami, FL
May 31 - June 1, 2012
Prepárate brings together professionals from higher education, secondary schools, middle schools and community-based organizations for thought-provoking sessions and plenary speakers that address crucial topics in education.

U.S. News STEM Solutions 2012 - A Leadership Summit
June 27-29, 2012
Dallas, TX
STEM Solutions 2012 brings together for the first time on a national stage, business, education, and government leaders to address the country's mission-critical need for a competitive workforce skilled in science, technology, engineering, and math. Join us as we work to determine the solutions, policies, and collective changes that are needed now to carry our country, and its economy, into the future.



NCWIT Counselors for Computing: Community College Pathway to Information Technology and Computing Careers
Part of the resources created for Counselors for Computing (C4C) campaign we introduced last month, this card connects students' interests with information technology and computing career paths that can be achieved through enrollment in a community college. Degrees are linked to job titles, projected growth, and wages. C4C is a project of the National Center for Women & Information Technology K-12 Alliance, made possible by the Merck Company Foundation.

NASA's Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Podcast
Are you looking for a new approach to engage middle school students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics? NASA's Do-It-Yourself Podcast activity sets the stage for students to host a show that features astronauts doing experiments on the International Space Station or NASA experts explaining scientific concepts. NASA provides a set of audio and video clips along with links to images and information about a STEM-related topic. Students can choose as many items as they want to include in a project and download them to their computer. Students can use the information provided or conduct their own research to write a script for an audio or video production.

International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology
The International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology (GST) focuses on gender issues in and of science and technology, including engineering, and construction, and aims to explore the intersections of policy, practice and research. The online journal offers resources such as webcasts and seminars, book reviews, research, and theoretical papers and case studies.

Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project
This new 50-state initiative offers educators and community leaders access to research and promising practices for leveraging the time beyond school to accelerate student achievement. Visit the website to
learn about the latest and most relevant research and promising practices in expanded learning.

Celebrate Earth Day and Environmental Education in April
Teach the importance of civic responsibility and environmental sustainability this month to celebrate Earth Day and Environmental Education Week. Below are a number of resources to assist you:


National Science Foundation (NSF) Offers Online Climate Change Resources

NSF offers a useful website for earth science teachers and students to examine the connections between energy and climate. The website includes discussions with experts, slideshows, videos, and a NSF report summarizing the current state of knowledge about climate change.

Project WET
Project Water Education for Teachers (Project WET) offers free online resources for students and teachers about water and water related topics. This interactive website for students includes information on our oceans, the water cycle, using water wisely, and watersheds. The website also offers supporting curriculum units and resources for teachers, as well as tips for parents in each topical area.


Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

The EPA offers a content rich website with resources, activities, podcasts, environmental footprint calculators, and lesson plans to help students and teachers commit to help protect the environment. The website also includes an interactive map with information on Earth Day events and activities in your local region. 

 Global Resources

2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development
The 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development finds that women's lives around the world have improved dramatically, but gaps remain in many areas. The report examines progress to date and recommends policy actions. Maps, videos, charts, and relevant links are also available.

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