Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Project Newsletter

September 2012

The Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Project (PNWGCP) brings together organizations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, and Hawaii that are committed to informing and motivating girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

PNWGCP Updates   

Project Splash: Bots on the Sound

Earlier this summer, five high school girls participated in Bots on the Sound, using curriculum from the underwater LEGO robotics program called WaterBotics, funded through a National Science Foundation grant. This STEM camp for girls took place at Mt Si High School in Snoqualmie, where teachers Kyle Warren and Tracy Roberts led the girls through a series of missions aimed at building confidence and STEM skills through innovation and fun. Tracy and Kyle noticed how quickly the girls learned the basics of computer programming and successfully completed their complex missions. As instructors, they helped the girls avoid pitfalls and major frustrations, but allowed them to explore their own ideas, troubleshoot problems, and feel a confidence and ownership over their (many) accomplishments.
Kyle noted that the girls showed a willingness to express their opinions and to freely share their ideas, which can sometimes be challenging in a traditional classroom environment. The skills they acquired in Bots on the Sound, like problem solving and effective communication, will transfer to their regular schoolwork and beyond.

bots on the sound
The girls test their robots as part of Mission 1.

The girls were challenged but truly enjoyed the hands-on learning experience. After completing the first mission, Hannah, who will be a junior this fall, exclaimed, "I am so proud of building these gears!"


The camp was also featured in the Snoqualmie Valley Record.


The Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Project is a partner in the NSF-funded WaterBotics scale-up.  Project Splash educators were trained in the WaterBotics curriculum by PNWGCP trainers. If you are interested in hosting a training in your area, please contact Laura Enman at:  


FabFems Spotlight

FabFems Logo

There are currently 16 FabFems from the Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Project enrolled at, and this number is on the rise! These STEM role models are enthusiastic about the work they do and want to inspire our future generation of FabFems. In upcoming editions of the newsletter we will be featuring regional FabFems. Visit these FabFem profiles to learn more about their pathway in STEM, view pictures, or contact them for additional information or even a role model visit!  


This month please meet Marcela Ewert Sarmiento. She is a PhD Candidate at the University of Washington with a passion for nature. She is currently studying microbes that live inside the ice in the Arctic Ocean, and believes we can learn a lot from their ability to solve problems. Her message to girls is "I encourage you to explore the available science classes in college. They may require some extra work, but they will give you a better understanding of the world and most likely provide fun times! If you are already taking a science class, take a moment to see the big picture and think about the ways in which your class connects with your world." To learn more about Marcela, visit her FabFems profile at:


If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a FabFem, visit:


Events and Opportunities    

Extended Webinar Session Increasing Program Impact: Best Practices in Collaboration

September 19, 2012, 11:00 AM-12:30 PM Pacific

Are you interested in providing more effective program services? Have you faced barriers in identifying collaboration opportunities? The National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) has been designed to encourage collaboration between girl-serving STEM organizations and higher education, community-based organizations, corporations, professional organizations, and groups interested in increasing the number of girls and women in STEM fields. NGCP uses a number of strategic activities to encourage collaboration among girl-serving STEM projects and programs.


This webinar will examine the key elements of effective collaboration by providing lessons learned from NGCP partners, including an opportunity to see collaboration in action by hearing from successful collaborative projects. Karen Peterson, Principal Investigator for the National Girls Collaborative Project, will lead this professional development opportunity.


Participants are encouraged to attend with other program staff, potential partners, and to participate in the webinar with a group. Opportunities for planning collaborative projects and practicing collaborative strategies will be provided.



Discover Tech:  Engineers Make a World of Difference at the Spokane Public Library

Spokane, WA

September 29-November 29, 2012

The Spokane Public Library is pleased to host Discover Tech: Engineers Make a World of Difference.  The exhibit will be at the Downtown branch from September 29 until November 29. Spokane is one of eight communities nationwide to host the exhibit. Discover Tech is part of the STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net), led by the Space Science Institute's National Center for Interactive Learning. Partners include the Lunar and Planetary Institute, the National Girls Collaborative Project, and the American Library Association. A grant from the National Science Foundation made the exhibit possible. The library looks forward to working with community partner TINCAN to offer an exciting slate of public programs during the exhbit.


AISES National Conference

Anchorage, AK

November 1-3, 2012

Held annually since 1978, the AISES National Conference is a one-of-a-kind, three-day event convening high school juniors and seniors, college and graduate students, teachers, workforce professionals, corporate partners, and all members of the AISES family. Held in a different North American city each fall, the AISES Annual Conference includes professional development, networking opportunities, student presentations, the largest career fair in Indian Country, awards, and traditional events. This year's theme is adaptability.



Oregon Afterschool Conference
Salem, OR
November 3, 2012

OregonASK is presenting a full day of training and opportunities to discover ideas that make a difference for afterschool programs and professionals.  Workshop topics include: STEM, leadership, engaged learning, and youth development.  All sessions are linked to the Oregon Registry and Oregon Quality Standards for Afterschool and Summer Programs. This year's keynote speaker will be Dr. Anita Krishnamurthi , Director of STEM Policy at the Afterschool Alliance. In this role, she leads the Alliance's efforts to advance policies, research, and partnerships so children and youth have rich STEM education experiences in their afterschool programs.


SciGirls Connect Educator WorkshopSciGirls Logo

Lynnwood, WA

November 7, 2012

Local educators are invited to participate in a SciGirls Connect full-day workshop hosted by the Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Project. SciGirls Connect is an education program for staff and educators interested in engaging girls in STEM and learning 20 hands-on, video enhanced STEM activities. This program was developed as the outreach component of SciGirls, an Emmy-award winning PBS KIDS weekly series and website. Participants will:

  • Learn the latest research for exciting and engaging girls (and boys) in STEM
  • Experience hands-on STEM activities
  • Leave with curriculum that puts a creative twist on teaching STEM
  • Learn how to modify any activity to engage kids in STEM using the SciGirls Seven
  • Discover additional online resources that enhance teaching and learning experiences for all kids



PNWGCP Facebook Page

The Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Project now has a Facebook page! Like us to see photos from recent Project Splash camps and to see and participate in our trainings and other activities


National Center for Women in Computing (NCWIT): Award for Aspirations in Computing

NCWIT AwardThis annual award honors young women at the high school level for their computing-related achievements and interests through combined national and local affiliate competitions. The EdLab Group and the University of Washington's Computer Science and Engineering program will again lead this year's Aspirations in Computing competition for Washington State. 10-15 selected applicants will have the opportunity to gain regional and national visibility, win prizes, scholarships, and to participate in the National competition. Applications are accepted September 15 - October 31 annually. 


Women in Technology Project
Serving Hawaii, the Women in Technology Project's mission is to build and strengthen the education to workforce pipeline by encouraging girls, women and other underrepresented groups into science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.The Women in Technology Project is a statewide workforce development initiative of the Maui Economic Development Board, funded in part through grants from the U.S. Departments of Labor, Agriculture and Education.


Idaho's Career Pioneer Network  

In 2011 the Idaho Career Pioneer Network became an affliliate of the Expanding Your Horizons Network. As of 2012, five Centers for New Directions will host an Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) conference at their host college campuses. EYH conferences promote equity and expose girls in grades six through twelve to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers through introductions to STEM role models and STEM hands-on activities. 


Women in Computer Science and Engineering (WICSE) at the University of Washington 

WICSE is a portal to information on women in computer science and computer engineering at the University of Washington. Their goal is to help foster an atmosphere of academic, social and community support for current and prospective women in these fields. They provide useful academic, professional and community resources to aid academic careers and beyond into the workforce.


Construction Center of Excellence

The Construction Center of Excellence has launched its new Small Business Incubator for Construction website. It includes great resources for women in construction or interested in joining the trades including a Network of Experts, links to mentoring organizations, and resources specific to the needs of women in the trades. If you are interested in volunteering on the Network of Experts or know someone that would be a great resource, send them an email at:


NGCP Program Directory - Register your Program 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. When you sign up for the Program Directory you will enter your program description, resources available within your organization, program and/or organizational needs and contact information. 
Access STEM, AAUW, ASCA, AWE, EDC, NGCP, logos  
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EdLab Group 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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