|Techbridge Brings the World of STEM to Girls
Taking apart a hairdryer to understand how it works, building an app to communicate with an underwater vehicle, learning to solder to make a solar night light, Techbridge
is all that and much more. Hosting, after-school and summer programs that offer innovative, hands-on activities for girls, Techbridge has served thousands of girls in under-resourced communities throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Techbridge builds a network of support for girls and provides role models, teachers, and families with resources to encourage girls on their paths to academic and professional success. Curriculum is developed with girls in mind, sparking an interest in engineering and incorporating real-world applications to see how STEM can make the world a better place.
While hands-on projects can spark an interest in a young girl, they may not lead to career goals in STEM. Techbridge combats stereotypes and helps girls make connections to STEM careers. Career exploration is a part of every Techbridge activity and discussion. Career cards featuring role models showcase women in STEM and highlight the social impact of their work along with personal profiles of interests outside work. Techbridge girls remind us that it is never too early to begin conversations about careers. One girl shared, "I liked how we talked about career choices and that I found there are more job choices than I thought. I liked the fact that I had someone to talk to finally, because I have been thinking of my future and I wasn't sure where to start."
Role Models Matter: The opportunity to meet role models and see real-world applications of STEM is extremely impactful and can have a lasting influence on a girl's career path. Role models are especially important for girls who are the first in their families to consider college; they may not have a family member or role model who works in the science or technology fields and can encourage them to follow in their footsteps. The opportunity to see STEM professions firsthand helps these girls discover the wide range of technical careers and imagine themselves in these careers.
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the National Girls Collaborative Project we are pleased to share our lessons learned, which are the "secret sauce" of Techbridge, and so important for successful outreach. Our recipe that helps role models be successful includes: 1) Make it personal by describing your journey in STEM. Sharing highlights about your hobbies, family, and pets can help dispel stereotypes about who does science. 2) Share your passion for STEM. Let girls know how much you like your work and explain how, by doing your job, you make the world a better place. 3) Keep it real and hands-on so that girls can experience engineering and technology first hand. 4) Offer resources and advice that girls can put into action. Websites with hands-on activities, summer technology programs, and scholarship and STEM award opportunities can help girls explore new opportunities. 5) Share stories of the challenges you faced and how you prevailed. Hearing how you asked a teacher for help, found a mentor, or formed a study group will come in handy when girls are faced with challenges. Knowing that the role models they meet have overcome challenges will remind girls that they too can succeed.
Resources: Visit our website for a resource guide and tool kit to support your outreach and role model training efforts. Key partners representing corporations, universities, museums, and Girl Scout councils have found these resources useful. They increase role models' confidence, quality of outreach, and interest in doing more outreach.
Career Trading Cards: Wouldn't it be neat if kids traded role model cards like they traded baseball cards or super hero cards as they did in years past? Techbridge knows that it is not possible to bring in a role model every week into an after-school program, but it is possible to introduce role models to students through career cards. Techbridge has developed a series of career cards that feature dynamic role models along with activities to learn about them and explore their careers. If you are interested in finding out more about our career cards and other career exploration resources contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember the Role Models in Your Life: Role models have played an important role in our girls' lives. Years after a field trip or a visit in their after-school program, Techbridge girls recount how these experiences changed the direction of their lives. In fact, our alumnae recognize how much they have benefited from role models and give back by returning as role models for the next generation. We invite you to remember someone in your life who gave their time and encouraged you to follow your dreams. Reconnect and let them know the impact they made on you. Make a reminder in your calendar to remember and thank one of your role models every September 18th.
You Can Make A Difference:
Help support Techbridge in its mission to introduce every girl to the wonders of science and to role models who can open doors and encourage her dreams. Your donation can provide hands-on projects with real-world challenges or fund field trips that show girls first-hand the exciting world of STEM professionals at work.
Sponsor a Techbridge Girl: Techbridge costs $750 per student or just $25 per day of programming. Whether you can contribute $500 or $25, your support makes a difference. Click here to sponsor a girl. Remember, many employers offer matching gift programs of which you can take advantage. Your gift may also be made in honor of a friend, family member, or a mentor.
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Techbridge congratulates the National Girls Collaborative Project on 10 years of promoting collaboration and looks forward to what the next decade brings.
FabFems: Share your past. Spark a future.
Join the FabFems community and inspire our next generation of scientists and engineers! FabFems is an online collaboration tool designed to spark girls' interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by connecting them with women role models from the field. Funded by the Motorola Solutions Foundation, FabFems is a growing database of role model profiles that is searchable by location, career fields, and other keyword interests. FabFems choose the type of outreach that suits their availability and interests - they may be available to speak at a science night, visit an after-school program, or simply create engaging profile pages that show girls what it looks like when you follow your passion.
Here are some ways you can get involved:
Head over to 'like' our Facebook page, 'follow' our Twitter feed, or help fill our boards on Pinterest.
Submit a profile on FabFems.org to show girls what you do and what you are passionate about.
Find a program in your area to connect with in the NGCP Program Directory.
Explore resources that will help you facilitate engaging role model experiences for girls.
Programs, educators, parents, and girls:
Find a role model in your area by searching the FabFems directory.
Nominate a role model to join the directory by asking her to submit a profile. You can also talk about her on Twitter with the hashtag #fabfems.
As part of the National Girls Collaborative Project's 10th Anniversary week, FabFems is hosting a full day of events to celebrate role models today. We invite you to drop-in on our Facebook page and join us for some conversation, celebration, and collaboration!