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                                                                                   March 2012

The PA STEM Girls Collaborative Project e-newsletter seeks to support efforts in gender and diversity-related issues surrounding STEM fields.


In this issue:


Regional News and Events

Worth Knowing: PA STEM Professionals

WorthSharing: PA STEM Initiative

Save the Date   



Welcome Back
The 1st edition of the PA STEM Girls Collaborative Project's e-newsletter was very well received! Our mailing list has already doubled in size with over 500 officially subscribed. We know that many of you extended the reach of the PA STEM Girls Collaborative by forwarding this on throughout your networks, and we hope that you will do the same with this edition. 


Please send submissions and suggestions for future editions on to Colleen Smith.  We are particularly interested in learning more about notable PA STEM Professionals and Summer STEM Programs in your areas.


PA STEM Girls Collaborative Project Spring Forum

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 have the opportunity to develop a collaboration action plan.  There is no fee to attend the forum.  A continental breakfast and buffet lunch will be provided free of charge.  The Spring Forum will be held on May 21, 2012 at Toftrees Golf and Conference Center in State College, PA . More details about the Spring Forum are available.  Space is limited; so, please register early!

NGCP Webinar: Finding Funding and Resources to Support Your Program
You asked for it! You got it! Many educators and organizations have told us that funding their programs is an ongoing issue. Don't miss this free webinar on Wednesday, March 28 at 2 PM that will help you find less traditional sources of funding to help support your work. Register today! 
FabFems: Outreach Opportunities for Role Models

The FabFems Role Model Directory has launched! The FabFems Project is another innovative online collaboration tool brought to you by the National Girls Collaborative Project, designed to connect girls with female professionals to increase their interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. 


We are seeking female role models interested in volunteering a small amount of time to spark girls' interests in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Many girls do not have the opportunity to meet a scientist or engineer- especially a female professional with whom they can relate. Sign up to be a FabFem, and you can choose the type of outreach that suits your availability and interests: speak at a science night, visit an after-school program, or create a profile page to show girls what it looks like when you follow your passion. Share your past and spark a future.

Female PA STEM professionals, please consider becoming a FabFem; ready access to female STEM role models in PA will encourage our girls to look beyond gender stereotyping in STEM and to learn about opportunities in STEM careers. And you will make a difference!


RegNewsEventsRegional News and Events

Regional ROV Challenge - Villanova 

On May 12, 2012 at Villanova's St. Mary's Hall, teams of students will engage in the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Underwater Robotics Competition using remotely operated vehicles (ROV). The competition consists of three different "classes" (Explorer, MATE PA ROV LogoRanger and Scout) that vary depending on the complexity of the ROVs and the mission requirements.  Student teams from upper elementary, middle schools, high schools, home schools, community colleges, universities, and community organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club and 4-H, will participate.  In addition to technical skills, the event helps students to develop the ability to problem solve, think critically, and work as part of a team.  By connecting students with employers and professionals from the workplace, the competition also exposes students (boys/girls) to STEM/ocean-related career opportunities and helps them to see the pathways to those careers. MATE PA ROV Challenge is looking for community and industry professionals to share a day judging student teams.  If you would like to be a judge this year or if you are interested in participating in 2013, contact Velda Vanessa Morris, MATE PA Regional Coordinator. 


FASE (Female Alliance for STEM Excellence) AwardsSTEM Mini Grant  

The Female Alliance for STEM Excellence (FASE) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2012 FASE STEM Mini Grants.  These Mini Grants (totaling over $5000) will provide 7 individual teachers  from Pennsylvania with resources for innovative Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) projects geared toward females. The 2012 STEM Mini Grants are designed to recognize and support excellence in STEM education by providing funds to enhance programs for elementary, middle school, and high school students. A goal of this grant is to encourage effective projects that can be replicated by other teachers and/or informal educators. 


STEM Project


Science Exploration - Girls in 6 and 7th grades

Knoch Middle School

STEM: Robotics Camp for Girls

Windber Area Schools

Alice: An Introduction to Object-Oriented

Programming on the iPad

Laurel High School

Girls Got Engineering

The Learning Lamp

Honors Engineering Applications -

Submersible Vehicle Challenge

Seneca Valley Senior High

Pennsylvania Kid Wind Challenge

Knoch High School

Great (Digital) Paper Caper

Grove City Middle School



PA KidWind Challenge

The KidWind Challenge is a student-oriented wind turbine design contest open to any group of students who are of middle or high school age. This year's PA KidWind Challenge will be held on May 5, 2012 at Park Forest Middle School in State College, PA. To prepare for the KidWind Challenge, students spend time designing and constructing their own wind turbines with the goal of creating a device that is efficient, elegant and highly functional. This involves research to better understand the science of wind, analysis of testing protocols, creative thinking about solutions to problems and collaboration. Space is limited, so register early!  Each registered team receives a wind kit for the challenge. 


High School Math Problem Solving Contest   

Solve math problems and enter to win a cash award through the St. Francis University Math Problem Solving Contest!  High school students can utilize their skills in solving mathematical problems, and their correct submissions can be entered into a drawing for a cash prize.  Problems are posted the first week of each month (January, February, March, April, October, November, and December) with the answer due by the last Friday of that month.  High School students can participate in the contest by submitting answers through their classroom or on their own. 



worthKnowingWorth Knowing - PA STEM Professional

Dr. Kathryn Jackson

Kathryn Jackson, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at Westinghouse Electric Company, recently participated as a panelist for the Young Women's Recognition Night hosted by the Fox Chapel Branch of AAUW.  In her introductory remarks, Kate asked the middle school girls, all of whom had been selected by their teachers for their promise in mathematics and/or science, to imagine what it would be like to enter a party and discover that everyone there spoke a language that she could understand, but that those with whom she had gone to the party (her brother, her friend, her dad) could not. She likened that experience to the girls' abilities to speak the language of science and math, and she encouraged them to use those skills and engage in that culture noting that their skills and abilities are indeed beyond the ordinary. 


Dr. Kathryn Jackson, Westinghouse
Dr. Kathryn Jackson, Sr. VP and Chief Technology Officer, Westinghouse

Not only did Kate heighten the girls' awareness of the value of their unique attributes, but she also shared her career experiences and demonstrated the potential opportunities and achievements that lie ahead of 7th, 8th and 9th graders who persist in STEM education. 


Having earned a bachelor's degree in Physics, a master's degree in Industrial Engineering Management, and master's and doctorate degrees in Engineering and Public Policy, Kathryn Jackson has been a post-doctoral fellow at the National Academy of Engineering and has held positions with Alcoa Corporation and the Tennessee Valley Authority before joining Westinghouse.


In addition to her work at Westinghouse, Kate serves on the board of directors for ISO New England, Inc., responsible for operating New England's bulk power system and wholesale electricity market and managing the region's comprehensive planning processes. Dr. Jackson is also an advisor to Carnegie Mellon University's Engineering School and the Complex Engineered Systems program, and is on the advisory board of the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center. Previously she served on the board of directors of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), as well as its Governance & Nominating and Executive committees.


As the mother of two daughters, Dr. Jackson generously encourages girls to take advantage of all the languagues they may have the opportunity to speak.

Thanks to Westinghouse for this photo and biographical information.


ThanksSharingWorth Sharing - PA STEM Initiative
FASE Discovery Camp Sheep HeartsFASE Discovery Camp Geocaching
FASE - Female Alliance for STEM Excellence 

FASE - Female Alliance for STEM Excellence brings partners in business, industry, government, and education together to inspire and support girls as they engage in STEM opportunities.
  • Offers dynamic STEM programming targeted toward girls in the western PA region
  • Provides professional development opportunties to support teachers in providing hands-on, engaging STEM based activities
  • Educates girls, parents, educators and community members about how societal and environmental messages impact girls' involvement in STEM and works toward a more inclusive culture
  • Engages female STEM professionals as role models
  • Supports the development and implementation of girl-focused programming through mini grants 

FASE is particularly proud of the impact of the Young Women for STEM Recognition Nights and of the FASE Discovery Camp.  Other informal programs have included Chemistry in Cosmetics and Come Build Me a Robot. Look for RoboFest in May 2012! Check out the 2012 FASE STEM Mini Grant awards.

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2012 AAUW-PA Convention 

April 13 - 15, 2012 at the Radisson Hotel in Green Tree, PA


Attend the Philadelphia Science Festival this April 

The Philadelphia Science Festival is a ten-day, community-wide celebration of science that will take place annually April 20-29, featuring lectures, debates, hands-on activities, special exhibitions, and a variety of other informal science education experiences for Philadelphians of all ages. To see a calendar of events (most of which are FREE), visit


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

April 25 - 27, 2012 in Alexandria, VA

Register for the Conference and join the NGCP Collaboration Movement!


PAGE Conference: Unwrapping Gifted Potential: Every Day, Everywhere, Every School

May 4 - 5,2012 in Exton, PA


NW PA STEM Conference: STEM Skills Today: Economic Vitality for the Future 

May 15, 2012 at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania


2012 Central PA STEM Regional Conference

Dr. Ioannis (Yannis) N. Miaoulis, the President and Director of the Museum of Science, Boston and Dr. Frederick Hess, co-author of The Case for Being Bold:  A New Agenda for Business in Improving STEM Education, two exceptional keynote speakers, will present at the 2012 Central PA STEM Regional Conference on June 14 at the Milton Area High School. Register to attend, to host an exhibit, or to sponsor the conference. 



NGCP Program Directory

Make sure that your STEM Program is listed in the NGCP Program Directory.  Keep in mind that programs listed in the directory do not have to be exclusively for girls; by listing your co-educational STEM program, you are making great opportunities available to girls! You can also search the directory for programs and events in your area.  Registration and access to the directory is free.


Changing the Conversation The goal of this Changing the Conversation website is to promote broad implementation by the engineering community of the findings and recommendations presented in the 2008 NAE report, Changing the Conversation:  Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering


Professional Development Institute

The Headwaters to Estuaries: Western PA Connecting to the Bay project provides professional development for teachers in grades 6-8 within the Susquehanna River basin.  This two-week summer watershed institute focuses on issues associated with acid mine drainage and riparian zones of streams within local watersheds, nutrient impact on the Raystown Lake as a model for the Chesapeake Bay, estuarine environments of the Chesapeake Bay, and marine environments in and around Wallops Island, VA.  The institute incorporates integrative STEM pedagogy through problem-based design and inquiry projects.  


STEM Guitar Workshop 

High school math, science, and technology faculty teams can register now for the NSF STEM Guitar Workshop at Butler County Community College from June 18 - 22, 2012. Faculty teams will take part in an intense five day guitar design/build project.  Each faculty team will build his/her own custom electric guitar and will engage in student centered learning activities that relate the guitar design to specific math, science and engineering topics.  Participants will leave this weeklong experience with their custom-made guitars, curriculum modules that can be immediately integrated into the faculty team's school curriculum, and much more.  


ACTIVATE 2012 at Carnegie Mellon University  

Computational thinking has revolutionized many disciplines beyond computer science including biology, physics, statistics, finance, and the arts (to name a few) yet the Northern Appalachian region has fewer students participating in computing courses than other nearby regions. The School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University is running a set of NSF-sponsored workshops collectively called ACTIVATE for STEM high school teachers in PA, OH, WV and MD to help them show their students how important it is to understand computational principles, increasing the awareness of computer science in their schools. Workshops include Computing with Alice (July 9-13), Computational Thinking with Python (July 16-20) and Java for Math & Science (July 23-27). The cost is FREE for teachers that qualify, and the registration deadline is June 6, 2012.

CS4HS 2012 at Carnegie Mellon University

CS4HS is a workshop held by the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University for high school (and K-8) computing teachers to provide resources to help them teach computer science principles to their students in a fun and relevant way and show that CS is much more than Java programming. Dates: August 1-3, 2012. Cost: $50 to reserve a seat (refundable upon workshop completion). Registration deadline: June 25, 2012. 


The STEM Kids' College
Children entering grades 1-8 in Fall 2012 will find age-appropriate sessions in science, engineering, art, writing, and much more at the STEM Kids' College program.  The program will run for two separate weeks (June 18-22 and June 25-29, 2012) on the campus of Saint Francis University, Loretto, PA.  
STEM Summer Academies
Students currently in grades 10 and 11 who are interested in pursuing a career in the sciences or technical fields may want to attend the STEM Summer Academies. These week-long residential programs provide an opportunity for talented high school students to earn college credit while experiencing science, engineering, and computers; the academies include hands-on environmental and industry-based learning in the classroom and the laboratory as well as field trips and recreational activities. The STEM Summer Academies include Science & the Art of Discovery (June 17-22, 2012), Environmental Engineering Design Academy (June 24-29, 2012), and Gaming Academy (July 8-13, 2012). The application deadline is April 13, 2012.

Professional Development Institute
The Headwaters to Estuaries:  Western PA Connecting to the Bay project provides professional development for teachers in grades 6-8 within the Susquehanna River basin.  This two-week summer watershed institute focuses on issues associated with acid mine drainage and riparian zones of streams within local watersheds, nutrient impact on the Raystown Lake as a model for the Chesapeake Bay, estuarine environments of the Chesapeake Bay, and marine environments in and around Wallops Island, VA.  The institute incorporates integrative STEM pedagogy through problem-based design and inquiry projects. 


HealthivoresTM Video Game Contest for K-12 Students
Green Ribbon Schools (GRS) in partnership with the AMD Foundation, AMD, Inc. is sponsoring a national HealthivoresTM Video Game Contest. The contest is a result of a successful pilot program which showed an increase in the students' awareness of health issues and proficiency in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) skills. The national contest will challenge students to use their creativity to develop an online video game which teaches a healthy lesson for the chance to win AMD-powered computers for their team, their teacher and their school. Knowing that game design can be new and intimidating to most teachers, GRS is providing a simple lesson plan for teachers to follow with no game design or coding experience necessary. The submission deadline for the contest is May 1, 2012. 


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