National Girls Collaborative Project

May 2013

 Building the Capacity of STEM Practitioners to Develop a Diverse Workforce

In This Issue:



NGCPUpdates NGCP Updates

NGCP Evaluation Highlights
This brief report highlights evaluation findings from seven years of the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP). The report presents evidence on how NGCP has increased collaboration, sharing of resources, and knowledge and use of exemplary practices. For example, on average, NGCP event attendees connected with ten new people and 90% of attendees met somebody with whom they would like to collaborate. Seventy-three percent of 2012 Annual Survey respondents indicated NGCP had increased their knowledge of exemplary practices related to serving girls in STEM and 75% of respondents had applied or planned to apply the practices to their work. This report also documents the impact of increased levels of collaboration and use of exemplary practices on girl-serving STEM programs, including increased effectiveness. The report was prepared by Evaluation & Research Associates, evaluators of NGCP. 


NGCP Webinar: Mission Solar System: Engaging Girls in Engineering and Space Careers

June 12, 2013; 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific

Design Squad Nation (DSN) is a NSF-funded, multimedia program whose goal is to inspire the next generation of engineers. DSN's latest guide, Mission: Solar System, blasts off into space exploration with new hands-on activities and video resources to engage students. In this interactive webinar, learn how to use the free educational resources to bolster your efforts to get girls excited about engineering and careers in space exploration.



SciGirls Earn Three Daytime Emmy Nominations
Congratulations to the SciGirls team for being nominated for three Daytime Emmys! Nomination categories include: Outstanding Children's Series, Outstanding New Approaches, and Enhancements to a Daytime Program or Series and Outstanding Achievement in Single Camera Editing. To learn more about SciGirls,visit:


CollaborativeNews Collaborative Network Activities

PA STEM Girls Collaborative Project Role Models Matter Forum  

The Role Models Matter Project, funded by the National Science Foundation, is a collaborative effort between Techbridge, the Society of Women Engineers, the NGCP, and Girl Scout councils to bring resources to role models and organizations. The goal of the project is to increase girls' interest in STEM by creating resources to train STEM professionals to interact with girls in meaningful ways. The forum will provide attendees with an opportunity to learn how to increase and improve the quality of their outreach to girls. 


Philadelphia, PA, May 10, 2013; 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM



Ephrata, PA, June 25, 2013; 9:00AM - 3:00PM



Ephrata, PA, June 26, 2013; 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM



Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Spring Forum: Increasing Impact: Engage Girls in STEM by Building Capacity
Seattle, WA
May 13, 2013; 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Attendees will network, meet new colleagues, and identify collaboration opportunities. This event will include plenary speakers, an undergraduate panel and two workshop sessions: "Teach your staff and volunteers to facilitate science inquiry," or "Who wants to give you money -- and why?"


ASTEC Girls in STEM Forum
Phoenix, AZ
May 18, 2013; 10:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Join the Arizona Science Center as we celebrate Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The forum will offer hands-on activities and breakout sessions for both girls and adults, delivered by exemplary STEM initiatives from across the state. Our goal is to facilitate collaboration among stakeholders and enable them to provide exciting STEM programs that motivate girls to pursue careers in STEM. 


Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative Annual Conference
Richmond, KY
June 7, 2013; 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM 

Panel and session speakers include Dr. Suzanne Smith, Director of NASA Kentucky Space Grant Consortium and the EPSCoR Program at the University of Kentucky; Kristy Fehr, Kentucky's Outstanding Elementary Science Teacher 2012; Cynthia Warner, Kentucky Education Television (KET); Dr. Kristen Brennan, Alltech; Lisa Holland, "STEM Sparks", Tates Creek Middle School; and Dr. Tanea Reed, Department of Chemistry, EKU.


Professional Development Forum: Engaging Underrepresented Girls in STEM
Osage Beach, MO
June 18, 2013; 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM 

This interactive training will explore strategies for engaging underrepresented girls in afterschool STEM activities. The discussion and hands-on activities will focus on equity strategies and will provide techniques to implement in your program.


NGCP Collaborative Mini-Grants
NGCP mini-grants are designed to enhance access to and build collaboration between programs and resources. Mini-grant application resources, including a sample application, exemplary practices, project ideas, evaluation requirements, frequently asked questions and glossary are available online at: Grant opportunities are available in the following Collaboratives:

 ChampionsforCollaborationChampions for Collaboration

NGCP Champions Board members are selected to give the NGCP a balance of desirable expertise and regional representation, including industry representatives, informal learning educators, gender equity experts, science and mathematics education representatives, and educational policy experts. We are highlighting Champions Board members each month to inspire and inform your work to engage girls in STEM. This month we feature Susan C. Lavrakas, Director, Workforce, Aerospace Industries Association.

Susan LavrakasWhat excites you most about your work?  The most exciting part of my work is engaging personally with children and youth to encourage their academic and career pursuits in STEM. We know that many young people have natural aptitudes and interest in science, technology, engineering and math but do not pursue these studies due to a host of factors. Most often, students are simply unaware of the opportunities and rewards available in these fields. I can think of almost nothing more important than helping young people discover and follow their passion in life as a way to earn a living; make a difference in their community, nation and even the world; and achieve personal fulfillment. All of that is possible in STEM careers in our industry, so our outreach that helps students envision a future in aerospace is both fun and gratifying. 


What advice would you give to the NGCP community? I would advise the NGCP community to be both persistent and patient in reaching out to the business community for support and engagement. More and more industries and companies recognize the need to become directly involved in encouraging and supporting youth - and especially females and underrepresented minorities - in order to develop their future workforce. But inspiring students and ensuring their persistence in STEM courses is not a core competency of businesses; we need to find partners who have the expertise and programs that we can help to grow and make more effective. The key to forming a durable partnership with the business community is to begin by establishing a trusted relationship as equals based on mutual respect, transparency and open communications. This cannot happen overnight, but the time and effort invested to lay that foundation can pay big returns in long-term collaboration.


UpComingSTEMeventsUpcoming STEM Events
Afterschool STEM Impact Awards 
Afterschool Alliance and the Noyce Foundation invite applications for one of two $10,000 Afterschool STEM Impact Awards! The Afterschool STEM Impact Awards will recognize programs that are clearly demonstrating their impact on participants. Such programs highlight the power of afterschool programs as key partners in STEM education reform and can also serve as best-practice models. Deadline: May 15, 2013.


U.S. News STEM Solutions 2013 National Conference   
Austin, TX
June 17-19, 2013
The theme of the 2013 conference is "Teach. Inspire. Hire." and serves as a call-to-action. Participants will learn how to initiate the action necessary to improve STEM education and increase employment in STEM fields. STEM Solutions 2013 tracks include: Mission Central: Why K-12 STEM Education Must Change, On the Hunt: The Search for Skills and Talent, and An Untapped Resource: Underrepresented Populations.
Women in Engineering ProActive Network (WEPAN) National Conference
Atlanta, GA
June 19-22, 2013
This conference will provide a forum for women in engineering leaders, corporate advocates, researchers, academic leaders, and government officers and provide practitioners access to current research, statistics, and best practices on women in engineering.


STEM Smart: Lessons Learned From Successful Schools
Atlanta, GA
June 23, 2013
This National Science Foundation (NSF) hosted meeting will highlight findings in the National Research Council reports, with a special focus on engineering education, as described in the Next Generation Science Standards. It will include breakout sessions on funded projects, resources and initiatives that align with evidence of effective instruction, access to high quality STEM for all students, and building supportive infrastructure.

Techbridge Summer Institute
Oakland, CA
July 31- August 2, 2013
Techbridge summer institute focuses on the development of STEM educators and offers strategies and curriculum for engaging girls in science, technology, and engineering. Explore inquiry-based activities and learn how to recruit and engage girls in a STEM program, implement Techbridge's hands-on curriculum for grades 5-12, plan field trips and visits with role models, expand family outreach, and integrate career exploration into your program.
Register today:

FabFemSpotlightFabFems Spotlight

FabFems LogoMay is American Wetlands Month and is a great time to reflect on the important role of wetlands and how they benefit our environment - from improving water quality to reducing flood and storm surge risk. This month meet Jessica Watts, a Water Resources Engineer at CDM Smith in New Orleans, LA.   

Jessica Watts Photo FabFem May 2013Jessica entered college as a mechanical engineering major with the intention of continuing into graduate school and working for NASA. As she thought about the ramifications of choosing such a career, she discovered she would be happy doing any type of work as a civil engineer. She received her Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering from Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN, and her Masters degree in Environmental & Water Resource Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.  Today, she is not only a water resources engineer, but also has significant experience in transportation design, site development, land development, as well as water and sewer system design. One of her most rewarding projects, that eventually led her to return to graduate school, was a site development project in Asheville, North Carolina. She assisted a church in not only building a green facility, but including sustainable solutions for storm water like pervious pavement and a cistern for irrigation.   


She recalls her childhood inspiration to become an engineer: "Growing up in New Orleans was great. I remember, when I was eight, walking up the levee that was in our backyard -- one of the levees, in fact, that was breached after Hurricane Katrina -- looking over the edge and seeing a huge, dry, concrete canal. I asked my Dad what it was and why it was there. I remember him trying to explain that we lived in a "bowl" below sea level and that the canals were there to keep the water out. I didn't understand what he was talking about at the time, but I am very aware of it now." Jessica's personal advice for young engineers is "Enjoy what you do, because that way the hard work won't be difficult."  


To learn more about Jessica, visit her FabFems profile at: Search profiles of role models working in environmental management, marine biology, ecology and many other fields related to wetlands and our environment on the FabFems website

To learn more about wetlands, visit the EPA website.

American Wetlands Month 

In the month of May, the EPA and its partners in federal, state, tribal, local, non-profit, and private sector organizations celebrate the vital importance of wetlands to the Nation's ecological, economic, and social health. It is also a great opportunity to discover and teach others about the important role that wetlands play in our environment and the significant benefits they provide - improved water quality, increased water storage and supply, reduced flood and storm surge risk, and critical habitat for plants, fish, and wildlife. To learn more, visit:


Design Squad Logo_For May 2013 e-newsletterDesign Squad Offers New Resources for Parents and Educators

Design Squad has expanded resources for parents & educators. Resources are organized by topic to help you quickly and easily find something to suit your needs! 


Huffington Post Girls in STEM
Focused on opportunities for women and girls in STEM, this site curates the latest articles, breaking news, and resources. It also links to the Huffington Post's Girls in STEM Mentorship Program and considers what it takes to be a mentor in these fields. 


"Top 10 Ways of Recruiting High School Women into Your Computing Classes"

This NCWIT resource offers practices to help educators recruit high school girls to their computing courses. A few examples include: encourage educators to promote students' interest and confidence, create an inclusive community, and help students form an identity as a computing person.


NGCP Program Directory - Find Summer Camps!
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. You can search by summer camp offerings in your zip code as well.


NGCP has created a publication entitled Build Your Collaborative Network with the NGCP Program Directory which provides an overview of the Program Directory as an effective collaboration tool to maximize impact for your program and/or organization.


Global Global Resources

IIE's Center for Women's Leadership Initiatives Webinar for Women in STEM fields

IIE's Center for Women's Leadership Initiatives in partnership with the Secretary of State's Office of Global Women's Issues, and the global engineering firm CH2M HILL, hosted a series of webinars to support emerging women leaders in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields who are studying in the United States. Participants learned about transition into the workforce from women leaders in the STEM fields and topics included: communication, negotiation and interview skills. To view the archived webinars:


Archived E-Newsletters

To search past issues of the e-newsletter visit the archives at:



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