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                                                                                 December 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   



Mini-Grants Available 

Yay! The PA STEM Girls Collaborative will be awarding mini-grants early next year. Mini-grants are awarded to girl-serving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) focused programs to support collaboration, address gaps and overlaps in service, and share exemplary practices.


Mini-grant projects must include exemplary practices in informal learning, evaluation and assessment, or provide support for serving underrepresented girls in STEM. Mini-grants are a small amount of seed funding and are not intended to fully fund entire projects. The maximum mini-grant award is $1000.


Open Date: 01/07/2013
Close Date: 02/06/2013
Decision Date: 03/01/2013


For more information, please visit the PA STEM Girls Collaborative Website. 

RegNewsEventsRegional News and Events

GETT 2013 - Call for Break-Out Session Speakers
Girls Exploring Tomorrow's Technology (GETT) is an all-day fun, informational event for middle and high school girls in grades 6 through 12 and their parents that features successful women in technology. Attendees learn the facts about how STEM careers can be fulfilling, fun and rewarding. GETT will be held on March 16, 2013 at Phoenixville Middle School, and 500 girls are expected to attend!


GETT LogoThe call for speakers is now open. Women in STEM - business leaders, entrepreneurs, academics, researchers and ALL other working professionals engaged in diverse STEM fields who love to share about their profession and enjoy working with youth should apply. Sessions typically include a 30 or 60 minute interactive presentation related to a STEM profession or field with a hands-on activity.


Submit by December 31, 2012 to be accepted early and to secure your presentation slot. If there are still open sessions, applications will be accepted through January 15, 2013. Apply today!  


GETT is sponsored by the the American Association of University Women - West Chester Branch and the Innovative Technology Action Group (ITAG).


Winners Announced - Western & Central PA/WV Award for Aspirations in Computing

Applications poured in from across the Western and Central PA/WV region in response to the NCWIT Aspirations Award   announcement of the new affiliate's NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing. The number of applicants and the strength of the applications was very impressive! The Winners will be honored and the Runners-Up will be recognized at an Award Event to be held on April 13, 2013 at the University of Pittsburgh.  All applicants will be invited to attend the event to join in the community of like-minded young women interested in computing and technology. 

Courtney Thurston, Commonwealth Connections Academy
Sophia Lee, North Allegheny Intermediate High School
Shuang Yu, Hershey High School
Sarah Knuth, Commonwealth Connections Academy
Fiona Kalu, Indiana County Technology Center
Theodora Chu, Franklin Regional Senior High School
Emilee Betz, Bethel Park High School
Casey Fischer, Knoch High School
Rachel Round, Homeschool
Athena Kao, Commonwealth Connections Academy
Sonia Appasamy, Fox Chapel Area Senior High School
Naoka Gunawardena, The Ellis School


Neha Sharma, State College Area High School
Sarah Pfabe, Butler Area Senior High School 
Rachel Rattay, Our Lady of Sacred Heart High School
Monica Lacek, Pine-Richland High School
Lucy Blevins, Gettysburg Area High School
Rebecca Brooks, Berwick Area High School
Mara Staines, Hempfield Area Senior High School
Lindsay Myer, Shady Side Academy


We are also proud to recognize Calista Frederick-Jaskiewicz from Wexford, Pennsylvania as a 2013 National Winner of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing!

worthKnowingWorth Knowing - PA STEM Professional

2012 NCWIT Educator Award Recipient 

Tammy Pirmann, a high school computer science teacher and district coordinator for Computer Science and Business at the School District of Springfield Township in Montgomery County, PA, is committed to ensuring that all students in her district are well-
NCWIT Educator Award

Tammy Pirmann,

 2012 NCWIT Educator Award Recipient

versed in computing and STEM-based studies before leaving high school. Thanks to Tammy (and many others) all Springfield students are now required to pass a course in computer science in order to graduate.  The following courses either fulfill graduation requirements or are elective offerings; both expose students to computers and STEM and sustain their interest and engagement:

  • STEM 1 - Includes engineering with VEX Robots and a unit with a humanoid robot
  • STEM 2 - Surveys three different engineering disciplines
  • Web Application Development 1 - Teaches website building with XHTML, html5, CSS and JavaScript.
  • Web Application Development 2 - Focuses on php and mySQL for data driven sites
  • Quest 9 - Future Studies
  • Computer Science Principles
  • Computer Science Basics
  • Robotics
  • Electronic Game Design and Development
  • AP Computer Science

All of Tammy's classes focus on the immediate and 'real world' application of computing concepts like Android App development. And, the number of students, especially girls, who opt to take a CS elective after 9th grade has increased significantly since the graduation requirement went into effect.

Tammy's advocacy for computer science and STEM education extends beyond her district. In October of 2010, Tammy went to Capitol Hill as part of the release of "Running on Empty: The Failure to Teach K-12 Computer Science in the Digital Age" and the announcement of the Computing in the Core coalition. She was on a panel with representatives from Industry and higher education to talk about what a K-12 computer science curriculum looks like in action.

ThanksSharingWorth Sharing - PA STEM Initiative
Seneca Valley Middle School STEM Fems
STEM Fems use science to help Mrs. Claus
Julie Smith, a former meteorologist turned 8th grade science teacher, knows first-hand about being an underrepresented minority in a STEM field.  As a teacher, she is teaming up with her school's principal, Andrea Peck, to enhance Science and Math, Technology, Engineering and Medicine for Seneca Valley Middle School girls.
STEM Fems launched in December with a hands-on forensic science activity; the girls used scientific discovery to determine which of the 6 white powders Mrs. Claus uses in her holiday cookies.  The STEM Fems series will continue through the school year with hands-on, minds-on activities and guest speakers who will talk with the girls about how these STEM activities relate to their lives and careers.
SaveDateSave the Date

A Vision for STEM Education: Exploring, Connecting, Transforming

February 18, 2013  David Lawrence Convention Center, Pittsburgh, PA


Preparing Pennsylvania's 21st Century Workforce: An Education and Workforce Development Symposium - PA Association of Career & Technical Administrators 

February 26 - 27, 2013  Hershey, PA


SWE Region G

March 1 - 3, 2013  Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA

SWE Region E - Big Inspiration in the "Small Wonder" State of Delaware


Pittcon 2013

March 17 - 21, 2013   Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA


NASA Seeks Female High School Juniors for WISH 

WISH, the Women in STEM High School Aerospace Scholars project is now accepting applications from female high school juniors with a 3.25 GPA or higher from across the country. Selected participants will complete online activities and participate in online forums focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) topics to be eligible for the summer experience at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.  During the summer experience, they will chart a course for Mars, engage with NASA female role models, interact with scientists and engineers and learn about careers in STEM. Apply by the January 3, 2013 deadline.


Minnesota Webinar Series on Nontraditional Careers Open to Everyone 

The National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity is partnering with the Minnesota Department of Education and Minnesota Colleges & Universities to host a webinar series "Pathways to Success: Help Students with College and Career Decisions."  These monthly webinars will highlight the latest research regarding career preparation and share specific strategies for implementation in the classroom, office, home, or community - to help students plan for success.  Upcoming topics include teacher strategies to recruit & transition female students into STEM careers and male students into health occupations and partnering with parents, business & industry and the community to help students find successful paths to Hot Careers, Best Education and Perfect Jobs.  Register for this free series in time for the January webinar!


STEM Based Summer Camps 

By using the NGCP Program Directory, you will be able to promote your summer program and help girls and their families to connect with STEM-based summer activities.  What a great resource to share when parents and girls ask where they might find STEM programs - especially for summer.  Help us to make the PA Program Directory, the resource for summer camps and activities.


As you firm up plans for your upcoming STEM events, please take a moment to list summer camps, activities, and programs (and any STEM focused offerings available year-round) in the NGCP Program Directory.   By placing your program in the NCGP Program Directory, you are helping girls to gain access to quality STEM programming.  Listings in the directory can be co-ed or all-girl events.  Registration and access to the directory are free, so it's a great place to advertise and a big help to families!  (If you have a program already listed in the directory, please be sure the information is up to date.) 

Here are some examples of PA programs already listed in the NGCP Program Directory:


Andrew's Leap - A 7 week non-residential summer enrichment program run by the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science since 1991.Through special classes and guest faculty presentations, students discover the exciting and vast possibilities of computer science. Students LEAP ahead ten years in their understanding as they are exposed to the frontiers of computer science research.


Learning Lamp Summer Camps - Eleven weeks of summer programming for children in grades PreK-12 providing children of all incomes, genders and backgrounds with a WOW experience that will motivate them to pursue advanced study in high school and beyond. The Learning Lamp aims to spark an interest in science and technology, make learning fun, and build critical thinking and problem solving skills. The Learning Lamp's Academy of Arts & Sciences for higher-achieving middle school-age students has been designated a Regional Summer School of Excellence by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell for three consecutive years--one of only 15 such programs in the state.  


MIT Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science Program (MITES)

The MIT Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science Program, a six week FREE residential summer program for high school juniors (you have to pay for transportation to/from MIT only) is an outstanding program that gives students interested in STEM an opportunity to take college level courses and explore this field prior to college enrollment. Deadline to apply is January 15, 2013.


AAUWCalifornia University of PAFASEFranklin Institute
NSFPSU EOCPDERobert Morris University


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