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                                                                                 April 2013

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   



Role Models Matter Training - Sign Up Now!


The PA STEM Girls Collaborative Project Role Models Matter Forums are coming -- very soon.  Register now - it's easy - just click on the location you plan to attend: 

The cost to attend is only $25.  Space is still available, so please share with those in your network. Educators, STEM program providers and STEM professionals (female and male) can all learn how to interact with girls (and boys) in more meaningful and impactful ways. Lunch reservations are coming due soon, (Yep, that's right, lunch is included!), so register right now -- while you are thinking of it! 


The Role Models Matter Project, funded by the National Science Foundation, is a collaborative effort between Techbridge, the Society of Women Engineers, the National Girls Collaborative Project and Girl Scout Councils to bring resources to role models and girl serving organizations to accomplish the goal of increasing girls' interest in STEM (Science, Technolgoy, Engineering and Mathematics). 


Summer Collaboration Forum  - Ephrata Public Library


The PA STEM Girls Collaborative Project invites you to this summer's Collaboration Forum on June 25th at the Ephrata Public Library. You can expect to walk away with STEM resources, ideas for activities, contact information for potential collaborative partners, an understanding of good practices in collaboration, and a collaboration action plan.  Previous Forum participants have truly valued the opportunity to network with others who are working to better prepare girls (and boys) for STEM related careers.  Cost for the Summer Collaboration Forum is $15, and registration in now open. Light morning refreshments and lunch will be provided. You will also get a special opportunity to visit the Discover Earth exhibit that will be on display at the library.


Discover Earth Exhibit


Discover EarthAs part of a ten library tour in the US, The Discover Earth exhibit will be on display at the Ephrata Public Library in May, June, and July 2013. The public opening will be held on May 18th, and the library will host a range of summer activities related to the exhibit.  The Discover Earth exhibit is part of the STAR Library Education Network (STAR_Net) led by the National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute; the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) is one of the national exhibit sponsors.  Please go check it out, and take some kids along with you!  


Mini Grant Awards 


PA STEM Girls Collaborative Project Mini Grants 

A total of 13 mini-grant proposals were submitted to the PA STEM Girls Collaborative Project during their recent call for proposals.  As explained on the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) Website, the major requirements for this round of mini-grant funding included: collaboration with another program, innovation and an event that lasts more than a single day.  A group of reviewers from the PA STEM GCP Leadership Team and Champions Board rated the proposals based on the rubric supplied by the NGCP.  Five mini-grants were selected to receive either full or partial funding.  Those mini-grants are listed below; click on the title to learn more about each of these projects. 


Project Title


Seneca Valley Middle School STEM Fems Explore the World of Aviation


Girls Bridging Communities


Dream, Design, Build


Mad Science of Lehigh Valley


Invent-abling Mini-kits




FASE (Female Alliance for STEM Excellence) Mini Grants 

The 2013 FASE STEM Mini Grants are designed to recognize and support excellence in STEM education by providing funds to enhance programs for elementary, middle school, and/or high school girls.  Nearly 50 applications from 5 states were reviewed.  The projects below were selected for funding.



Project Title



Robotics for Girls Summer Camp

Blackhawk High School


Girls Exploring STEM

Norwin Middle School


Girls' Only Junior Scientists

Hillcrest Intermediate School


Sadie Hawkins Robot Ball

Butler Senior High School


The Chemistry of Cosmetics

Gateway High School


FITS (Females Innovating Toward Success) Engineering Partnership

Propel Braddock Hills High School


RegNewsEventsRegional News and Events

NCWIT Aspirations Award NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing - PA Award Celebrations

Pennsylvania is quite proud of all the young women recognized across the state for their interests and achievements in computing.


National Award for Aspirations in Computing

On the national level, 35 winners were selected from among more than 1,800 applicants.  The Western & Central PA/WV Affiliate is honored to have Calista Frederick-Jaskiewicz selected as a National Award Winner.


Philadelphia Area Award for Aspirations in Computing

Congratulations to the Winners and the Runners-Up of the Philadelphia Area Award for Aspirations in Computing!  Villanova hosted an Award Reception on April 3, 2013.



Katherina Lim, Methacton High School

Audrey Ann Blakely, Wyomissing Area Junior/Senior High School
Melanie Rynshall, Egg Harbor Township High School

Emma Coltoff, Springfield Township High School

Shivani Murali, Appoquinimink High School
Xinyue "Sherry" Yang, Methacton High School

Aana Bansal, Stuart Country Day School
Rachael Tipperman, The Baldwin School
Hannah Tipperman, The Baldwin School
Reilly Megee, Cab Calloway School of the Arts 



Vi Nguyen,  Egg Harbor Township

Paige Tobin, Bry Mawr

Maria Fanelle, Haddonfield

Caroline Pattillo, Wyomissing 


Western and Central Pennsylvania/West Virginia Affiliate
Congrats to all NCWIT Awardees!!


This first year affiliate recognized its National Award Winner, 20 Affiliate Winners and Runners-Up, and an Educator Award at an Award Reception hosted by the University of Pittsburgh on April 13, 2013. (Winners and Runners-Up for this affiliate were announced in the previous edition of this newsletter.)


NCWIT Award for Aspirations not only inspires girls and educators, but they are wonderful examples of collaboration in action!



worthKnowingWorth Knowing - PA STEM Professional

Reshma Thakore - Analytical Chemist at Alcoa Inc.

Reshma has been developing technical expertise in materials characterization since she started at the Alcoa Technical Center (ATC) in 2006. Reshma received her Bachelor's of Science in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh in 2006 and began working as a

Reshma Thakore - Chemist/Role Model

temporary chemical technician at ATC soon after. Once she acquired full-time employment with Alcoa, Reshma worked on her Masters in Chemistry and achieved the degree in May 2012 from Lehigh University. Through this time, she also gained experience in aluminum processes, including refining, smelting, and coatings covering industries such as architectural, automotive and aerospace. This work allowed her to gain exposure throughout Alcoa worldwide.


Reshma is now a lead Scientist in focus X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD). Her daily focus is method development, project management and support, and the daily execution of the XRF and XRD samples and instrumentation. Having gained extensive knowledge on analytical instrumentation, Reshma also serves as consultant throughout Alcoa on the implementation of analytical instrumentation and the training of other employees.


Reshma remains committed to learning aluminum processes, driving innovation in science and technology, and inspiring others in STEM. In addition to her technical role within Alcoa, she is active in several educational and community initiatives. She serves on the board for ATC's Alcoa Foundation Community Investments. Reshma is also actively engaged in the PA STEM Collaborative at ATC, leading local teachers through on-site exercises and tours. She has recently participated in mentoring and lab activities with the COMETS program for girls at Penn State New Kensington.


ThanksSharingWorth Sharing - PA STEM Initiative
Dream, Design, Build
Dream, Design, Build will afford high school girls the rare opportunity to engage in activities  that allow them to utilize technology, hand tools, and equipment thus emerging them in hands-on, non-traditional science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities. This week long, summer, day camp will introduce girls to STEM fields with an emphasis on the opportunities available and the skills used in construction related careers. 


With instruction from Sisters in the Brotherhood, female carpenters in the Carpenters Local PlayhouseUnion; a CAD/Pre-engingeering teacher from Lenape Technical School; and an architect from Massaro Corporation, the girls will quickly be engrossed in 3-D modelling, architectural styles and hands-on construction.   At the close of the week, the girls will have built a full-size playhouse which will be donated to a local non-profit which serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.


Collaborative Partners for this pilot program include recruiting support from Penn State New Kensington's STEM COMETS program and other STEM initiatives, instructors from the Greater PA Carpenters Guild, use of site and facilities from Lenape Tech, and coordination from FASE and the Penn State Electro-Optics Center.  Financial support from a PA STEM Girls Collaborative Project mini grant,  Armstrong County Manufacturing Consortium, the Tri-County Technology Consortium, FLIR Government Systems, and the Female Alliance for STEM Excellence are making this possible.  


Space is still available for this camp to be held from June 17 - 21, 2013 at Lenape Tech, so if you know a girl who will be in high school next year who might like to attend, contact Heather Simpson.

SaveDateSave the Date

Role Models Matter Roadshow

May 7, 2013    Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA

May 8, 2013    St. Francis University, Loretto, PA
May 10, 2013  The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, PA  
June 26, 2013  Ephrata Public Library, Ephrata, PA
Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) ROV Underwater Robotics Challenge
May 11, 2013    Villanova University, Villanova, PA
NW PA STEM Conference
May 21, 2013   Grove City College, Grove City, PA


Girls Coalition of SWPA Fifth Annual Conference: Girls Can Change the World

June 13, 2013    The Ellis School, Pittsburgh, PA


Central PA STEM Best Practices Symposium

June 14, 2013 Videoconference will be held in five areas across Central PA


US News STEM Solutions

June 17 - 19, 2013     Austin, TX


PA STEM Girls Collaborative Project Collaboration Forum

June 25, 2013     Ephrata Public Library, Ephrata, PA



July 31 - August 2, 2012  Camp Hill, PA 




From sciencegeekgirl: Stephanie Chasteen is a physicist, writer and educator in Boulder, CO. This is her playspace to talk about education reform (mostly secondary and college), hands-on science activities, teaching tips, science communication, and anything else science-y that strikes her fancy.



A recent NGCP webinar highlighted TrueChild and their work with Feminity and STEM. A current TrueChild project explores the topic "Do feminine ideals mean girls can't excel at science, math?" TrueChild focuses on understanding gender and its influence on education, civic engagement, reproductive health, and partner violence and is working to transform policy and programs in these areas. 


Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM)

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) seek nominations of individuals and organizations that have demonstrated at least five years of excellence in mentoring students, trainees, and/or early career scientists and engineers from groups that are underrepresented in STEM, including women, people with disabilities, underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, as well as individuals from low socio-economic backgrounds and some geographic regions (such as urban and rural regions). PAESMEM awardees receive a $10,000 honorary Presidential award and are invited to participate in recognition events and meetings with STEM policy leaders in Washington, D.C.  Visit for more information about the PAESMEM program and instructions on preparing and submitting nomination materials. Nomination materials are due June 5, 2013.



A posting on iKids lists 50 digital entertainment games with STEM education features.



California University of PA         PSU EOC       FASE



Franklin Institute           PDE            Robert Morris University

  WQED               NSF       AAUW


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