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                                                                                 Summer 2014

The PA STEM Girls Collaborative Project newsletter is provided to support a variety of efforts that address gender and diversity-related issues surrounding STEM fields.


In this issue:

Regional News

Event Highlights

This Issue's Role Model Spotlight

Save the Date

Resources and Contacts


RegionalNews                         Regional News                  


The National Girls Collaborative Project partners with Million Women Mentors to Commit to Mentoring 140,000 Girls in STEM Fields




You read it correctly, through their local collaboratives, 22 states have made commitments to mentor 140,000 girls in STEM fields over the next 4 years! 


In Pennsylvania, we are thrilled to join the movement and make the commitment to connect girls to inspiring STEM role models.  We are proud to announce our Million Women Mentors pledge of 3,000 mentors in the state of Pennsylvania!  


The goal of the movement is to support the engagement of one million mentors in STEM professions over the next four years and to collectively increase the interest and confidence of girls and young women in these areas.
Karen Peterson, Principal Investigator of the NGCP, praised the work being done on the state-level. "We celebrate the NGCP Collaborative network leadership teams who support large networks of programs with resources and services. Collectively, the NGCP reaches over 8.5 million girls through their work. Our joint vision, to get STEM mentors activated from America's top corporations and associations, is key to increasing the STEM workforce of the nation."

"We salute the state-level leadership and know how hard they have worked to submit the mentoring pledges," said Edie Fraser, CEO of STEMconnector® and Million Women Mentors. 

Million Women Mentors is the collective action of over 54 national partners. The founding partners are STEMconnector®National Girls Collaborative ProjectMentorNet and NPower.



Winners of the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing National Competition


 Western/Central Pennsylvania and West                                                           Virginia Affiliate


Our region celebrates quite an extensive list of 2014 award winners! 


Awardees were selected for their aptitude and interest in IT and computing, solid 

leadership ability, good academic history and plans for post-secondary education.


Award recipients were honored on April 12, 2014, at the University of Pittsburgh.


Congratulations to Carolyn Stewart of Franklin Regional Senior High School, the 2014 recipient of the Western & Central Pennsylvania and West Virginia Competition Educator's Award!


National Community Competition Winners

Ananya Cleetus, Upper Saint Clair HS

Courtney Thurston, Commonwealth Connections Academy


National Community Competition Runners Up

Sonia Appasamy, Fox Chapel Area Senior High School

Elizabeth Bianchini, Fox Chapel Area Senior High School

Caroline Combemale, Agora Cyber Charter School

Mackenzie Ferris, The Ellis School

Fiona Kalu, Indiana Area High School

Sarah Knuth, Commonwealth Connections Academy

Campbell Konrad, The Ellis School

Sophia Lee, North Allegheny Intermediate High School

Brooke Ley, South Fayette Township High School

Molly Page, Norwin Senior High School

Alex Roth, Chartiers Valley High School

Anna Sinelnikova, North Allegheny Senior High School


Western & Central Pennsylvania and West Virginia Competition Winners


Sonia Appasamy, Fox Chapel Area Senior High School

Elizabeth Bianchini, Fox Chapel Area Senior High School

Caroline Combemale, Agora Cyber Charter School

Mackenzie Ferris, The Ellis School

Heather Harrington, The Ellis School

Fiona Kalu, Indiana Area High School

Sarah Knuth, Commonwealth Connections Academy

Campbell Konrad, The Ellis School

Sophia Lee, North Allegheny Intermediate High School

Brooke Ley, South Fayette Township High School

Molly Page, Norwin Senior High School

Bethany Rispoli, York Country Day School

Alex Roth, Chartiers Valley High School

Anna Sinelnikova, North Allegheny Senior High School

Mara Staines, Hempfield Area Senior High School





Western & Central Pennsylvania and West Virginia Competition Runners Up


Sarah Baldwin, Grafton High School

Lily Buchanan, Pittsburgh Capa 6-12

Jadelynn Kimball, A W Beattie Career Center

Sylvie Lee, Shady Side Academy

Kelsie McElroy, Seneca Valley Intermediate High School

Simran Parwani, Fox Chapel Area Senior High School

Rebecca Petersen, Beaver Area High School

Rachel Round, Homeschool

Rebecca Volk, Avonworth High School


Do you know a high school girl who you think should be honored through this competition? Remember to check the NCWIT Website this fall for announcements concerning this year's competition.


                               Event Highlights              

Innovator Wednesdays

Summer Camp near Pittsburgh


Educational research shows that during the middle school years students lose interest in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) concepts.  These camps will be designed around challenging participants to complete Project Based Learning activities.  Each day will be designed around STEAM and problem-based learning.  Students will collaborate to develop solutions to problems posed throughout the course of the day.  


The camps take place from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm each Wednesday through August 20, and are open to students entering grades 6-8.  They are located at California University of Pennsylvania's Southpointe Center for Innovation in Canonsburg, PA.


For more information, please visit or contact:


Christopher Allen


Marine Advanced Technology Education Pennsylvania Competition


The Fifth Annual Marine Advanced Technology Education Pennsylvania (MATE PA) Regional Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Challenge's mission was accomplished on Saturday, May 10, 2014, at Rowan University, School of Engineering in Glassboro, New Jersey.  310 people attended this event.  Thanks to the awesome sponsors and the MATE PA ROV stakeholders, everyone had a blast!


The following teams were proudly announced as moving on to MATE International:

Explorer Teams: Garrett College, McHenry, MD
                           Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ

Ranger Teams: First place overall - Excelsior Home School Cooperative, Allentown, PA 
                         Second place overall - Northeast High School, Philadelphia, PA


Scout Overall Winner: Harrington Middle School (Seabots), Mt. Laurel, NJ


For more information, please visit

PA Places in the Marine Advanced Technology Education International Competition


The 13th Annual Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) International Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competition took place June 26-28, 2014, at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary facilities in Alpena, Michigan.  


Excelsior Home School (PROVE) and Garrett College (Project Kraken) did a wonderful job representing MATE PA at the MATE International competition.  Both teams finished 11th out of 60 international teams in each of their classes.  Garrett College (Project Kraken) an explorer team won second place in the Engineering Presentation category and also received the top Judges Award!


Project Kraken

Project Kraken's simulator allows anyone to fly an accurate model of their ROV and it also includes 3D data from the Lake Huron shipwreck: Monohansett.  Project Kraken obtained the 3D Laser scanned data from 3GRobotics and created a replica of the ship inside the simulated environment.  Their game was so popular that it was moved inside the exhibit center for the general public to use.  They hope to refine the model and provide the game to the Thunder Bay Sanctuary as an exhibit!

The team from Nanjing Institute of Technology is enjoying flying Project Kraken "Squidward" ROV using the simulator (game) that team member Kendrick Bender created.

We are extremely proud of our teams!  Additional international awards information, can be found at:

MATE PA will schedule a workshop for new and returning teams this coming winter.  Judges and volunteers are needed for the May 2015 challenge.  Any interested school or community teams at the middle school, high school, or college/university level should email Velda Morris at for 2015 participation information.

FASE Dream, Design, Build Camp 2014

The Female Alliance for STEM Excellence (FASE) Dream, Design, Build camp  affords 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 introduces girls to STEM fields with an emphasis on the opportunities available and the skills used in construction related careers.   The camp is open to high school girls who would like to learn how to use tools, who would like to create something real, and who would enjoy meeting other girls who like this stuff, too!

This year's FASE Dream, Design, Build Camp was held at the Beaver County Career and Technical Center (in Monaca, PA) from July 14th - 18th. 

FASE Discovery Camp 2014

The 2014 FASE Discovery Camp, was held at Lenape Tech from June 23rd to 27th.  Girls enjoyed a week filled with STEM-enhancing activities.   


Each day of the camp focused on a different STEM discipline (computers, medicine, etc.). 





Here, girls are learning the concepts of object-oriented programming through Alice - an educational software, developed at Carnegie Mellon University, to teach computer programming concepts in a 3-D environment. 



RoleModel                                     Role Model Spotlight                     


This Issue Spotlights:  Gail Griffin


Gail is a Patent Attorney at Teva Pharmaceuticals



"I credit my high school AP Biology teacher, Mr. Richardson, for really capturing my interest in biology and, in particular, genetics. He made science fascinating and wondrous, but also real and understandable".





I went to Penn State and graduated in 1995 with a B.S. in Biology and a focus in Genetics, and then graduated from Thomas Jefferson University with a Master's Degree in Biomedical Chemistry in 1997. I worked in research laboratories as a research specialist for 5 years before deciding to go to law school to study patent law. Patent law is a great area of law where science and law intersect, and my science background was perfect for this endeavor. I was lucky to interview with a law firm during my first year of law school and was hired as a "technical specialist," a position I had no idea existed. I wrote patent applications on biotechnology-related inventions and got a lot of hands-on training relating to the patent process while attending law school at night. I graduated from Temple University Law School in 2003 and maintained my position at the law firm, now as a patent attorney. I stayed with the law firm for 7 years, and then decided to move "in-house" to a pharmaceutical company, which is where I am today. I have been with Teva for just about 6 years and I am responsible for obtaining and maintaining patents around the globe on pharmaceutical products developed by our research and development groups in the therapeutic areas of women's health, oncology, and pain. This field is highly technical and a strong understanding of various aspects of biochemistry, chemistry, and pharmacology is needed to perform my daily activities. Without my background in science, this exciting and challenging opportunity would not have been available to me.


                                                    Save the Date

STEMathon: Dive into STEM

(The PA STEM Girls Collaborative Project will be presenting a Role Models Matter Workshop at the conference)

August 5-6, 2014  Camp Hill, PA 


2014 STEM Summit: Bridging the Gap through Innovation and Collaboration

August 28, 2014  Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA 


Dive Deeper II - Youth Water Educator's Summit
September 25  Best Western Premier Hotel & Conference Center, Harrisburg, PA 


Family Involvement Conference

October 26-29, 2014  Best Western Premier Hotel & Conference Center, Harrisburg, PA 


Early Childhood Education Summit

November 10-12, 2014  Penn Stater Conference Center, State College, PA 


PENN SACCA Annual Statewide Conference

November 14-15, 2014  Holiday Inn, Grantville (Hershey), PA  



                                           Resources and Contacts

STEM Web Resources


Lean In
Are you looking to motivate a girl to pursue a career in a STEM field?  Then check out Lean In.  Among other things, the site includes some great inspirational video clips.

Made with Code

Google is doing their part to encourage girls to become computer programmers.  Check out Google's new Website Made with Code.


Project Accelerate Out-of-School Time Resource Center

The Project Accelerate Out-of-School Time Resource Center is a great place for all things STEM. Check it out!    


Design Squad Nation

Looking for some fun STEM activities for your kids to create using household items?  Check out Design Squad Nation.  These activities can be fun for kids (both girls and boys) of all ages!


Click 2 Science

Click 2 Science provides online STEM professional development for out-of-school providers. 



Are you looking for a technology event for middle school girls to attend?  If so, check out techgirlz; they hold workshops and an annual entrepreneurial summer camp aimed at giving middle-school girls hands-on experience with different kinds of technology and enable them to interact with women who have carved out successful careers in technology fields.



Are you looking looking for STEM education opportunities in southwestern PA?  If so, then check out Carnegie Science Center's STEMisphere.


Girls Excelling in Math and Science (GEMS)

"The GEMS clubs have been working since 1994 to increase interest in STEM for girls in elementary and middle school and to expose girls to the fun and wonder of these fields." Explore to find out more about the GEMS club, its purpose, history, activities, research and resources for encouraging girls and maybe starting a club of your own!



Are you looking to incorporate STEM mentors into a University level setting?  "MentorNet's mission is to help engineering and science students at the university level by matching them with mentors and guiding their one-on-one relationships over the Web. MentorNet enables students to achieve their career goals and works to diversify the engineering and science workforce by focusing on women and underrepresented minorities. This program is offered at no cost to students with an .edu email address who intend to enter the STEM fields."  For more information on MentorNet, visit their Website at:

Creating Connections with Role Models: The Power of Collaboration
This guide developed by Techdbridge is designed to help practitioners recruit and prepare role models to inspire girls in science, technology, and engineering. captures the impact women have made in America through a collection of interviews with diverse and trailblazing women. Screening materials, lesson plans, and tool kits are available for educators and others.
Mi Tierra, Mi Mundo/My Land, My World
The Smithsonian Latino Virtual Museum's Mi Tierra, Mi Mundo/My Land, My World  is a series of bilingual immersive real-virtual watershed experiences and resources. This resource aims to engage Latino youth (grades 5-12) in STEM careers. 
NCWIT's Talking Points: 
Why Should Young Women Consider a Career in Information Technology? 
National Center for Women Information Technology (NCWIT) Talking Points
 are short advocacy and conversation cards to help adults talk about computing and IT to young women. The main message is that IT offers meaningful work, security, and high salaries (with a bachelor's degree), along with flexibility and variety. Also available in Spanish.
NGCP Program Directory
Search for Collaborating Programs or Register Your Program! The online Program Directory highlights 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. 
Million Women Mentors
Million Women Mentors is an engagement campaign and national call to action that mobilizes corporations, government entities, non-profit and higher education groups, around the imperative of mentoring girls and young women in STEM fields.  Check it out at: 



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