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                                                                                 Winter 2015

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

Connect with Us


RegionalNews                         Regional News                  


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




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. 

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

Please help us to reach our goal by visiting and pledging to mentor today!

Courses on Math, Engineering, Technology and Science (COMETS)


COMETS is a program that develops the interest of middle school girls in Math, Engineering, Technology, Science and their future.


The COMETS program is currently recruiting women in STEM careers to participate in an on-line career mentoring program.


*             Students choose an on-line mentor who helps them through 10 career activities 

              leading to a career plan

*             Each activity session lasts 15-30 minutes

*             Complete online training and profile

*             Share your experiences and knowledge of careers available to women

*             Make a difference in a girl's life


The COMETS program is presented by Penn State New Kensington in partnership with PA eMentoring.


A $10 fee is required for a background clearance check.


For more information, contact:

Debbie Novak


Pennsylvania Society for Biomedical Research (PSBR) Sponsors Essay and Poster Contests



Again this year, the Pennsylvania Society for Biomedical Research(PSBR) is sponsoring both essay and poster contests.

The essay contest is open to all 7th through 12th grade students in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia, including: public and private schools, home and cyber schools, and youth organizations.  This contest is free to enter and consists of cash prizes and an invitation to attend PSBR's annual awards dinner in Hershey, PA.  The deadline to submit an essay is 11:59 PM on March 15th.  For more information, please visit: .

The poster contest is open to all students in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia, including: public and private schools, home and cyber schools, and youth organizations.  This contest is free to enter and consists of cash prizes, a feature page in an 18-month calendar and an invitation to attend PSBR's annual awards dinner in Hershey, PA.  The deadline to submit a poster is 11:59 PM March 15th.  For more information, please visit:



                               Event Highlights              

FREE Tickets!!!  Robotics Night at the Philadelphia 76ers


Join us for a free afternoon and evening of robotics fun and activities to raise STEM awareness!  The Mayor's Office of Education is inviting student groups to attend Robotics Night at the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday, March 13th at 6 PM as they go head to head against the Sacramento Kings. 
If you know student groups who would like to attend this event, please fill out the request form at  Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.  You will be notified by Monday, March 9th if we were able to accommodate your request.

techgirlz Workshops


techgirlz is holding 2 workshops in March.  

"Robots + Python" is taking place on March 7th from 1:00 - 4:00 PM at The Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, PA.  To learn more and/or register, click here.

"HTML/CSS" is taking place on March 21st from 1:00 - 4:00 PM at the Apply Store in Philadelphia, PA.  To learn more and/or register, click here.

Girls Exploring Tomorrow's Technology (GETT)

Great Valley High School, Malvern, PA




"Statistics continue to show that girls are not embracing careers in technology, despite an increasing need for skilled professionals in STEM fields in Pennsylvania and the nation."

"Girl's Exploring Tomorrow's Technology (GETT) is a free, 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 technology careers can be fulfilling, fun and rewarding personally, professionally and financially."

The 15th Annual GETT is scheduled for March 21, 2015 at Great Valley High School. 

For more information and to register, please visit

Philadelphia Science Festival


"The Philadelphia Science Festival is a nine-day, community-wide celebration of science that takes place annually in April, featuring lectures, debates, hands-on activities, special exhibitions and a variety of other informal science education experiences for Philadelphians of all ages."   

This year the Science Festival runs from April 24th through May 2nd.  More information can be found at:

Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) 

Pennsylvania Competition



Calling all middle, high school and college teams to compete in the MATE PA Regional Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Challenge!  This event will take place on Saturday, May 9, 2015 from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm at Villanova University.  Registration is now open.  Visit for more information.


We are also looking for judges for this event.  If you are interested in being a judge, please contact V.V. Morris, Regional Coordinator at 




STEM Summer Academies (Grades 10-11)

Saint Francis University, Loretto, PA 



"Saint Francis University's STEM Summer Academies are week-long programs designed to provide an opportunity for talented high school students between their sophomore/junior and junior/senior years to experience science, engineering and computer science in action. Students will have the opportunity to earn college credits while working in teams to complete a real world project and present their results."


Programs include: App Inventor Academy, Chemistry Academy, Environmental Engineering Design Academy, Gaming Academy, Science of Exercise Physiology and Solar Academy 


For more information or to register, click here.



RoleModel                                     Role Model Spotlight                     

This Issue Spotlights: Chandra B. McMahon




Chandra B. McMahon is Vice President of Commercial Markets, Information Systems & Global Solutions (IS&GS) for Lockheed Martin Corporation.  In this capacity, she is responsible for delivery of a portfolio of cybersecurity and information technology solutions and services for financial, utility, oil and gas, health and life sciences, telecommunications and high-technology customers.


Previously, Ms. McMahon was Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer for Lockheed Martin Corporation.  In that role, she was responsible for information security strategy, policy, engineering, operations and cyber threat detection and response from September 2010 to July 2013.  She has represented Lockheed Martin on cybersecurity matters with White House and Congressional staff, U.S. Government leaders and industry forums, and has been active in promoting cybersecurity information-sharing partnerships between the U.S. Government and industry.


Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, Ms. McMahon was a Director at First Consulting Group and launched an industry-leading enterprise content management product suite for the pharmaceutical sector, and led a multinational product development team with members in Asia, Europe, and the United States from February 1999 to November 2003.


Ms. McMahon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Virginia Tech, a Master's degree in Engineering Science from Penn State University, and has earned the designation of PMI's Project Management Professional (PMP).


Ms. McMahon serves as an executive committee member and treasurer of the Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) Foundation International Inc. Board and is on the Pennsylvania State University Great Valley Advisory Board and Engineering Committee.

                                                    Save the Date

2015 Extra Learning Opportunities Conference: Changing the World One Student at a Time

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

This is a free event!
March 3-5, 2015, Hilton Hotel, Harrisburg, PA 


PA STEM Vision Conference: Innovative Ways to Educate

(The PA STEM Girls Collaborative Project will have a table set up at the Innovation Forum!)

This is a free event!

March 6, 2015, Hershey Lodge, Hershey, PA 


2015 Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators (PAEE) Annual Conference

March 13-15, 2015, Lake Raystown Resort, Entriken, PA 


Science Workshop for Elementary/Middle School Teachers: SSP Light, Color and Spectroscopy for Kids

March 19, 2015, National Energy Technology Laboratory, South Park, PA


Sharing Solutions: Advancing Girls in STEM 

March 19-20, 2015, The Agnes Irwin School, Bryn Mawr, PA

Delaware Valley Association for the Education of Young Children (DVAEYC) Annual Conference: Early Learning - What's Play Got To Do With It?
March 20-21, 2015, PA Convention Center Expansion, Philadelphia, PA 


Engineering is Elementary: Designing Bridges

This is a free event!

March 21, 2015, Penn State University - University Park Campus 


Computer Workshop for Chemistry & Physics Teachers

March 26, 2015, National Energy Technology Laboratory, South Park, PA 


Peregrine Falcon Educator Workshop

This is a free event!

March 26, 2015, Rachel Carson State Office Building, Harrisburg, PA

Email Ann Devine to register.


PA Head Start Association (PHSA) Annual Conference

April 8-9, 2015  Penn Stater Conference Center, State College, PA 


Keystone Energy Education Program Workshops

This is a free event!

Choose one of the following:

April 7, 2015, Westtown School, West Chester, PA - Register

May 12, 2015, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA - Register

June 17, 2015, Ferguson Township Elementary School, Pine Grove Mills, PA - Register


Biz-Ed Blitz: Connecting Classrooms to Careers

This is a free event!
April 9, 2015  2403 Sidney Street, Suite 800, Pittsburgh, PA

Register here. 


National Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA) Conference

April 16-17, 2015  Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel, Philadelphia, PA 


2015 STEM Summit: STEM 2 Work
April 20, 2015  Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA 


Simple Machines: Technological Advances in Early Agricultural and Household Equipment

This is a free event!

May 30, 2015  Penn State University - University Park Campus 

                                           Resources and Contacts

STEM Web Resources


America After 3PM
America After 3PM, an Afterschool Alliance publication, provides an overview of how children spend the hours between 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM and provides data on afterschool program participation, the benefits associated with participation in afterschool programs, and public support for afterschool programs.

Computer Science Toolkit and Gaming

The lessons included in this toolkit provide a fun and safe environment for girls to experience computing and gain the knowledge, encouragement, and the support they need to become future innovators in technology.

PA CareerZone 

"PA CareerZone is a career exploration resource for use in the classroom by students and job seekers interested in finding information on careers.  PA CareerZone is a web-based career exploration and planning system.  It is a user-friendly, interactive tool to find information on 900 occupations in Pennsylvania.  This site is for anyone who is interested in learning more about Pennsylvania careers such as students, teachers, school counselors, workforce development staff and career planners."

Big Dream
Big Dream is a documentary film that follows the stories of seven young women in technology fields around the globe. Each story takes a look at these young women's ambitions and how they overcome personal challenges to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. One of the goals of the film is to excite young women, their families, and friends about the possibilities inherent in STEM fields.



Foldscope: Microscopy for everyone "is a research team at PrakashLab at Stanford University, focused on democratizing science by developing scientific tools that can scale up to match problems in global health and science education."  Check out their 50-cent paper microscope! 


InformalScience is an online community and collection of informal STEM learning projects, evaluation and research resources



LabCandy makes fun and colorful lab gear available to girls (K-3) and pairs them with age-appropriate storybooks. 


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!    

JASON Learning Contests

JASON Learning and its partners sponsor a variety of contests each year for K-12 youth. Check out the current contest Plastic Film Recycling. Contest winners receive prizes from the JASON Project. 



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



The Next MacGyver

"Can you out-MacGyver MacGyver?" Create the next female hero that will inspire a generation of young women to see themselves as engineers.  For more information or to enter the contest, visit:


Origami Salami Folding for Good

Origami Salami "is a student movement to mobilize people as advocates for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) studies through the fun of origami; Folding for Good is a further initiative to engineer creative ways to DO GOOD with it."


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!


Creating Connections with Role Models: The Power of Collaboration

This guide developed by Techbridge is designed to help practitioners recruit and prepare role models to inspire girls in science, technology, and engineering.  


NCWIT Heroes 

NCWIT Heroes is a series of magazine-style audio interviews highlighting women entrepreneurs in information technology careers. NCWIT Heroes are women innovators from start-ups, small companies, and non-profits, whose ideas and products are changing the way we think, work, play, and communicate.


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: 


                                        Connect with Us!

Would you like us to highlight your STEM event?


Email your event details to PA STEM Girls Collaborative Lead Contact, Lisa Kovalchick. Please keep in mind that this newsletter is published quarterly; so, send your information early. 



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Funding and In-Kind Donations


Would you like to make a donation to the PA STEM Girls Collaborative Project?  We are seeking additional funding and resources to support our projects. You can make a donation to our general fund or specify funds for a specific project.  Some examples include:

  • Donate a travel scholarship to allow more practitioners to attend professional development opportunities.
  • Sponsor a mini-grant to increase girls' participation in high quality STEM programming.
  • Provide funding for a professional development event to help educators and organizations increase their capacity.
Donations can be made through the EdLab Group by mail or online.  Please visit for more information about making a donation.  Please be sure to specify the PA STEM Girls Collaborative Project when making your donation.


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