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February
2013
Great New Initiatives for a Great New Year at 
Girls  STEM Collaborative (GSGSC)
 
The Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative is the New Jersey initiative of the National Girls Collaborative Project, a program focused on providing high quality STEM activities to girls. Our primary goal is to strengthen the capacity of girl-serving STEM programs to effectively reach and serve underrepresented girls in STEM by sharing promising practice research and program models, outcomes, products and by connecting   formal and informal educators, business and industry in order to maximize the resources that can positively influence our girls.  
As always, this newsletter is for you as members of the Collaborative. It can serve as a forum to promote events, and to highlight the good work that you all do, so please let me know what is going on so we can include your program in upcoming issues.
 
In this issue:
  • Montclair March Mathness: Empowering Girls Through Math! March 3 - 16, 2013 
  • RSVP: 100 Women Leaders in STEM TownHall Conference Call 3/6/13
  • Newark Museum Position Announcement
  • Design It! Afterschool Engineering Program - Now enrolling afterschool sites 
  • Save The Date! ELO/Summer Learning Symposium 4/24/13 
  • L'Oreal USA Launches STEM 'For Girls In Science' Website and Contest
  • STEM Should Be a Natural Extension of Literacy Education, says National Math and Science Initiative
  • The Program Directory: Is your program listed?  
 
Mike MacEwan
Collaborative Lead, Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative
 
Montclair March Mathness:
Empowering Girls Through Math
March 3 - 16, 2013 

In partnership and in collaboration with GSGSC, Athena Collaborative Group, a non-profit organization that supports, encourages and empowers women to enter into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) careers has announced the 2nd annual Montclair March Mathness, a math and science festival, March 1-16, in Montclair, NJ. Montclair March Mathness will offer a variety of interesting, challenging and fun math- and science-related activities at multiple venues around town during the 16-day festival. The all-volunteer festival will bring together all members of the community including elementary, middle school and high school students, teachers, parents and administrators as well as STEM professionals, community groups, private schools, civic organizations and local businesses.

As part of Montclair March Mathness, GSGSC will offer two workshops on March 13th, a workshop for formal and informal educators and another for families.

 

For more information, to volunteer to assist with Montclair March Madness or to register, please contact: math@montclairmarchmathness.org.

 
RSVP: 100 Women Leaders in STEM
TownHall Conference Call 3/6/13

As we celebrate Women's History Month, RSVP today to be part of a special call where different 100 Women Leaders in STEM honorees will share with us their story, their challenges and what their organization is doing to promote more women and girls in STEM careers. The TownHall Conference call will take place virtually (WebEx platform) on March 6th from 1:00PM - 2:30PM EST.

 

You can't miss it! A special announcement that will affect millions of women and girls will be announced! Please share this invitation with your colleagues and networks so more and more people gets involved in showcasing STEM careers to girls.

 

Sincerely,

The STEMconnector team

 

 

 
Newark Museum Position Announcement:
Maker Corps Educator (Temporary Part-Time) 

The Newark Museum is looking to hire 5 part-time educators in the new Maker Corps program which supports the Newark Museum's Makerspace programs and initiatives. Please pass this along to your students or any college age youth ages 18-23 looking for a summer job who love the maker movement, tech, science and art. Note that this job opportunity was sent to all local college career departments too so your students may also find it there.

 

See attached position announcement and a promotional flier.  For further details and to apply visit the Maker Corps website at:  http://makered.org/makercorps.

 
Design It! Afterschool Engineering Program:
Now enrolling afterschool sites for the 2013-2014 school year!

Enrollment is now open for this full-year program that includes six engineering projects. Each of the six projects lasts approximately one month, with youth (ages 8-12) meeting in their "Junior Engineer" club once a week for the duration of the program. Selected Design It! projects for 2013-2014 include - Balls and Tracks, Gliders, Paper Bridges, Rubber Band-Powered Cars, Straw Rockets, and Trebuchets. Youth work in teams to design their project, test it, and make adjustments - repeating the process as they try to optimize their design.  Enrollment form and deposit for the 2013-2014 school year are due June 7, 2013.  For more information, visit the program's  website here

 

Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development and the New Jersey School-Age Care Coalition (NJSACC), The Network for New Jersey's Afterschool Communities, are proud to offer Design It!, an engaging, inquiry based, and fun STEM program designed specifically for afterschool. This comprehensive and high-quality program was developed by the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) in Boston and the National Partnerships for After School Science (NPASS2) through the support of the National Science Foundation.

 

Rutgers 4-H and NJ SACC will provide (1) materials kits, (2) curricula guides, (3) three full-day professional development workshops, and (4) ongoing support and technical assistance to school and community based afterschool organizations who enroll by June 7. 

 

See the website for details, enrollment packages and options, and an enrollment form. 

 

For questions regarding the program, contact Chad Ripberger, Rutgers 4-H at: ripberger@rce.rutgers.edu

 

For questions regarding enrollment and payment, contact Mike MacEwan, NJ SACC at: mmacewan@njsacc.org (checks, purchase orders, and credit cards are accepted).

 
Save The Date! ELO/Summer Learning Symposium

NJSACC and NJDOE are partnering to present the ELO/Summer Learning Symposium. Hear from NJDOE, The National Summer Learning Association, The National AfterSchool Association, Liberty Science Center, The Newark Museum's Maker Lab and more!
 
Be on the lookout for registration in mid-February!

Date: April 24, 2013

Time: 9am-3:30pm

Cost: $30 per person which includes continental breakfast, lunch and materials.

Location: New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, Monroe, NJ
 
L'Oreal USA Launches STEM 'For Girls In Science' Website and Contest (ends 3/4/13)

Announced by L'Or�al USA, ForGirlsInScience.org isn't just a website, it's where budding scientists can learn about science in a fun and interactive way: hypothesize, experiment and draw exciting conclusions. They can connect with other girls who love science and share their ideas and dreams. They can be inspired by women who have dreamed, created and invented before them, discover the wide range of fields that fall under "science," and find the tools and motivation needed to become scientists themselves. The result? A fun place where science doesn't intimidate, but inspires and empowers girls of all ages to pursue their career goals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M). ) 
 
With this in mind, L'Or�al USA is currently hosting a "Why S.T.E.M is Cool" video contest inviting students nationwide, 13-18 years of age, to produce and upload their most original, engaging, funny or compelling videos expressing "Why S.T.E.M is Cool."
 
Contest ends on March 4th!
 
 
 
 "STEM Should Be a Natural Extension of  
 Literacy Education."
 

The nation seems enamored with the acronym STEM, which stands for science, technology, engineering, and math.

 

However, according to the National Math and Science Initiative, the lack of STEM proficiency is a crisis for U.S. educators, with students finishing 25th in math and 17th in science in the ranking of 31 countries by the Organization for Economic Coordination and Development (OECD). These findings are of significant concern, of course, because essential elements of a STEM education are absolutely necessary for youth to find future employment that is enriching, rewarding, relevant and of importance in the world.

 

Microsoft reported in 2011 that it had engaged Harris Interactive to conduct research to determine the STEM perceptions of parents and students, and found that 49 percent of K-12 parents see STEM as a top priority, but only 24 percent would be willing to spend extra money for STEM education. The divide between the survey group's knowledge and its participants' willingness to act on that knowledge is disconcerting, especially in light of the accepted value of STEM in providing competitive advantages in life.

 

STEM should not be treated as a separate domain in education, but rather treated as a cross-domain strategy. In fact, the 21st century skills of collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication must be infused with STEM education to provide students with the thinking skills inherently needed in STEM careers. In addition, art education should be integral, which may change the acronym to STEAM. The Harris Interactive survey actually found that parents were more willing to spend extra money on art education, and that students favored art careers over STEM, which presents a strategy for fostering STEM interest through art courses.

 

The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) has a mandate to educate the whole child, and this mandate is shared by the American Association of School Administrators. This compact emphasizes that our students must not only learn knowledge, they should also learn strategies that foster emotional intelligence, civic awareness, accountability, and empathy for others. The Destination Imagination programming accentuates these skills, and includes perseverance strategies that teach risk taking, resilience, mindfulness, and self-determination.

 

As mentioned above, STEM education is not a single-domain strategy and should be integrated across all curricula to enable children to construct meaning across disciplines. STEM education can be taught through stories, pictures, sound, videos, and hands-on activities. The opportunity for educators is to use inquiry-guided learning (questioning) strategies to engage children to use their imaginations for creativity, and then use the same teaching methodology for critical thinking. This engagement could invoke emotion in the form of excitement and passion, which is a brain-based teaching strategy. A goal of STEM education should be to foster higher-order thinking skills, such as goal setting, planning/budgeting, organizing, prioritizing, memorizing, initiating/risk-taking, shifting, and self-monitoring.

 

Bottom line is that educators need to recognize that STEM is not a stand-alone educational strategy. STEM knowledge should be integrated across the curriculum, and schools should use after-school programs, such as the ones offered by Destination Imagination, to develop practical skills -- collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication -- while fostering a sense of wonderment, which is needed for passion, perseverance, and innovation.

 

Chuck Cadle, M.Ed., is a licensed teacher and educational leader. He is CEO of Destination Imagination, Inc., a NJ-based educational non-profit, which has been teaching STEM education through its after-school Challenge-based distance learning program since its inception in 1999.

The Program Directory: Is your program listed?
 
The Program Directory  (at no fee) lists organizations and programs that focus on motivating girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The purpose of this Directory is to help organizations and individuals network, share resources, and collaborate on STEM-related projects for girls.

 

The Directory contains program descriptions, resources available within each organization, Program and/or organization needs, and contact information. Submitted entries undergo review and verification prior to publication.

 

 

Contact
Michael MacEwan 
Collaborative Lead  
Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative 
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