May Flowers Bloom with Fantastic STEM News at Girls STEM Collaborative (GSGSC)
Greetings from 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:
Mike MacEwan
Collaborative Lead, Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative
Click here to register today!

Join our May webinar presenter, Riki Wilchins, on a NAPE Blog to discuss and share ideas about "Feminine Norms: A Key to Improving STEM Outcomes." On May 12, Riki will begin the blog by posting in the Blog section on the NAPE homepage some ideas or questions for discussion. The blog will be active from May 12 to 16.

Then register for the webinar on May 20 to learn more and continue the discussion!

Date and Time
Blog: May 12-16, 2014
Webinar: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 2PM ET, 1PM CT, 12AM MT, 11AM PT 

Feminine Norms: A Key to Improving STEM Outcomes
  • Understand gender concepts and terms
  • Be familiar with the research on gender norms and STEM
  • Appreciate how feminine norms can impact STEM attrition during adolescent and teenage years.
  • Understand what Motorola Solutions Foundation and TrueChild are doing around feminine norms and STEM

Click here to register for this webinar! 

NIOST and NJSACC Offer A New and Incredible STEM Fellowship Opportunity!

National Afterschool Matters STEM Practitioner Fellowship
A collaborative effort between the National Institute on Out-of-School Time, the National
Writing Project, and NJSACC: The Network for NJ's Afterschool Communities
The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College and the National Writing Project (NWP), with generous funding support from the Robert Bowne Foundation, launched the National Afterschool Matters Initiative Practitioner Fellowship in September 2008. The first two participating cities were Philadelphia through the Philadelphia Writing Project, and the San Francisco Bay area through the Bay Area Writing Project.

We have also have or had Fellowships in Minneapolis, Seattle, Pittsburgh, and New York City. NIOST and NJSACC are excited to bring this opportunity to out-of-school-time (OST) practitioners  and classroom teachers in New Jersey. The fellowship is grounded in the inquiry-based, writing, and professional development approaches of the National Writing Project (NWP) and NIOST. This effective professional development model provides frequent and ongoing opportunities for educators in and out of school to write and to examine theory and practice together systematically. Educators who are well informed and effective in their practice can be successful teachers of other practitioners as well as partners in development and implementation of effective and quality practice. Research findings by the fellows will be presented at a research roundtable in the Fall of 2015, and fellows will be encouraged to submit papers for publication.

Participants in the Practitioner Fellowship are selected by application. Through the year-long course the Fellows will explore some of the issues emerging from recent studies that challenge the dichotomy of learning experiences as well as traditional structures of learning. Researchers and policy makers have increasingly questioned the split between in-school and out-of-school programs, calling for new policy and innovative thinking to bridge these divides. 
Click here to download the fellowship flyer
Click here to download the fellowship application
Those selected for the New Jersey STEM Practitioner Fellowship will:
  • Become part of a community of practitioners. Fellows work collaboratively to study effective practices and investigate the structures in which effective practice happens - at the program/classroom, activity, curriculum, and individual levels using their own Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Mathematics curricula as the objects of study.
  • Learn strategies to engage in program reflection and inquiry. Fellows learn approaches and strategies that will help them become better at program/classroom observation and analysis.
  • Improve programs and practice. Fellows identify and investigate effective instructional strategies and bring these strategies back to their classrooms and/or OST programs.
  • Collaborate to identify ways that schools and OST programs can better work together to support youth in STEM learning and engagement.
  • Engage in leadership activities to disseminate program/classroom improvement strategies. Fellows present their work to peers, administrators, parents and community members. They are encouraged to design and deliver workshops based on their work to share new expertise with others in the field.
  • Write a STEM-focused inquiry paper that intentionally brings the worlds of OST and the school classroom together as part of an article for professional journals.
Responsibilities of Fellows:
  • September 2014 to November 2014: twice monthly Saturday meetings at the NJSACC office in Westfield, NJ
  • December 2014 to May 2015: monthly meetings, one Saturday per month in Westfield, NJ
  • April or May 2015: a spring writing retreat, where rough drafts of STEM research articles will be completed. Location TBD.
  • October 2015: a formal Round Table Presentation of research to the broader community
Application Process:

Employer approval must be obtained (see Memorandum of Understanding). Please complete the Practitioner Fellowship application and return, along with the MOU, no later June 27th 2014 by e-mail, fax, or mail to:

National Institute on Out-of-School Time,
National Afterschool Matters Practitioner Fellowship
Wellesley College, Waban House
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481

fax: 781-283-3657

For more general information contact: Elizabeth Meister, (781) 283-2607 or

If you have specific questions in regards to the New Jersey Fellowship please contact Mike MacEwan, Director of STEM Initiatives for NJSACC at:

To apply, request the National Afterschool Matters Practitioner Fellowship application and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from, the NJSACC website at: or on the NIOST website here.
Full STEM Ahead Offers the Latest in New Jersey STEM News!
Eighty percent of jobs created in the next decade will require math and science skills (National Science Foundation). NJSACC's new Full STEM Ahead! Afterschool Initiative continues to help New Jersey afterschool providers become STEM leaders, preparing students for these jobs.
Some of their latest informative STEM news include such items as:
  • Jersey City students work to save reservoir's aquatic life
  • Rutgers marine science educators win statewide 4-H award
  • Cape May County Students Make Strides in Sustainability
  • Students design and build solar powered cars for upcoming race competition
  • How Failure in the Classroom Is More Instructive Than Success
  • Lawrence Township Education Foundation awards spring grants to fund more than 20 new programs
  • 'So much more than a picture': Teens create 'Love Your Selfie' videos 
Click here to stay up-to-date at
Take Advantage of this Valuable FREE Resource: Is your program listed?
The Online Program Directory lists organizations and 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. 

When you sign up for the Program Directory, you will enter your program description, resources available within your organization, program and/or organizational needs, and contact information.

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.


Click here to register your STEM program
BE UNLIMITED | Encouraging All That Young People Can Be, Do And Achieve


At Be Unlimited, the mission is to develop the mindset, life skills, and tools essential for young people to confidently reach their highest potential, make a difference in their communities, and positively impact the world around them.
Be Unlimited is committed to producing educational media that can be used to promote critical thinking skills, personal growth, and well-being among young people. When properly used as a learning tool, media can also provide a means for self-awareness and reflection so vital to the healthy development of adolescent lives.

Click here to learn more about Be Unlimited and The SPE@K Project! 


By Trish Graber


TRENTON - Legislation sponsored by Senate Education Chair M. Teresa Ruiz that would broaden access and encourage student interest in fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through a program that would award grants to eligible school districts in the state to fund innovation designed to elevate these subjects was approved today by the Senate.
"In the coming years, New Jersey will experience an increased demand for workers that are skilled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. We have to ensure that our residents are prepared for employment in these sectors and are able to compete for the positions with their counterparts in states across the county and around the globe," said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). "Expanding STEM programs in our school districts and encouraging more students to study these subjects will ensure that our students are better equipped for employment in a high-tech, 21st Century economy."
According to a 2011 STEM jobs report by the George Washington University Center on Education and the Workforce, New Jersey will demand a total of 248,250 STEM jobs by 2018, up from 223,190 in 2008. The National Science Board's 2010 Science and Engineering Indicators report found that only 5% of American graduates major in engineering, compared to 20% total in Asia and about 33% in China. Other studies have shown that the United States ranks last or next to last in 12th grade mathematics and science scores.
The bill (S-225) would establish a four-year "New Jersey Innovation Inspiration School Grant Pilot Program" within the Department of Education. Under the pilot program, grants would be awarded to school districts to support non-traditional STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teaching methods for students in grades 9 through 12, support the participation of students in nonprofit STEM competitions, foster innovation and broaden interest in careers in STEM fields, and encourage collaboration among students, engineers, and professional mentors.
Through the pilot program, the commissioner of Department of Education would award a total of six one-time, up-front grants of up to $150,000 each. Two grants would be awarded to districts located in each of the northern, central and southern regions of the state. In awarding the grants, the commissioner would have to give priority to applications from districts that intend to target activities in a rural or urban school, a low-performing school, or a school or school district that serves low-income students. The districts would be permitted to use the grant funds for a period of up to four years.
The bill would also establish the "Innovation Inspiration School Grant Fund" within the Department of Education to provide grants to school districts under the pilot program. A school district that receives a grant would have to provide district matching funds in an amount equal to 25% of the grant amount. In addition, the district would have to secure matching funds or in-kind contributions from corporate donors or other private sector donors in an amount equal to 25% of the grant amount.
"We are lagging behind other nations when it comes to math and science education while other countries push ahead," said Senator Ruiz. "Expanding offerings in our high schools and encouraging student collaboration with professionals in the field will go a long way to help prepare our students for the jobs of tomorrow that we know are in these critical areas."
The Senate approved the bill by a vote of 37-1. It next heads to the Assembly for consideration.

Click here to read from this article's source. 
Michael MacEwan 
Collaborative Lead  
Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative 
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