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Olympic News for STEM in February 2014 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:
  • 6 Winter Olympics-Themed STEM Resources
  • Classroom-Ready STEM Lessons: Olympic Engineering 
  • Get the Latest from Science News For Students 
  • Children's Book 'Hello Ruby' Teaches 4- to 7-Year-Olds How to Code
  • Take Advantage of this Valuable FREE Resource: Is your program listed?
  • Lego Responds to 7-Year-Old Girl's Awesome Letter
Mike MacEwan
Collaborative Lead, Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative

Sochi 2014 Games 

6 Winter Olympics-Themed STEM Resources
By Matt Davis
The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games started on February 7th and students excited to watch Team USA compete. Although just about every subject can incorporate the Olympics in some way, this resource roundup focuses primarily on the STEM subjects. Here are some of our favorite STEM resources that incorporate the Winter Olympics. 
Click here to read from this article's source.

Let the Winter Games Begin! 

Classroom-Ready STEM Lessons: Olympic Engineering


Activity: Build a Bobsled Racer


Student teams in grades 3 to 8 learn about friction, forces, and the engineering design process by building and testing miniature bobsleds to see which can race down an icy slope either the fastest or slowest.


View Activity


Related Lessons:


Chair Lift Challenge (Grades 3-12)

Grow a Crystal Snowflake  (Grades 5-8)

The Luge (Grades 3-8)

Lessons & Activities for Winter (Grades K-12)


More Lessons:


GRADES K-5  |  GRADES 6-8  |  GRADES 9-12


Click here to discover more of these activities!

Get the Latest from Science News For Students
The centuries-old page (pictured above) is part of the library collection at St. Catherine's monastery. The darker letters are Biblical text written in Ancient Greek on the left, and Arabic on the right. The faint letters barely visible are older Ancient Greek undertext. Scientists are using spectral imaging to further reveal this hidden text.
To learn more, visit Science News for Students on the web here.
Click here to sign up to receive updates from Science News for Students.


Children's Book 'Hello Ruby' Teaches 
4- to 7-Year-Olds How to Code
By Rebecca Hiscott

As a teenager, Finnish programmer Linda Liukas had a major crush on Al Gore. She wanted to share her passion for the then-vice president with a fan page. Without the pre-made templates that Tumblr and WordPress now place at our fingertips, she taught herself HTML and CSS so she could build a site from scratch.

While building that website, Liukas fell in love with coding. A decade later, she created Hello Ruby.

The Kickstarter-funded book, which aims to teach programming principles to children, reached its $10,000 funding goal within hours of its launch, and 24 hours later had amassed $100,000 in donations. The project hit the $200,000 benchmark Jan. 28, with 24 days to go in the campaign.

"This is a book to get kids excited about technology and affect the way they perceive technology as they grow up," she says.

The world of programming, Liukas tells Mashable, is perceived as cold, logical and machine-based. But Liukas feels quite differently. She sees in the coding world a universe of creativity and playfulness beyond ones and zeroes. 
Click here to read the rest of this informative article.
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
Lego Responds to 7-Year-Old Girl's 
Awesome Letter


When a 7-year-old would rather write a letter of complaint about her toys than play with them, you know there's a problem. Last week Charlotte Benjamin spotted inequality in an aisle of Legos and did something about it. In a handwritten note to the Lego company, she expressed concern over the large number of "Lego boy people" and the limited options for girls at her local toy store. After her letter went viral, Lego posted a response Monday evening, claiming to be "very focused on including more female characters and themes that invite even more girls to build."


It's not often a letter-writing campaign gets such a quick response, but most letters aren't as succinct as Charlotte's. The note - originally sent to the website Sociological Images by Charlotte's father and posted to its Twitter account - reads:


Dear Lego company:  

My name is Charlotte. I am 7 years old and I love Legos but I don't like that there are more Lego boy people and barely any Lego girls. Today I went to a store and saw Legos in two sections - the girls' pink and the boys' blue. All the girls did was sit at home, go to the beach, and shop, and they had no jobs but the boys went on adventures, worked, saved people, and had jobs, even swam with sharks.


I want you to make more Lego girl people and let them go on adventures and have fun, ok!?!


Thank you.
From Charlotte


On Monday, Lego responded to Charlotte with a mea culpa of sorts. "LEGO play has often been more appealing to boys," read the statement, "but we have been very focused on including more female characters and themes that invite even more girls to build, and in the last few years, we are thrilled that we have dramatically increased the number of girls who are choosing to build."


It continued: "While there are still more male characters than female, we have added new characters to the LEGO world to better balance the appeal of our themes." Lego says it's had female characters including "a warrior, a surgeon, a zoologist, athletes, extreme sports characters, rock stars and a scientist," but its current offerings don't seem to include the role models Charlotte and others are seeking.


Click here to rest of this informative article.

Kohl's Cares� Scholarship Program
Deadline: March 14, 2014 by 11:59pm CT

Nominate a young volunteer aged 6 to 18 who has made a difference in your community.

Nominations must be submitted online by 11:59 pm CT on March 14, 2014. Information about the program and upcoming deadlines will be sent via email, so please add to your email safe list.


Click here to nominate someone and to learn more!

Michael MacEwan 
Collaborative Lead  
Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative 
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