Participants in the Billings Collaboration Forum worked together to construct creative sculptures related to STEM.

Collaboration Forum Held in Billings

On Friday, April 12, MGSCP hosted its Collaboration Forum at MSU-Billings Downtown. Special thanks to Billings-area board members Robin Manning, Kim Gillan and Monica Mainland for their support, and to Robin, Jan Lombardi and Allyn Harris for helping develop and moderate the best practices panel.


About 35 people attended from Billings, Lewistown, Bozeman, Livingston, and Butte. They represented a variety of areas, including industry, K-12, non-profits and informal science.

Sessions included speed networking, overview of the Girls STEM Collaborative, panel discussion on best practices in collaboration featuring, presentation on social marketing by students from University of Montana, introduction to mini-grants, and collaborative action planning.

During this last session, several participants pitched a project for which they need collaborators. To see how you might be able to become one of these collaborators, look below for more information.
Collaborative Action Plans
Ideas from the Collaboration Forum


Chris Seifert of Montana PBS seeks collaborators for working with schools and libraries and other after school programs which utilize video media to begin a student reporter lab with PBS Newshour. Montana PBS needs connections with schools and after-school groups across the state, such as libraries, 4-H, Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs, etc. Contact Chris at


Bernie Phelps from Montana Tech seeks to create a STEM Women's Club for undergraduates on the Montana Tech campus in Butte where young women in STEM fields can be together, learn, share things that work and don't, etc. She seeks funds to help get the club off the ground, including sponsors for monthly meetings as well as presenters from industry (engineering firms, bio-medical, medical facilities, etc.) The club would also seek internships available to active club members who excel in academics, leadership, community service, etc. Contact Bernie at


Rob Maher from MSU Bozeman's Electrical Engineering Department wants to develop a summer STEM camp for young women (7-8 grade) on the MSU campus. He wants to connect with people who understand appropriate level and format for different pre-college age groups -- and what sort of related activities would be appealing. Rob would like to target Summer 2014 for a pilot test (maybe 20 girls). Contact Rob at


Stephanie McGinnis of Montana Watercourse wants to monitor water quality/do a river clean-up with school or club. Montana Watercourse can offer educational materials, programs, etc. to train groups on monitoring and river cleanup as well as trained staff on how and why we monitor. They need funding to develop and expand programs. Summer or fall are ideal for sampling and cleanup; training could occur in winter or spring. Contact Stephanie at 


MGSC Mini-Grants
The Next Step in Collaborative Action Planning - Apply for a Mini-Grant! 


The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative will be offering mini-grants for collaborative projects between at least two STEM focused programs. These mini-grants are intended to be seed-funding for a collaboration that can be continued past the duration of the mini-grant. To be eligible, your program should be registered in the National Girls Collaborative Program Directory  - a simple process.    


Look for an announcement in the fall about the mini-grants process, but to prepare, look at the mini-grant resources and information on the NGC website, find those collaborators (for some ideas see the projects listed above), and register for the Program Directory


What's Happening
Upcoming Events in Montana

The Montana Audubon Conservation Education Center presents...
Nature Girls: Back by popular demand. Adventures in nature are not just for boys! Join us for a week of camp that is
 dedicated to getting young girls outside. We'll learn how to survive in the wild, how to identify animal tracks, make campfires, and much more!
Age: girls entering 2nd - 6th grades
Dates:  July 15 - 19
Time:  8:30 - 12:30

Girls' Adventures in Math & Science (GAMS): We'll dabble in every type of science from wildlife research to physics and medicine as we explore careers in math and science, and meet with women scientists across Billings.
Age: girls entering 2nd - 6th grades
Dates:  August 12 - 16
Time:  8:30 - 4:30  (optional aftercare until  5:30 )
Fee/camper: $260 ($234 for Friends of the Center) and aftercare an additional $30 ($27 for Friends of the Center)


Montana GEAR UP has hosted several STEM summer camps with more to come! Montana GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) is a federal grant that was awarded in September of 2011 to the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education (OCHE) for the State of Montana. The purpose of this federal initiative is to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.

STEM is Cool Camp takes place July 15-19 at Aaniih Nakoda College
Do you stare at the stars at night and wonder what it's like to be a space explorer?  Are you curious to know how rockets work?  Have you thought about the similarities between roller coasters and rockets? Do you wonder why roller coasters are similar to rockets?  If your answer to any of those three questions is "yes," we are coming to you this summer with answers.  There will be lots of hands-on activities designed for your enjoyment, and to prove to you that science - particularly space exploration and aeronautics - is interesting, fascinating, and different.  You'll be a hands-on scientist. Daily transportation provided only to students living within 50 miles of Harlem.

spectrUM SciCamp takes place at the University of Montana July 22-26
Explore the endless possibilities in science, technology, engineering, and math in fun and creative ways!  Advance your skills in science and technology and express yourself through nature, poetry, and art.  Engineer puppets with moving parts, and create robots using a variety of technologies. Create LED digital bling jewelry, and explore the chemistry of cooking. The camp will culminate with a visit to spectrUM and The University of Montana. Transportation provided to and from camp at identified pick-up points.    


Also from spectruM...

spectrUM Discovery Center in Missoula offers SciGirls: Sassy Science Aug. 19-23

Meet with female scientists, engineer puppets with moving parts, and explore aquatic robots. Create LED digital bling jewelry and make your own lip-gloss.  Explore the chemistry of cooking at a professional kitchen and discover the nutritional value of the foods we eat.  Showcase all your
creations at the River City Roots Festival!   


Have a Fall  2013 STEM event to share with our readers?  

E-mail Martha Peters at 

Discovery Education STEM Camp
A National Resource from NGC 

Discovery Launches New, Free STEM Education Resources
This summer Discovery Communications will offer a new Discovery Education STEM Camp. STEM Camp is a series of standards-aligned curricula available at no cost to schools, districts, non-profit organizations, and parents for use as part of summer camps, after-school STEM programs or wherever support is needed.