Dear Friends of the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative Project...
Thanks for all the work you do to grow STEM for girls in Montana
  MGSC chosen for CryptoClub Network training
An online and after school progra m for cryptography and math

The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative has been chosen to be part of the CryptoClub Network, a national afterschool project and online program that covers crypotography (secret codes and ciphers) and math. Two University of Montana faculty will be trained in this  program and once they complete training, they will recruit and t rain after school programleaders. Congratulations to Jessie Herbert and the MGSC leadership for applying for this opportunity and bringing more STEM resources to Montana!

The CryptoClub Project was developed at the University of Illinois at Chicago and uses games, treasure hunts, and other informal activities to engage students in learning cryptography and applying middle-school mathematics.  The
CryptoClub curriculum was developed and tested with support from  the National Science Foundation.

Look for more information later in the year about how to get involved, or sign up your after school program. If you would like more information in the meantime, email Suzi or Jessie at the email addresses provided below.
Science Action Club seeks new teams for Birds In Your Schoolyard spring program
STEM program for middle school afterschool programs! Apply by Jan. 31

This fall, we launched Science Action Club: Bugs In Your Schoolyard; now we are ready for BIRDS In Your Schoolyard! This network-wide project from the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative offers f ree STEM resources and training to educators who work with middle school students in after-school or out-of-school programs.

The program is open to sites that serve both boys and girls, and especially seeks participants from Montana's smallest towns. The program is a combination of two efforts:  Science Action Club , a hands-on STEM program from the California Academy of Sciences , and Small Town STEM , a Montana Girls STEM Collaborative program supported by the Women's Foundation of Montana . 17 sites were selected this fall for phase 1 of the project: "Bugs In Your Schoolyard." We will be selecting 6-8 new teams for the Spring 2017 session - "Birds In Your Schoolyard."

Participating educators will receive a complete Science Action Club kit featuring high-quality science equipment and classroom supplies for 20 youth, plus digital resources to provide opp ortunities to extend learning.

Two people from selected sites complete a  half-day training at MSU-Bozeman on  Friday, Feb. 24 as well as complete a three-hour online module. Some travel scholarships are available.

Selected sites will c onduct 12 hands-on activities this spring  with 15 youth in  middle school and a ssist with evaluation and feedback to  the California Academy of Sciences

Afterschool/out-of-school programs can apply online at: The deadline is Jan. 31. (Sites that were accepted for the Fall Bugs In Your Schoolyard program do not need to re-apply.)

For questions, contact Suzi Taylor with MSU Extended University at

Congratulations to  the after-school programs that are currently part of the Science Action Club: Bugs In Your Schoolyard program.
  • 4-H Afterschool Hinsdale Elementary School
  • Ashland Public School Afterschool Program
  • Billings Public Library
  • Boys & Girls Club of Richland County
  • Browning Middle School
  • Fortine School
  • Frenchtown School
  • Helena Family YMCA After School Program at Helena Middle School
  • Keystone Afterschool Program (Hamilton)
  • Libby Afterschool Program
  • Ronan School District No. 30
  • Seeley Lake Elementary School and SLE 21Century Community Learning Center
  • Stevens Youth Center (White Sulphur Springs) & Townsend Afterschool Programs
  • United Way of Yellowstone County - Discover Zone
  • Willow Creek Bronc Busters
Thank you to the Women's Foundation of Montana for supporting STEM education in our smallest communities. The professional development training and educator support is through MSU Extended University.

Additional support comes from Montana NSF EPSCoR and the Montana Institute on Ecosystems, the MSU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the MSU Alumni Foundation.
Program Feature: Montana Conservation Corps
MCC offers job opportunities and programs for Montana youth 

At Montana Conservation Corps (MCC), our mission is to inspire young people through hands-on conservation service to be leaders, stewards of the land, and engaged citizens who improve their communities. Each year we enroll hundreds of young adults and local school-aged youth in a variety of outdoor programs. Our goal? That each participant will leave MCC with an ethic of volunteer service and civic responsibility, the tools to be a capable leader, and the knowledge to be a steward of our lands.

This goal is brought to life through programs that integrate leadership training and outdoor work, which offer participants the opportunity to find themselves while getting lost in some of our country's most wild places. This year, we are excited to enroll more participants into our programs than any other year, giving more youth the chance to make a difference than ever before.

The search is on to find those last few leaders to guide our youth as they live, learn, and serve together to complete meaningful conservation projects to better our public lands. Serving as a Youth Crew Leader with MCC offers unique challenges, countless rewards, and the chance to shape the conservation leaders of tomorrow while becoming one yourself.

And be on the lookout for open enrollment for our Middle School and Expedition Program, designed for local Montana youth ages 13-17, around March. Check out this awesome (and did we mention free?!) opportunity that allows our youth to connect with something bigger than themselves.

By working together, we can build a better tomorrow.
To learn more about MCC, please visit

Farewell to Melanie and Monica 
Thank you to Board members for their service

Montana Girls STEM Collaborative thanks all of our Champions Board and Leadership Team members for their service. We would especially like to thank two board members who have moved on from their time with the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative.  

Melanie Magee of Browning served on the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative board since our launch in 2012. Melanie is a teacher at Browning Middle School, and was able to share her experiences about working with young people. Thanks for being part of our team, Melanie!

Monica Mainland of ExxonMobil in Billings served on the Champions Board for nearly five years and brought her own experience as a woman in STEM and industry connections to her time with MGSC. Thank you, Monica, and good luck in your new endeavor! Monica's colleague Dan Carter of ExxonMobil Billings is now a member of our board.
Breaking Down Stereotypes 
Great Falls video game developer featured on national blog
Hearing that he "doesn't look like a video game designer" prompted Josh Hughes to think about stereotypes.  In this blog post on the National Girls STEM Collaborative blog, Josh thoughtfully explains why stereotypes are something all of us can work to break.  Josh's camps for video game design have been supported in the past by the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative as they help empower and encourage girls, and everyone, to see beyond stereotypes and take risks. 

FabFems and The Connectory
Resources available through the National Girls Collaborative Project

Remember to check out our website for all the resources available through the Montana Girls STEM Collabortive: 

The Connectory is a database where families can find current STEM opportunities available in their area. Anyone with STEM programs can post them here! Let's get lots of Montana events and opportunities there!

Create a Fab Fems p rofile to expand girls' career options, dispel stereotypes and spark their interests - just by being you.

What's Happening?
STEM Opportunities and Events in Montana

Grant opportunities...

ProjectCSGgirls  is a national non-profit dedicated to closing the tech gender gap by running a national computer science competition for middle school girls and workshops around the country. The deadline to register is Feb. 15, and the contest is April 15. Learn more at
FUSE is now accepting applications from schools across the US to receive funding to implement FUSE for two years. Each grant will provide support for two years of programming starting in the fall of 2017, including 3D printer, software, scaffolded STEAM activities, consumables and website access: a $26,000 value. Up to 21 schools will be awarded grants for the 2017-18 school year. Applications close February 24th. Learn more at
STEM events
Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017: Girls STEM Roundup at ExplorationWorks Helena. 
This fun-filled day of learning is sure to inspire 5th-8th grade girls to become our next generation of science, math, engineering, and technology career women.
The full-day program consists of interactive workshops and fun opportunities for girls to meet leading women in STEM areas of expertise. This year's keynote speaker is Miss Montana, Lauren Scofield, a Carroll College Biochemistry alumna who is planning to attend medical school next year. Following the keynote, participants move through three workshops of their choosing learning a variety of STEM concepts coupled with entertaining and interactive challenges.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017: Micro/NanoDays at MSU-Bozeman
A family event celebrating small-scale science and engineering.

Saturday, April 1, 2017: Girls in Science at MSU-Billings

Saturday, April 22, 2017: Expanding Your Horizons at MSU-Bozeman
Registration materials will be posted in late February/early March.

Science Action Club: Birds in your Schoolyard
Deadline at the end of the month! 

Applications are being accepted for the Science Action Club: Birds In Your Schoolyard until January 31.  Apply today for this kit and curriculum on Birds.