The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative seeks to unite and support educators, parents, professionals and other champions of STEM so we can engage and inspire the next generation!
Montana girls have NO LIMITS!
The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative was selected for a national program called No Limits, which uses Matchbox cars to help combat the stereotype of what is typically a “boy toy” versus a “girl toy.”

The program was developed by the National Girls Collaborative, Mercedez-Benz and toy-maker Mattel, which created a Matchbox car to commemorate a grueling 1962 road race that was won by a woman at a time when women barely participated in—let alone won—such competitions. The car – a 1962 Mercedes Benz 220SE—was driven by Ewy Rosqvist as she became the first woman to compete in and win the Argentinian Grand Prix, shattering records and the notion that women could not compete.

The goal of No Limits is to show children, particularly young girls, that they can aspire to be and do anything they desire.

Partners include the MSU Science Math Resource Center , spectrUM Discovery Area of the University of Montana, ExplorationWorks in Helena, Helena College , and the Montana Afterschool Alliance . Other Montana grantees include Great Falls Public Schools and Add-A-Tudez Entertainment ( see their TV news story !)

Watch the i nspiring story of Ewy Rosqvist and see the equally inspiring video of girls learning about Ewy and receiving their own commemorative car.

For more information on the No Limits program, see https://ngcproject.org/nolimits
Code Girls United expands to North Flathead Valley
In January 2020, Code Girls United, which was developed and is flourishing in the Kalispell area, will expand its After School Program into the North Flathead Valley. Four Pilot Program locations will be chosen to implement the program in Fall 2020. The Pilot Program is designed to bring the Code Girls United curriculum and program to schools and after school with the ultimate goal of implementing the program throughout the state of Montana. The target audience of is girls 4th - 8th grades. The Pilot Program is also testing the application of the Code Girls United program in Tribal communities to assure that the program is sensitive to cultural expectations.

The overall goal of the Code Girls United program is to encourage girls to learn about Computer Science and Business in an environment that is more illustrative of a real-world experience where they can gain confidence to pursue these subjects in higher levels of education. If you are interested in becoming a Pilot Program Location, please contact Marianne Smith,  Marianne.Smith.CGU@gmail.com  or 406-407-0201 or visit the Code Girls United Website
STEM News and opportunities
MSU summer research experience for teachers; deadline Feb. 7
Montana State University-Bozeman is accepting applications from middle and high school STEM teachers to participate in a 6-week summer professional development program. Teachers will conduct research projects related to rural transportation systems, innovative transportation technologies or sustainable infrastructure materials and practices with faculty mentors and peers, and participate in STEM-focused teacher professional development activities, earning professional development credits. Transportation is familiar to all and so makes an excellent vehicle for integrated STEM learning and for promoting student interest in STEM applications to rural issues. Includes stipend, housing, travel and more. The program will run June 22 – July 31, 2020.

Girls Go CyberStart now open: Win prizes. Have fun!
Girls Go CyberStart is a fun, free, extracurricular online program to introduce girls to cybersecurity. Made up of a series of digital challenges, Girl Go CyberStart empowers girls to work together to become the next leaders in cybersecurity and help protect the web. Enthusiastic teachers can run their own Girls Go CyberStart Club by registering as Advisors. Advisors don't need to be computer experts to take part, they just need to provide the time and space the girls need to work through the program.

Teachers can register to run their club and invite their students beginning on December 2, 2019. Girls can play the first stage, CyberStart Assess, from January 13 to January 31, 2020.

In Montana, the program is supported by the Governor's Office and Montana's Chief Information Security Officer, Andy Hanks. Learn more about Girls Go Cyberstart .
High school mathematics competitions held Jan. 30 and Feb. 5 in Bozeman
High school students can participate in mathematics contests on Thursday, Jan. 30 and Wednesday, Feb. 5 at MSU. Registration is free (but required) and cash prizes will be awarded for top scores.

The AMC 10 exam covers the high school curriculum up through grade 10. AMC 12 covers the entire high school curriculum including trigonometry, advanced algebra, and advanced geometry, but excluding calculus. Both are 25-question, 75-minute tests.

The 10/12 A test will be given Jan. 30 and the 10/12 B test is Feb. 5. Both the A and the B versions have the same number of questions, the same scoring and the same rules for administration. The only differences are the competition dates and that each version has a distinct set of questions, although the two examinations are designed to be equal in difficulty and distribution of topics.

Register through the MSU Science Math Resource Center .
ExplorationWorks hosts Girls' STEM Roundup Feb. 22
Join ExplorationWorks in Helena on Saturday, Feb. 22 for the 8th Annual ExplorationWorks Girls’ STEM Round-up! This fun-filled day of learning is sure to inspire 5th-8th grade girls to become our next generation of science, technology, engineering, and math career women. 

The full-day program consists of interactive workshops and fun opportunities for girls to meet leading women in STEM areas of expertise. Participants move through three workshops of their choosing learning a variety of STEM concepts coupled with entertaining and interactive challenges.

Registration for this event opens on Jan. 22, 2020. For more information, visit  www.explorationworks.org/girls-stem .
The Connectory offers new Citizen Science Opportunity Type
The Connectory  has added a new opportunity type named Citizen Science. Many Connectory users select opportunity type as a filter when searching for STEAM opportunities for youth near them. Program providers are encouraged to update existing opportunities and add new Citizen Science opportunities for youth to our free directory. The  Getting Started Guide  makes it easy! Posting events and opportunities in The Connectory is free!
Rising Stargirls reaches middle school girls traditionally under-represented in STEM with astronomy, astrobiology
Rising Stargirls is an educational organization with the mission of encouraging girls to learn, explore, and discover the universe. This program, geared towards middle-school girls (grades 6-8) from groups traditionally underrepresented in the sciences (American Indian or Alaska Native, African-American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander), engages girls of all colors and backgrounds in interactive astronomy workshops using theater, writing, and visual art to address each girl as a whole. This provides an avenue for individual self-expression and personal exploration that is interwoven with scientific engagement and discovery. Our hope is that we can use science and art to create enlightened future scientists and imaginative thinkers.
 
In the next phase of this NSF-funded program, Rising Stargirls will be hosting a number of free training workshops for educators led by Rising Stargirls' founder: UC Irvine Astronomer, Astrobiologist, and TED Fellow Professor Aomawa Shields. 
 
Visit www.risingstargirls.org or contact Jessica Howard at  jnhoward@uci.edu  
STEM events
Jan. 30 and Feb. 5 - Bozeman. American Mathematics Competition for High School students. (See above).

F eb. 22 - Helena. Girls' STEM RoundUp at ExplorationWorks. (See above).

Feb. 27 - Bozeman. Family Science Night at MSU. Free, fun activities for all ages. 5pm to 7pm. Strand Union Building, MSU. Hosted by MSU Academic Technology and Outreach.

April 18 - Bozeman. Expanding Your Horizons: A Day of STEM for Middle School Girls. Registration will be open later this spring at http://ato.montana.edu/eyh/

May 2-3, 2020 - Kalispell. Northwest App Challenge. Teams of 2-5 girls in 4th-8th grade can compete to win scholarships up to $5,000! Apps, Web development and robotics. Projects should solve a community problem with background information, be demonstrable and provide technical details about code. Registration opens Jan. 1, 2020 at codegirlsunited.org . (See more about Code Girls United in article above)

Be sure to visit these partners for winter programs!
ExplorationWorks - Helena
Science Mine - Butte
ZooMontana - Billings

NOTE: Montana Science Center in Bozeman is closed while moving to a new amazing location!
Opportunities for educators
Start a Girls Who Code club:
Free resources and no experience necessary
Girls Who Code (GWC) is a national non-profit that offers free computer science learning opportunities for 3rd-5th or 6th-12th grade girls. When you start a GWC Club, you’ll gain access to free resources, flexible plug and play curriculum, funding opportunities, ongoing support, alumni opportunities for your young learners, and more! There’s no computer science experience needed to get started since GWC is there for you every step of the way. 
 
  • The Starting a Girls Who Code Club document is a step-by-step guide on how to start a Club - from creating an account on Girls Who Code HQ to launching a Club – it provides an overview that helps better understand the Club journey.
  • Apply with the quick 15 min Clubs Application. Clubs do NOT need to have all plans in place before filling out an application. In fact, after submitting an application, facilitators will have full access to planning tools and online curriculum along with support from a Club Support Specialist to get started.
  • The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative is a Girls Who Code Community Partner, so any Clubs in our network are eligible to receive additional partnership benefits by indicating the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative on the Clubs Application! 
  • For more information email clubs@girlswhocode.com or visit https://girlswhocode.com
Grant opportunity - deadline Jan. 15, 2020.  The  Captain Planet Foundation  supports educators working to facilitate youth-led projects that result in positive environmental impact in schools and communities. EcoTech™ Grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded in support of innovative technological programs that address environmental challenges and efforts to engage children in inquiry-based STEM-related projects, leverage technology, and/or use nature-based design to address environmental problems in local communities. Grants may be used for the purchase of materials and other direct expenses related to the project. See the website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.
About the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative
The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative was founded as an outreach program of Montana NSF EPSCoR and has co-leaders at Montana State University and the University of Montana as well as volunteer board members across the state. This material is based upon work supported in part by the National Science Foundation EPSCoR Cooperative Agreement OIA-1757351. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Suzi Taylor
Montana State University
Bozeman, MT
(406) 994-7476
Jessie Herbert
University of Montana
Missoula, MT
(406) 243-4828