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!
We've got lots of great stuff in this issue! Read on for STEM opportunities, news and events for all!
STEM Girls in Government teaches girls about IT careers in state agencies
Middle and high school girls from Gardiner Public Schools and Salish Kootenai College Upward Bound learned about information technology careers and current technology applications on Sept. 16 and 17 in Helena as they participated in STEM Girls in Government. The program was designed and hosted by the Information Technology Managers Council (ITMC) with support from the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative.
 
The program was conceived last spring by state employees who wanted to address the gender gap in STEM by sharing their careers with girls, who typically make up a small percentage of professionals in cybersecurity, data analytics and similar careers.
 
In addition to lunch with the Governor and First Lady, the girls learned about cybersecurity, Web development, Geographic Information Systems, data analytics, and other technology applications, as well as associated careers. 
 
The program was supported by Montana Interactive (MI), Montana Association of Geographic Information Professionals (MAGIP), SoFi, Montana’s National Science Foundation Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NSF EPSCoR), Mountain View Meadows LLC, and Interagency Committee for Change by Women (ICCW).
 
“Our goal was to help girls from rural areas learn about all the amazing careers that are available in information technology and within state government,” said Christie Breland of the Department of Revenue, who helped spearhead the event. “We hope that introducing them to women in IT and sharing lots of cool technology applications might spark their interest and show them that great STEM jobs are available right here in Montana.” 

Caption for photo above: The STEM Girls in Government group gives their best "look scientific" pose outside the Montana State Library after learning a Geographic Information Systems activity.
More STEM News
Congrats to spectrUM for national ASTC award!
The spectrUM Discovery Area is among the award winners of the 2019 Roy L. Shafer Leading Edge Awards by the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC).

spectrUM has been selected to receive a Leading Edge Award for Visitor Experience for their role in co-developing and anchoring EmPower Place, a free family learning center embedded in the Missoula Food Bank & Community Center. Intended to feed both bodies and minds, EmPower Place is one part science center, one part library, and one part meal site. EmPower Place lowers barriers to entry and meets children and families where they already gather.

The award will be presented during the 2019 ASTC Annual Conference in Toronto on Monday, September 23. [NOTE: Jessie Herbert, who is interim director of spectrUM, is our fabulous co-leader of the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative!]
Code Girls United serves 25 girls through FVCC
Code Girls United launched its fall program at Flathead Valley Community College to a full house of 25 girls. The program, which was founded in Kalispell, provides opportunities for girls to see if they like working with technology along with the opportunity to try it out. Girls in 4th – 8th grade meet weekly after school throughout the year, first learning the basics of Computer Science using the MIT Appinventor tool to create apps, then splitting into teams to choose a service project, complete a business case and code their app. The girls then compete in local, country, and international competitions.

Code Girls United is seeking to expand their reach in the Flathead Valley and other areas of Montana. As such, they would appreciate the financial and volunteer support from technology companies in Montana to either provide sponsorship for the NW Regional App Challenge (see events below), or volunteer to create teams to participate in the competition (we will provide what you need to succeed). We need your help to create Montana's technology future!!

Visit www.codegirlsunited.org or email Marianne Smith or call 406-407-0201. 
photo of wolf that looks like a jigsaw puzzle
Free curriculum - Made in Montana! How do you create a balanced, unbiased lesson plan about wolves? Invite pro-wolf, anti-wolf, and science stakeholders to the table.

This STEM-compliant student scientist series is the result of that collaboration. Students use real-world data to evaluate whether gray wolves in the western recovery area have met recovery criteria. This process encourages data based decision-making in tackling this and other controversial issues. Students explore how compromise and collaboration can encourage better understanding of other stakeholder’s positions to affect positive outcomes. As a capstone activity, student groups share findings and participate in a mock stakeholder meeting.
Free publicity for your STEAM events via The Connectory
The Connectory  is a free online collaboration tool that helps program providers find partners based on interests and showcase STEAM opportunities for youth to families. 

Bulk uploads: To add dozens of opportunities at once, email The Connectory , and they will create a customized spreadsheet for you to use. This can be done monthly or seasonally. Your opportunities will be associated with your program listing. New Program Providers will need to create a program entry first.

The  Getting Started Guide  provides step-by-step instructions for joining The Connectory and adding your program and opportunities. It's free!
High school juniors: Be a Western Aerospace Scholar!
Western Aerospace Scholars is an online distance learning course and summer experience specifically designed for high school juniors interested in pursuing STEM pathways through the exploration of space and space travel. Scholars who successfully complete the online curriculum are invited to participate in multi-day summer experiences that provide them the opportunity to work with STEM professionals, NASA scientists, university students, and STEM educators.

Montana Aerospace Scholars
Open to Montana residents only. Must be a high school junior in Fall 2019. Phase one (online) begins in November 2019. Hosted by the Montana Learning Center and the Museum of Flight. Learn more and apply .
OPI announces Montana Science Assessment Transition
 
The state of Montana has contracted with a new science assessment vendor that aligns with the K-12 Framework aligned Montana science standards adopted in 2016 and implemented in 2017. The new science assessment will be for Fifth, Eighth, and Eleventh grades. We are seeking public comment on a federal waiver for the 2019/2020 school year assessment as well as other transitional questions and comments regarding the new science assessment. The Montana Science Transition site gives more detailed information on the changes and houses the  MT Science Assessment Transition Public Comment Form.  Your comments are appreciated.  

Feedback surveys for each of the 5 content areas are now open and available for responses. The surveys are linked on the OPI Website on the   K-12 Content Standards and Revision Page  and on the  Workspace site .
 
Please share the links below with your colleagues and provide feedback on the Draft Content Standards through September 30, 2019.
STEM events
Sept. 23 - Bozeman. Montana State University hosts Dr. Melissa Barber on Sept. 23 for a free talk called The Latin American School of Medicine: Cuba's Gift to the World. 5:30pm to 7:00pm in MSU's Procrastinator Theater.Gallatin Valley Friends of Cuba visited ELAM in Havana, last May with a Women’s Delegation to Cuba exploring Women’s Health and Human Rights and is excited to share Cuba’s premiere health programs and experiences through Dr. Barber’s visit! Free and open to the public. Learn more

Sept. 27, plus Oct. 17, Oct. 18, Oct. 28, Oct. 29 - Bozeman: PIR Day Camps at Montana Science Center. While school is out, learn about 3D, patterns, light and spies! These days are also Family Science Days! Learn about water, fossils, fire safety, owls and astronomy. montanasciencecenter.org

Sept 27-29 - Helena/Canyon Ferry Lake. 2019  Dark Sky conference and Star Party: Montana Learning Center  campus, 7653 Canyon Ferry Road, which is located just outside of Helena. Registration is $25 for adults and $10 for students. Children will be required to be accompanied by an adult.

Oct. 16 - Helena. SciGirls Afterschool Begins at ExplorationWorks. Girls who love science, love SciGirls! Join us as we try new experiments and meet new mentors in STEM careers. Have fun and be inspired by science with SciGirls! Wednesdays 3:45 - 5:15, Oct. 16 - Nov. 20. For Girls 10 and up. To register, call 406-457-1800 or visit them online . Scholarships are available!

Oct. 23 - Bozeman. The Scary Truth of (Academic) Mansplaining. Have you ever given a presentation and had a male colleague or student interrupt you to assert their opinion? It is often difficult to diffuse these situations in the heat of the moment. Join MSU’s Allison Theobold and other members of our STEM faculty who will provide colleagues with possible tips and tricks for addressing these situations. Noon. MSU Women's Center.

Oct. 24 - Livingston. 5pm to 6:30pm Livingston Links for Learning afterschool program celebrates Lights On Afterschool, a nationally held event which celebrates the important role that afterschool programs play in their communities and the lives of the students and working families they serve. The event will spotlight the range of programming available at LINKS for Learning, including its unique STEM enrichment activities. All children, families and community members are invited to attend this free event. East Side School Gym, 401 View Vista Drive

Oct. 26 - Bozeman. Crossroads of Discovery : An Open House featuring undergraduate research. MSU undergraduates share their research and creative work in a science fair-style atmosphere. Free and open to all ages. 1pm to 4pm. MSU Library.

Nov. 9 - Bozeman. Women in STEM series at Montana Science Center. Join us to celebrate International Science Center and Science Museum Day through hands-on, interactive demonstrations from local female STEM professionals. montanasciencecenter.org

Nov 26 - Bozeman:  Science Olympiad (2019-20 MTSO Competition) at MSU Bozeman. 1,400 students compete as school teams in rigorous scientific challenges. For more information, visit the Montana Science Olympiad Web page .

May 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 .
Opportunities for educators
NOW HIRING - LIVINGSTON . Livingston Links for Learning afterschool program is hiring a part-time STEM instructor in Livingston/Big Timber. This is a paid position and involves developing STEM enrichment programs, particularly robotics and coding. For more information, contact Teri Hartly or call (406) 223-5288

Oct 4 & 5: STEM in the Rockies-Aquatic Invasive Species Workshop at the Montana Learning Center,  registration open now

Oct 25 & 26 - Helena / Canyon Ferry Lake. Come Fly with us! The Montana Learning Center has teamed up with the MT Dept of Transportation - Aeronautics Division to give you engaging hands-on curricula that also puts you in the Pilot's seat, literally, and it is FREE. Limited participation so  register now  for this PD opportunity!

Oct. 15: Deadline to apply for Western Aerospace Scholars for Teachers. Up to $2,800 in stipends and 60 Montana OPI Renewal Units available.   The Western Aerospace Scholars (WAS) is seeking Montana middle and high school teachers to evaluate online coursework and participate as an academic facilitator during a six-day summer residency at The Montana Learning Center at Canyon Ferry Lake, Sunday-Friday, June 21-26. Teachers can earn up to $2,800 in stipends and 60 Montana OPI renewal units. Learn more

Summer 2020: REU for teachers at MSU-Bozeman: The Montana State University Western Transportation Institute invites applications from middle and high school STEM teachers in Montana for a unique summer professional development experience. The Research Experience for Teachers in Innovative Transportation Systems (ITS-RET) program engages teachers on research projects and provides professional development support to translate research experiences into new curricula and teaching materials. The 2020 program will run from June 22 - July 31. Housing on MSU campus, a meal stipend, travel reimbursement, and $6,000 stipend is provided to participants. Teachers will also receive a $1,500 allowance for supplies and materials needed to implement new classroom activities. Learn more or apply!
Girls Who Code: Free club resources, Webinars for getting started
Girls Who Code (GWC) 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. 
 
Apply now with the quick 15 min Clubs Application . As a Girls Who Code Community Partner, any Clubs in our network are eligible to receive additional partnership benefits by indicating the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative on the Clubs Application! Learn more about how to get started by joining the next live 30 min webinar or email clubs@girlswhocode.com ! Check out the Webinar series to learn more about how to get started.

Wednesday, September 25: 7:00 - 7:30PM ET
Tuesday, October 1: 11:00 - 11:30AM ET
Thursday, October 10: 12:00 - 12:30PM ET
Wednesday, October 16: 1:00 - 1:30PM ET
Monday, October 21: 6:00 - 6:30PM ET
Tuesday, October 29: 3:00 - 3:30PM ET
[More in November!]
Volunteer opportunities
The Livingston Links for Learning program seeks volunteers for its STEM open house, Oct. 24.   Volunteers would run an activity station for children in grades K-5 ... ideally something fun and hands-on that showcases your STEM work! The event is from 5 to 6:30pm at East Side School Gym in Livingston. To volunteer, email Margy Ek

Belgrade Heck Quaw seeks volunteers for its annual STEM Night Nov. 8 . If you would like to host a hands-on demonstration or activity, email Katreena Kluck .

The Montana Science Olympiad at MSU-Bozeman on Tuesday, Nov. 26 needs volunteers to assist with science and engineering challenges. Contact mtso@montana.edu
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