Dear Friends of the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative Project...
Thanks for all the work you do to grow STEM for girls in Montana

Join us in Billings Nov. 2
Informal meetup at Carter's Brewing for STEM-minded people

Join the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at Carter's Brewing in Billings (2526 Montana Ave) for a casual opportunity to learn more about the Collaborative and meet others who are interested in STEM education and programming for girls. No RSVP is necessary; just stop on by between 5pm and 6pm and say hello.  

For more information, contact Montana Girls STEM Collaborative board member Allyn Jorgensen at 
Bring a friend!
15 sites chosen for Science Action Club
Afterschool programs from across Montana receive STEM kits and training

Congratulations to 15 after-school programs that were selected for Science Action Club, a STEM education program developed by the California Academy of Sciences and shared with Collaboratives across the U.S. via the National Girls Collaborative Project. Educators from each site completed a training at MSU-Bozeman on Oct. 20 and will soon begin implementing their programs.

Science Action Club sites are:
  • 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
At a training on Oct. 20, educators from throughout Montana practiced collecting and observing insects, then uploading data via a citizen science app called iNaturalist. 

Each site will be using a kit and curriculum called
Bugs in Your Schoolyard . Middle school students will explore their local environments and conduct active research as citizen scientists. All 15 sites were trained on Oct. 20 at MSU-Bozeman and will be using their kits over the coming year.

11 of the 15 sites are communities of under 2,500 and are supported by the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative's Small Town STEM program, which was funded this summer by the Women's Foundation of Montana to support STEM education in our smallest communities. Additional support came from MSU Extended University, Montana NSF EPSCoR and the Montana Institute on Ecosystems, the MSU Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the MSU Alumni Foundation.

Photo by of Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez, MSU
MGSC welcomes Dan Carter to the Board
Dan Carter of ExxonMobil joins the MGSCP Champions Board

The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative is pleased to welcome ExxonMobil manager and STEM advocate Dan Carter to its Leadership Team. Dan Carter was born and raised in the Gallatin Valley, went to school in Belgrade and earned his first real paycheck working at a dairy. He's always been a science, nature and sci-fi nerd, but "Nerdology" wasn't a major in college so he chose journalism. He earned his degree at the Univer sity of Montana and worked for 20 years in newspapers before entering the public affairs arena with MSU Billings in 2004. He joined ExxonMobil as Public and Government Affairs Manager at the Billings refinery in 2013. As part of his job, Dan does community relations for the refinery, advises the local management team on media relations and does STEM outreach with schools in Billings and Lockwood. He also serves in an advisory capacity on the College and Career Standards Commission for Montana Superintendent of Schools Denise Juneau. He has been married for 32 years, has three children, five grandchildren and four dogs. 
ExxonMobil is a strong supporter of STEM education not only in Montana, but across the United States. Employees are involved in Science Ambassador programs, tutoring and regular outreach because the company believes math and science are critical tools for students competing in a competitive global environment. ExxonMobil, has been engaged in improving the quality of education for decades and we think we have a responsibility to help find solutions, some of which are funding the Mickelson Teachers Academy, the Sally Ride Academy and the National Math and Science Initiative. 
Miss Montana Advocates for STEM Education
Lauren Scofield featured on national blog
As reported in our last quarterly newsletter, Miss Montana 2016, Lauren Scofield, is promoting a STEM platform during her year of service.  In addition to visiting schools and events throughout the state, she recently wrote in her blog:   "[Being Miss Montana] has taught me that a love for STEM can create a love for being uncomfortable. In the ever-growing world of science, technology, engineering, and math it is important that our young girls learn how to be comfortable with the unknown. My favorite lesson to teach the students that I talk to is the importance of persevering through failure."

Lauren was recently featured on the blog for the National Girls Collaborative Project. You can read more about Lauren's thoughts and work in STEM education here. She is also willing and interested in attending your STEM events, so be sure to contact her!
Program Feature: STARBASE
Summer camps at Rocky Boy and Fort Peck held this summer

STARBASE logo STARBASE is a hands-on, inquiry -based, 5-day STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) immersion program for fifth graders. The program is DoD (Department of Defense) funded and housed on military installations. Montana currently has two STARBASE programs, located in Great Falls and Helena. The Helena program started in 2007 at the Fort Harrison Army National Guard and in 2011, the second site started in Great Falls at the Air National Guard. Every fifth grader in the Helena and Great Falls Public School Districts, along with their teacher, attend STARBASE for 5 days throughout the school year. The STARBASE program has served over 11,000 Montana students since inception in 2007.

STARBASE started an important outreach to Montana Indian Reservations this past summer. The STARBASE staff hosted summer camps in both Rocky Boy and Fort Peck for a full week each in June and July respectively. 

In June, after hosting a summer camp for children of military families, STARBASE staff hustled to pack up two vans full of STEM equipment, for our first off-site summer camp on Rocky Boy Reservation. The week-long experience was amazing!  We were originally scheduled to work with 4th-6th grade students, however, we were asked to add additional campers, some reaching ninth grade.  Our team rose to the challenge and had, what we believe, to be one of our most impactful weeks as an organization. We built trust and formed new relationships. One of the highlights of the week was Major General Quinn and Brigadier General Fox arriving via helicopter at the Rocky Boy football field and then spending their afternoon talking with the students.

In July, the STARBASE Montana team again took our program on the road to Wolf Point Northside Elementary school in Fort Peck.  We had another wonderful week meeting new students and forming new relationships. STARBASE staff and campers greeted BG Fox, Chief Zumbrum and Jason Smith, Montana Director of Indian Affairs, via Blackhawk helicopter. The group spoke to our campers and left a lasting impression with the campers and staff.  On our final day of camp, we did an engineering project on water purification and the students created and tested the water filtration systems that they designed. We were then able to arrange a field trip to a state-of-the art water purification plant, Assiniboine & Sioux Rural Water Supply, where Luey Beauchamp, plant facilitator, graciously showed us the facility and explained the process of water treatment. This was a perfect example of applying STEM to a real-world application and a STEM-tastic way to end our week.

Our main observation after traveling off-site to host summer camp at reservations is the absolute need for our program to become mobile.  W e plan to continue outreach to Montana's Indian Reservations during the summer of 2017 and we would also like to investigate creating a mobile STARBASE team that would take hands-on STEM to additional schools in Montana.  

~Thanks to Montana Girls STEM Collaborative board member
Wendy Fechter for contributing this report

Destination Imagination
Have we helped you collaborate?
Did the May 2016 Montana Girls STEM Collaboration Forum help you make a connection?

We often hear that one of the most important aspects of the MGSCP events is the connections that people make with others doing similar work across the state. There are so many great programs and people invested in STEM education, and getting people in the same room often catalyzes some amazing collaborations!

Do you have a story about a connection or collaboration from our Collaboration Forum held in May? We would love to hear from you!  Email Suzi or Jessie at the address below and let us know - you might be featured in a future newsletter.

Wendy Fechter of STARBASE said, "After attending the MT Girls STEM Collaborative Meeting in Bozeman, the idea of creating a mobile STARBASE team seems like an attainable goal. It was a privilege to network with wonderful STEM professionals from all over the state. The collaborative effort really highlighted Montana's vast resources and passion for STEM education. It is vital that we stay connected."  

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 profile 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 opportunity....
$300 Montana Public Lands Field Trip Travel Grants Available for Fourth Grade Classrooms! Glacier National Park is offering grants for educators to get kids outside

Save the Date....
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.