The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative seeks to unite and support educators, parents and other champions of STEM so we can engage and inspire the next generation!
New report decodes STEM/STEAM
This report is definitely worth checking out!
While the terms STEM and more recently STEAM (STEM + the Arts), have grown in popularity, there is massive confusion when it comes to defining what exactly they mean. Specifically, a lot of toys nowadays are labeled as STEM/STEAM, yet there is no universally accepted system or even a uniform understanding of what this definition implies. 
The National Girls Collaborative Project has partnered with  The Toy Association to share their new report, Decoding STEM/STEAM, to help tackle the challenges, stigmas, and myths related to STEM/STEAM learning. It provides valuable insights from experts to help you inspire and encourage children's interest in science, math and related areas.

The report addresses questions such as: 
  • How is STEM different from STEAM and what's the role of "A"?
  • What is the role of toys and play in teaching STEM/STEAM, and what advantages do they have vs. formal education?
  • What are common barriers to STEM/STEAM careers that toys can help eliminate?

"When parents are more math anxious, their children learn significantly less math over the school year and have more math anxiety by the school year’s end— but only if math-anxious parents report providing frequent help with math homework."
(Psychological Science, 2015)
Thank you, NASTD!
When NASTD, the National Association of State Technology Directors , hosted its annual meeting in Montana this summer, they chose the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative as a local organization to support. Girls STEM board members were invited to present to NASTD members during their August event in Big Sky, and NASTD members passed the hat to support MGSCP. Members ended up donating over $2,000 to support our great work in Montana!

We love the NASTD model of supporting a local organization, and we thank them for their support! Learn more about NASTD or connect with your regional contacts .
SpectrUM Discovery Area hosts Black (W)hole exibit Oct. 3-13
spectrUM Discovery Area in Missoula is hosting a new exhibit October 3-13 called “Black (W)hole”.  The exhibit is supported by the Montana Space Grant Consortium and a partnership with the eXtreme Gravity Institute at MSU. The exhibit is a collaboration of scientists and artists and uses actual scientific data about gravitational waves and black holes to create an immersive experience for visitors.  Learn more

Some limited funding is available for free field trip buses for local school groups - contact Jessie Herbert for more information
Interested in aviation? New program for youth 14-20 launches in Belgrade

An Aviation Explorers Post  is developing in southwest Montana. Anyone interested in participating (all youth, girls and boys, ages 14-20 interested in learning more about aviation careers) are encouraged to participate. 

Open house at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport - Summit Aviation October 6 from noon to 2pm. 
Free Community Event in Livingston
LINKS Keep the Lights On STEM Open House

The event will spotlight the range of programming available at LINKS for Learning, including its unique Science, Technology, Engineering and Math enrichment activities. All children, families and community members are invited to attend this free event. Lights On Afterschool is 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.

When: Thursday, October 25th, 5:00-6:30pm
Where: East Side School Gym, 401 View Vista Drive, Livingston
What: Free STEM hands on activities, free chili dinner and fun door prizes.

Learn how to program a Lego Robot station, Fly Tying Outdoor Science station, Science Action Club Bird Activity and support afterschool for all youth!
Questions or to volunteer contact LINKS Assistant Margy Ek: Margy.ek@livingston.k12.mt.us or 650-868-9471 or visit the event on Facebook  
Add-A-Tudez / Team KAIZEN / Ingenium of Great Falls is now on Twitch TV!
Check out this great news from Add-A-Tudez // Team KAIZEN // Ingenium of Great Falls. They were one of the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative's original mini-grant recipients, creating a video game development camp for girls in partnership with the Paris Gibson Square Museum.
Hello! Josh from Add-A-Tudez // Team KAIZEN // Ingenium here! We are now partnered on the live streaming site Twitch (twitch.tv—it's like YouTube but live, and you can interact with the host on screen to ask questions and the like).

We do broadcasts every day at 7PM, with many of them tying into STEM and how games can be a STEM vehicle.

Our Twitch page is twitch.tv/addatudez , and if people want to see previous broadcasts they only need to click 'videos' or 'collections' above our video player!
Bird Scouts (and more) are in action in Livingston and Libby
Margy Ek with Links for Learning in Livingston reports that her Fall 2018 Bird Scouts are off and flying at East Side School. Check out these awesome scientific observations and artwork from the Build-a-Bird activity. Way to go, citizen scientists!
  • Bird Scouts Science Action Club has lots of 4th-7th graders ready to go out and explore birds in our schoolyard! Last week we learned how to recognize birds through binoculars and to observe details.   
  • Also, Libby's 4-H Afterschool Club is learning about Computer Science with the "Coding Our World" kit. We started last week by playing Rock, Paper, Scissors between a "Person and an Artificial Intelligence (AI)" and learned about Random Number Generators. 

Thanks to Mandy Bell for this report!
STEM role model shares passion for honey bee health
Michelle Flenniken, a Montana State University virologist and honeybee researcher (as well as an outreach champion and fabulous #WomanInSTEM), has created a series of videos to help people understand honey bees.
Resources for educators and parents
National Chemistry Week is Oct. 21-27
The American Chemical Society offers free resources to build awareness of chemistry at the local level. NCW 2018 will be celebrated October 21-27, 2018 with the theme, " Chemistry is Out of This World ."
Halloween program idea!
The National Informal STEM Education Network (NISENet) created materials to honor the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The project uses themes from Frankenstein to examine emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and genetic engineering, while promoting the development of 21st century skills related to creative collaboration and critical thinking. Download the materials for free .
Free robotics resources. Sony is offering a pilot program through which educators will be provided, free of cost, multiple  KOOV kits  for the classroom, 1 hour of training with the KOOV team and 4 weeks to experience KOOV first hand. KOOV  is a robotics and coding educational kit for ages 8 and up, made up of blocks, sensors, motors, actuators, and a companion app. Learn more .
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.
MSU Academic Technology and Outreach
Suzi Taylor
Montana State University
128 Barnard Hall
Bozeman, MT
(406) 994-7957
Jessie Herbert
University of Montana
Missoula, MT
(406) 243-4828