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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tell your STEM story by 8/1! How does your Afterschool or Summer Learning Program Inspire you to Build, Create, Explore, Dream?


A video competition for kids learning about science, technology, engineering and mathematics outside of school. In three minutes, tell us how you are engaged in STEM learning and dream of a STEM future!

STEM learning opportunities are like charging stations that power up kids' learning. Afterschool programs, summer camps, libraries, museums and science centers all provide "charging stations" with hands-on activities, deep-learning experiences and opportunities to explore.

Young people get the charge with the support of afterschool professionals to see themselves as scientists, engineers, technology gurus and mathematicians – both now and in the future.

Kids are always told to dream big – afterschool programs allow them to do just that. Uncover the work of your program and students, and tell us what really happens in STEM afterschool.

SUBMIT YOUR VIDEO TO YOUTUBE BY AUGUST 1 (FOR SUMMER PROGRAMS).

Click here to read more.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Five Ways Technology Can Build Gender Equality


Global Fund for Women created IGNITE: Women Fueling Science and Technology in order to dig more deeply into an issue that we know affects women and girls around the world. IGNITE has highlighted unheard stories about women and girls in technology, shown the impact of equal access to technology for women and girls, and made the case for using technology as a tool to build a more equal world.

Here are five lessons we’ve learned about how technology can build gender equality.
  1. Get women and girls involved in the global technology revolution. Technology is a women’s human rights issue. Read this call to action from our CEO Musimbi Kanyoro, and then join us as we imagine a future where women are given equal access to – and control of – technology.
  2. Change the story – celebrate women in leadership. Women are already leading the way when it comes to scientific and technological progress—you can meet dozens of them, past and present, in our #BetheSpark Gallery
  3. Get girls started early.  In our International Girls Hackathon #HackGirlsRights, we met girls who use their skills and imaginations to create technology solutions to issues that matter most to them. These girls know tech and aren’t afraid to use it to build a better future.
  4. Get everyone involved. Throughout IGNITE, we partnered with incredible organizations around the globe, including UN Women on our #BetheSpark petition to end the gender technology gap.  With signatures from 182 countries around the world, we met--and exceeded--our goal of 20,000 people supporting greater access to and control over technology for the world's women and delivered this message to the leaders at the UN.  
  5. Find and support Changemakers.  The good news is, there are so many women and organizations already using technology as a tool to reach gender equality. We’ve highlighted the work of incredible organizations around the world who are creating change on the ground, from the Argentinian group ACCT that is tracking disappeared women and girls who fall victim to human trafficking, and Liga-Inan in Timor-Leste that uses SMS-text messaging to improve maternal and child health in rural communities.
We asked you to imagine a future where women and girls have equal access to and control over technology. Right now, we believe that that future is closer than ever before. The stories and experiences included in IGNITE have catalyzed Global Fund for Women to redouble our own commitment to increasing women and girls’ access to and control of technology. We have created a Technology Fund, aimed to help women around the world use technology as a tool to build power and drive action, increase women’s access to and control of technology, and help grassroots organizations use technology to advance women’s and girls' human rights. We hope you will join us in making sure technology access is not a privilege of a few, but a right held by all.

Click here to read more.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Women In Science: Poor Self-Perceived Ability In Math Leads To Less Female Scientists, STEM Subjects


Written by Kristin Magaldi

As the rate of women enrolled in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects is still fairly low relative to their male counterparts, researchers are wondering what it is about the realm of math and science that is keeping women away. They know it is not that women are incapable; in fact, women have proved themselves capable time and time again, especially in the UK, where women taking two-year vocational courses in science and mathematics are outpacing their fellow male students. Yet today, women only hold 27 percent of all computer science jobs, while only 20 percent of women graduate with a related computer science degree. Researchers from Florida State University who have sought to study just that, believe it all boils down to a matter of perceptions.

According to their new study published in the journal of Frontiers in Psychology, there is a pervasive misconception that starts when American girls are in high school, and prevents them from continuing on to physics, engineering, mathematics, or computer science (PEMC) careers later on. This belief comes from the misunderstanding that “difficult” mathematics is something you either can or cannot do, and that there is no room to learn. Researchers hope that now that they have isolated this way of thinking, they can change it with more positive enforcement for girls coming from school, home, and government policy.

“Our results indicate the potential for more women to move into PEMC if they perceive their mathematics ability as strong, and open to growth,” said Lara Perez-Felkner, assistant professor of higher education and sociology at Florida State in a recent press release.

Perez-Felkner worked with doctoral students Samantha Nix and Kirby Thomas to see how perceptions of gender potentially affect perceptions of ability, which may ultimately skew college major choices. Compiling records from the Educational Longitudinal Study of the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics, researchers were able to analyze 4,450 students from 750 high schools across the United States between the years 2002 to 2012.

The results revealed what researchers had previously believed: it is all a matter of mindset. Self-perceived mathematics ability highly dictated whether or not women pursued math in the future. Researchers found that high school boys tended to overrate their mathematical abilities, while girls tended to underrate them; however, 12th grade girls who told researchers they could successfully complete the most challenging mathematical problems were 3.3 times more likely to choose a PEMC major for college. This proved to be the case across the board, regardless of science courses taken, ethnicity, college entrance exam scores, or college selection.

Researchers found that the “growth mindset,” or believing that mathematical ability can be fostered through learning, added to the amount of girls entering into PEMC subjects. Girls who displayed the “growth mindset” were 2.3 times more likely to pursue a PEMC major than those who reported the opposite belief.

Overall, researchers discovered that girls were 3.7 times less likely to pursue a PEMC major than boys, but were 3.8 times more likely to pursue a major in health science than the boys. When both girls and boys completed both high school courses physics 1 and chemistry 1, they were 1.9 times more likely to major in a PEMC subject than the entire body of their peers. This increased to 2.5 times more likely for both boys and girls if they also completed physics 2 and chemistry 2.

“By focusing on students’ perceived ability under challenge, we are getting closer to the ‘real’ world context, where mathematics anxiety may operate,” said doctoral student Samantha Nix. “Most people believe they can do some mathematics, such as splitting a dinner bill with friends, but fewer believe they can do mathematics they perceive as ‘difficult.’ Here we show that this belief can influence the decision to specialize in mathematics-intensive fields, for both women and men.”

The key to changing the gender gap, researchers believe, is to shift widespread perceptions over to the “growth mindset.” If this is done, the chances that women will enter a mathematical field will increase, and women’s underrepresentation in PEMC fields, as reported by the OECD and the U.S. National Science Foundation, will be a thing of the past. As of right now, researchers note, this gender gap is not advantageous to anyone; by sequestering women to other fields, both science and society lose out on potential innovation, while women also miss out on higher-than-average income jobs. Research also shows that women who learn to code often feel empowered by their jobs, and that is something that can benefit everyone.

“It is important for the U.S. and other nations to continue to invest in interventions to end gender segregation in PEMC science,” Perez-Felkner said. “For instance, students may need to hear that encountering difficulty during classwork is expected and normal, and does not say anything about ability to become a successful scientist. In addition, instructors may want to ask themselves if they are giving the same feedback to young women and men who deal successfully with a difficult mathematics problem in class.”

With this shift in attitude, we can expect to welcome a lot more women into the world of science and mathematics than ever before. Needless to say, if this change would have been made when I was in high school, I might have reconsidered the path I decided to take.

Sources: Nix S, Perez-Felkner L, Thomas K. Perceived mathematical ability under challenge: a longitudinal perspective on sex segregation among STEM degree fields. Frontiers in Psychology. 2015.

Click here to read more.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Join The Connectory for #STEM #STEAM information


Use The Connectory to collaborate with STEM programs and promote your upcoming STEM opportunities to families. Programs are organizations providing STEM opportunities. Opportunities are time-bound STEM events such as summer camps, one-day events, workshops, career fairs, and competitions, and are automatically promoted to visitors based on their location.

Add your opportunities now so they will be available to the families across the country accessing The Connectory!

  • Join: Make an account profile
  • Create: Add your organization/program
  • Approval: Your program listing will be approved so it can be searched for by program providers
  • Add: Add all your STEM opportunities
  • Approval: Your time-bound opportunities will be approved so they can be searched for by families
  • Discover: Search for other programs providers to connect with
  • Opportunities are visible publicly to families. Programs are visible to other STEM providers.

The National Girls Collaborative Project  Program Directory is now The Connectory.

Monday, June 15, 2015

June Heats Up with Exciting STEM News at Girls STEM Collaborative (GSGSC)

Click here to signup to receive future GSGSC newsletters!
Click here to read the latest GSGSC Newsletter now!

The Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative is the New Jersey initiative of the National Girls Collaborative Project, a program focused on providing high quality STEM activities to girls. Their primary goal is to strengthen the capacity of girl-serving STEM programs to effectively reach and serve underrepresented girls in STEM by sharing promising practice research and program models, outcomes, products and by connecting formal and informal educators, business and industry in order to maximize the resources that can positively influence our girls. Contact Mike MacEwan for more information how you can become involved.

In their latest issue, the Garden State Girls STEP Collaborative Project spotlights:
  • New Jersey Selected to Participate in 21st CCLC NASA STEM Challenge Opportunity
  • Job Posting: Hopes STEM Summer Camp Seeks Lead Summer Camp Teacher
  • Join The Connectory
  • Explore It! Afterschool Science Program from Rutgers 4-H and NJ SACC - Now Enrolling for 2015-2016 - due June 12
  • Design It! Afterschool Engineering Program from Rutgers 4-H and NJ SACC - Now Enrolling for 2015-2016 - due June 12
  • Due 6/15 New National Afterschool Matters Fellowship from NIOST
  • Got STEM? Let us Know How You're Supporting STEM or STEAM in Afterschool!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Last Day! Design It! Afterschool Engineering Program from Rutgers 4-H and NJ SACC - Now Enrolling for 2015-2016 - due June 12


Now enrolling afterschool sites for the 2015-2016 school year.

Enrollment Form (274k PDF)
Enrollment Options

Enrollment form and payment due June 12, 2015.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development and the New Jersey School-Age Care Coalition (NJSACC), The Network for New Jersey's Afterschool Communities, are proud to offer Design It!, an engaging, inquiry based, and fun STEM program designed specifically for afterschool. This comprehensive and high-quality program was developed by the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) in Boston and the National Partnerships for After School Science (NPASS) through support of the National Science Foundation.

Rutgers 4-H and NJSACC will provide the following to school and community based afterschool organizations who enroll by June 12.

  1. materials kits
  2. curricula guides
  3. professional development
  4. ongoing support

This is a full-year program that includes six engineering projects. Each of the six projects lasts approximately one month, with youth meeting in their "Junior Engineer" club once a week for the duration of the program. Selected Design It! projects for 2015-2016 include – Balls and Tracks, Gliders, Paper Bridges, Rubber Band-Powered Cars, Straw Rockets, and Trebuchets. Youth work in teams to design their project, test it, and make adjustments – repeating the process as they try to optimize their design.

Click here to read more.

Last Day! Explore It! Afterschool Science Program from Rutgers 4-H and NJ SACC - Now Enrolling for 2015-2016 - due June 12


Now enrolling afterschool sites for the 2015-2016 school year.

Enrollment is now open for this full-year program that includes six science projects. Each of the six projects lasts approximately one month, with youth (ages 8-12) meeting in their "Science Explorers" club once a week for the duration of the program. Selected Explore It! projects for 2015-2016 include – Cake Chemistry, Heating a House and an Oven, Measuring Ourselves, Sinking and Floating, Siphon Systems, and Wiring a House. Youth work in teams to explore familiar phenomena using simple materials to foster science learning. Enrollment form and deposit for the 2015-2016 school year are due June 12, 2015. For more information, visit the program’s website.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development and the New Jersey School-Age Care Coalition (NJSACC), The Network for New Jersey's Afterschool Communities, are proud to offer Explore It!, an engaging, inquiry based, and fun STEM program designed specifically for afterschool. This comprehensive and high-quality program was developed by the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) in Boston and the National Partnerships for After School Science (NPASS2) through the support of the National Science Foundation.

Rutgers 4-H and NJ SACC will provide (1) materials kits, (2) curricula guides, (3) three full-day professional development workshops, and (4) ongoing support and technical assistance to school and community based afterschool organizations who enroll by June 12. See the website for details, enrollment packages and options, and an enrollment form.

Click here to read more.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

June Heats Up with Exciting STEM News at Girls STEM Collaborative (GSGSC)

Click here to signup to receive future GSGSC newsletters!
Click here to read the latest GSGSC Newsletter now!

The Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative is the New Jersey initiative of the National Girls Collaborative Project, a program focused on providing high quality STEM activities to girls. Their primary goal is to strengthen the capacity of girl-serving STEM programs to effectively reach and serve underrepresented girls in STEM by sharing promising practice research and program models, outcomes, products and by connecting formal and informal educators, business and industry in order to maximize the resources that can positively influence our girls. Contact Mike MacEwan for more information how you can become involved.

In their latest issue, the Garden State Girls STEP Collaborative Project spotlights:
  • New Jersey Selected to Participate in 21st CCLC NASA STEM Challenge Opportunity
  • Job Posting: Hopes STEM Summer Camp Seeks Lead Summer Camp Teacher
  • Join The Connectory
  • Explore It! Afterschool Science Program from Rutgers 4-H and NJ SACC - Now Enrolling for 2015-2016 - due June 12
  • Design It! Afterschool Engineering Program from Rutgers 4-H and NJ SACC - Now Enrolling for 2015-2016 - due June 12
  • Due 6/15 New National Afterschool Matters Fellowship from NIOST
  • Got STEM? Let us Know How You're Supporting STEM or STEAM in Afterschool!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Educators to share STEM workshop training


Written by Erica Lamberg, Correspondent

On May 20, Universal Technical Institute in Exton, Pennsylvania, welcomed more than 50 shop teachers and instructors from regional high schools to its campus for an Instructor Seminar Day. This daylong event offered high school instructors an opportunity to see how STEM is woven into Universal Technical Institute’s curriculum.

There were three local teachers in attendance: George Byrd, auto body and collision repair instructor at Somerset County Vocational Technical High School in Bridgewater; Anthony Cordasco, applied technology teacher at Hillsborough High School in Hillsborough; and Chris Scheuerman, automotive technology teacher at Hunterdon County Polytech Career and Technical School in Flemington.

The program included a comprehensive campus tour, an in-depth look at STEM across the country — particularly in the automotive industry — and three hands-on STEM workshops focused on Toyota Hybrids, Diesel Exhaust After Treatment Systems and Collision Training. All attending teachers received professional development hours for the day, as well as specific certifications for certain areas of focus.

Universal Technical Institute is the nation’s leading provider of technical education training for students seeking careers as professional automotive, diesel, collision repair, motorcycle and marine technicians.

“There is such a wealth of valuable information that’s passed on through Universal Technical Institute which I can in turn pass on to my students and even my advisory board and anyone else who would benefit from the resources and information I’ve gained,” Byrd said.

Byrd said a vocational career route is another path for students to consider.

“I really know it from being in this position and having been a student who came through vocational school myself,” he said “Students need to begin thinking about the long-term benefits of their college education and whether a four-year college will warrant the results they’re looking for in terms of career goals and aspirations.

“I personally think that going the vocational route helps to better prepare students for on-the-job training and arm them with the very specific skill sets they’ll need in order to be successful in their positions on the job. And further — vocational/technical education programs do a good job setting students up with in-demand careers.”

Byrd said he plans to share concepts and lessons from the instruction day with his students.

“I took away the concept that STEM is applicable to everything we do,” he said. “You don’t even realize in your teaching and in your academic environment that you’re constantly doing these things and applying STEM principles and how closely related they are to real-world, on-the-job tasks performed by automotive technicians today.

“Universal Technical Institute does a great job weaving STEM into their curriculum, and during last week’s event they did several live demonstrations that illustrated how they incorporate these STEM applications into the classroom and lab setting. I plan to take these example lessons and bring them back to my own classroom.”

This event demonstrates how educators at the post-secondary level like Universal Technical can partner with those at the high school level. It benefits not only the students but the instructors, he said.

“We are constantly learning something new every day,” Byrd added. “I’ve never seen things change as drastically as they have in the last 10 years in the automotive industry. In high school, students are learning the basics and they begin to really get into it. But because we are teaching the general courses in high school, there may be a lot of things that I can’t cover as a teacher. Post-secondary technical schools like Universal Technical Institute provide an additional option for these hands-on learners to further their education and become more specialized.”

Click here to read more.

Monday, June 8, 2015

PHOTOS: Hoboken Students Gather for STEM-a-thon


Written by Eric Kiefer

The event was held to help inspire future engineers to stick with their passions.

More than 300 grade six students from all 11 of Hoboken’s public, private, and charter schools participated in a day of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning, teamwork, and innovation at “STEM-a-thon: A Day of Innovation,” held on Tuesday at Stevens Institute of Technology.

The goal of the event was to inspire and energize potential engineers to stick with their passions.

The inaugural event was sponsored by Stevens Institute in partnership with the Hoboken Family Alliance.

Click here to read more.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Provident Bank Foundation presents $20,000 to Red Mill for STEM education


CLINTON – The Provident Bank Foundation, which supports organizations dedicated to improving the lives of residents in communities served by Provident Bank, has provided a grant for$20,000 to the Red Mill Museum Village, the recipient of the Foundation’s “Impact” Grant for Hunterdon County.
The Red Mill offers ongoing educational and outreach programs designed to preserve, maintain and present to the public the social, agricultural and industrial heritage of Hunterdon County and its surrounding area.
“We are honored and very grateful to The Provident Bank Foundation for selecting us to receive the Hunterdon County Impact Grant, which will help us take our educational programming to the next level,” said Eileen K. Morales, executive director of The Red Mill Museum Village.
The museum was selected to receive the grant to fund the development of new, hands-on, interactive programs for the benefit of the thousands of school children (K-12) who visit the facility on school field trips throughout the year. The new programs will specifically incorporate elements of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) school curricula by focusing on the industries that historically once operated on site – milling and quarrying.
“We are proud to support the Red Mill Museum Village in its new initiatives that will provide unique STEM-related learning opportunities to thousands of children from Hunterdon County and the region,” said Jane Kurek, executive director of The Provident Bank Foundation. “Red Mill has stood out as a pillar of community enrichment for years and we look forward to hearing about the wonderful experiences that come as a result of this grant.”

For information about The Red Mill Museum Village visit www.theredmill.org or call (908) 735-4101. For information about The Provident Bank Foundation visit www.ProvidentNJFoundation.orgor call (862) 260-3990.

Click here to read more.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Explore It! Afterschool Science Program from Rutgers 4-H and NJ SACC - Now Enrolling for 2015-2016 - due June 12


Now enrolling afterschool sites for the 2015-2016 school year.

Enrollment is now open for this full-year program that includes six science projects. Each of the six projects lasts approximately one month, with youth (ages 8-12) meeting in their "Science Explorers" club once a week for the duration of the program. Selected Explore It! projects for 2015-2016 include – Cake Chemistry, Heating a House and an Oven, Measuring Ourselves, Sinking and Floating, Siphon Systems, and Wiring a House. Youth work in teams to explore familiar phenomena using simple materials to foster science learning. Enrollment form and deposit for the 2015-2016 school year are due June 12, 2015. For more information, visit the program’s website.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development and the New Jersey School-Age Care Coalition (NJSACC), The Network for New Jersey's Afterschool Communities, are proud to offer Explore It!, an engaging, inquiry based, and fun STEM program designed specifically for afterschool. This comprehensive and high-quality program was developed by the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) in Boston and the National Partnerships for After School Science (NPASS2) through the support of the National Science Foundation.

Rutgers 4-H and NJ SACC will provide (1) materials kits, (2) curricula guides, (3) three full-day professional development workshops, and (4) ongoing support and technical assistance to school and community based afterschool organizations who enroll by June 12. See the website for details, enrollment packages and options, and an enrollment form.

Click here to read more.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Design It! Afterschool Engineering Program from Rutgers 4-H and NJ SACC - Now Enrolling for 2015-2016 - due June 12


Now enrolling afterschool sites for the 2015-2016 school year.

Enrollment Form (274k PDF)
Enrollment Options

Enrollment form and payment due June 12, 2015.

Rutgers Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development and the New Jersey School-Age Care Coalition (NJSACC), The Network for New Jersey's Afterschool Communities, are proud to offer Design It!, an engaging, inquiry based, and fun STEM program designed specifically for afterschool. This comprehensive and high-quality program was developed by the Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) in Boston and the National Partnerships for After School Science (NPASS) through support of the National Science Foundation.

Rutgers 4-H and NJSACC will provide the following to school and community based afterschool organizations who enroll by June 12.

  1. materials kits
  2. curricula guides
  3. professional development
  4. ongoing support

This is a full-year program that includes six engineering projects. Each of the six projects lasts approximately one month, with youth meeting in their "Junior Engineer" club once a week for the duration of the program. Selected Design It! projects for 2015-2016 include – Balls and Tracks, Gliders, Paper Bridges, Rubber Band-Powered Cars, Straw Rockets, and Trebuchets. Youth work in teams to design their project, test it, and make adjustments – repeating the process as they try to optimize their design.

Click here to read more.

Monday, June 1, 2015

RVCC to offer new early childhood STEM Certificate Program


Written by Hunterdon County Democrat

Beginning in September, Raritan Valley Community College will offer a new program focusing on teaching about science, technology, engineering and math to very young children. The Early Childhood STEM Certificate of Completion program combines the theoretical background material about early growth and development with the practical skills necessary for teachers of children from birth through four years of age.

The 15-credit program is geared toward those who are already working at an early childhood center or preschool, or those interested in teaching very young children. The program includes courses in Early Childhood Curriculum; Methods of Teaching Young Children; Math and Science for Young Children; and Nutrition, Health and Safety for Preschool Children. It also features a cooperative education component.

Students completing the Certificate of Completion program will earn academic credits toward the Child Development Associate (CDA) credential through the Council of Professional Recognition. The CDA credential is the academic requirement for the Group Teacher endorsement from the New Jersey Registry for Childhood Professionals, Professional Impact New Jersey, Certified Child Care Professional (CCP) certificate, and the New Jersey Infant/Toddler Credential through Professional Impact New Jersey.

The Certificate of Completion program also can be applied toward RVCC's Early Childhood Education Certificate program, which fully satisfies the academic coursework for the CDA credential and the Group Teacher endorsement.

RVCC's Fall Semester begins Sept. 2. For additional information about the new Early Childhood STEM Certificate of Completion, contact Kimberly Schirner, RVCC Associate Professor of Education, 908-526-1200, ext. 8286 or kschirne@raritanval.edu.

Raritan Valley Community College's main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg. Serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 50 years, RVCC is an educational and cultural center that is nationally recognized for its innovative programming, service to the community and environmental leadership. For further information, visit: www.raritanval.edu.

Click here to read more.