How My Involvement In NGCP Has Made It Easier To Serve Girls In STEM

By Cari Holland, Girl Leadership Specialist, Girl Scouts-Gateway Council 
October 2010

When I attended my first Florida Girls Collaborative Project (FGCP) event in April 2009, I had just begun talks with our local science museum to partner with them to establish STEM programming for our local Girl Scout troops. After this workshop, I really understood the benefits of collaboration and knew it was important to continue to build the collaborative relationship with the museum and to develop programs together.

After viewing research on the benefits of using role models in STEM programming for girls, I knew I wanted to create a program based on that concept, but I really had no idea of where to begin. The information provided by Techbridge at the FGCP Forum was so timely and also relative to current research based strategies. I was highly impressed!

A program called She’s a Scientist?! was created, in collaboration with my local science museum, from my attendance at that workshop! I learned strategies and received resources at the workshop that were invaluable as we developed our role model based STEM program.

At another FGCP Forum in January 2010, I learned about the purpose and benefits of listing our program in the National Girls Collaborative Project™ (NGCP) Program Directory. I also learned a GREAT deal about effective program evaluation, which is something I had been struggling to incorporate into our girl-serving programs. Again, the information I obtained at this workshop was invaluable and SO timely to my needs.

I registered my program in the NGCP Program Directory and encouraged my collaborator to also register. In May 2010, we applied and received a mini-grant award for our She’s a Scientist?! program. This seed money will be extremely helpful as we implement evaluation techniques and market to underserved audiences.

My participation in FGCP events has been tremendously beneficial. The information I have received is relevant and pertinent to my work goals related to STEM programming. Before working with the FGCP, it was time consuming and exhausting to navigate the glut of information out there regarding STEM and girls. Because STEM is only a portion of my job responsibilities, I place great value and get a huge return on the time I invest attending Florida Girls Collaborative Project events.

I am SO thrilled to have received a scholarship for me and one of my volunteers to attend the NGCP National Collaboration Conference in Washington, D.C. at the end of the month. I know I will walk away from the conference with a plethora of ideas and information!

She’s a Scientist?! served 82 girls in our 2009-2010 membership year. We hope to serve 200 girls this year and inspire them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).