Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Project

The vision of the Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Project (PNWGCP) is to serve as a conduit for girl-serving STEM organizations in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, and Washington that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in STEM.

Through collaboration, dissemination, and the leveraging of individual and collective resources, the PNWGCP creates synergies to increase equity and access to STEM and heightens the interest in STEM fields for all girls throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Too often programs that serve girls in STEM are limited in service and impact due to size, location, funding, expertise, and equipment.  In other cases, projects compete with each other, duplicating services and seeking the same resources.  PNWGCP provides the opportunity for programs to increase their ability to maintain interest and participation of girls in STEM through collaboration.

As the first collaborative site, the Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative experienced tremendous success during the initial months of funding from the National Science Foundation. As a result, the National Girls Collaborative Project developed a national model that has been replicated in many more regions throughout the United States. Collaboration, as an interactive process, enables professionals across projects and communities to generate and carry out creative solutions and strategies that maximize benefit beyond what one project of community could accomplish.  The model is structured to bring organizations together to leverage resources, share information and exemplary practices, and to plan strategically to expand STEM-related opportunities for girls. 

Collaborative activities are facilitated with the support of a Collaborative Leadership Team and Champions Board. Information on the Collaborative Leadership Team and Champions Board members can be found on the left side menu of this page.

Download the Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Project Brochure.

Save the Date: Engage Youth in STEM with SciGirls!

A PNWGCP Professional Development Forum

April 25, 2015

Save the date and join us at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA on Saturday, April 25, 2015 for a full-day professional development forum hosted by the Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Project focused on integrating inquiry-based STEM instruction with a commitment to gender equity.

Participants will learn the latest research for exciting and engaging girls (and boys) in STEM; experience hands-on STEM activities; and gain access to free materials for hands-on, video-enhanced activities that put a creative twist on teaching STEM.

Registration Information


Project Splash: Back for its Second Summer at the University of Washington

Summer 2014

Project Splash participantsThis summer the Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Project (PNWGCP) is partnering with the UW Summer Youth Program to offer its second annual Project Splash camp.

Project Splash is an innovative, underwater robotics program for high school girls. Creativity and confidence thrive as girls create a community with like-minded friends when they explore engineering and programming activities. They take the lead, persevere through challenges, and learn and grow in teams. Project Splash challenges girls to design, build, program, test, and redesign underwater robots made of LEGO and other components. Throughout the week, participants will progress through a series of "missions" that culminate with amazing final designs.

Watch this video to learn about the impact of Project Splash camps throughout the Pacific Northwest. Visit the Project Splash page to learn more about the program.



Exploring Collaborations: Successful Strategies for Increasing Equity and Access to STEM

Redmond, WA | December 4, 2013

A Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Conference Exploring Regional Opportunities for Girls in STEM

Over 140 individuals came together on Wednesday Dec 4, 2013 on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, WA for the PNWGCP Conference, “Exploring Collaborations: Successful Strategies for Increasing Equity and Access to STEM.”

The day started with an energetic welcoming keynote from Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Senior Director of Accessibility, Customer Partner Advocacy at Microsoft. It was followed by The Girl Perspective Panel, where seven local high school girls spoke not only on the importance of STEM role models but also on the need to increase efforts to counteract the stereotypes about girls in STEM still found in today’s high schools. The morning included opportunities for speed networking as well as a Girls and Gaming in Today’s World panel featuring key thought leaders in how game design can support girls’ aspirations for STEM career pathways. The afternoon was filled with deep discussions and thoughtful conversations as participants attended afternoon breakout sessions, which included roundtable discussions facilitated by researchers from the 2013 Afterschool Matters Fellowship, working sessions with leaders from Northeastern University's G.A.M.E.S. Initiative and a panel discussion, Strategies for Engaging Diverse Girls.

The event was hosted by the National Girls Collaborative Project and the Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Project, in partnership with Microsoft, the Institute for System Biology, the 2013 Afterschool Matters Fellowship program, and the Northeastern University's G.A.M.E.S. Initiative.

See below for more information about panels, plenaries, and workshops.

Welcome Keynote: Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Senior Director, Accessibility, Customer Partner Advocacy, Microsoft

A long time champion of NGCP, Jenny is passionate about disability issues. She formed and chairs the cross disability group at Microsoft, an employee resource group focused on 'enabling people to be successful regardless of ability or disability'. She has been influential in driving accessibility and awareness of disability internally and externally, with wide recognition of these efforts. 

Girls and Gaming in Today's World: National Expert in Gender and Gaming - Dr. Carrie Heeter

Dr. Carrie Heeter participated in the Girls and Gaming in Today's World panel, moderated by Dr. Dana Riley-Black, Director, Center for Inquiry Science at the Institute for Systems Biology. Dr. Heeter is a Professor in the department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media at Michigan State University (MSU) where she teaches foundations of serious games and human-centered experience design.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

The 2013 Afterschool Matters Fellowship Roundtables:

Attendees had the opportunity to engage in roundtable discussions with researchers from the Afterschool Matters Fellowship program, a year-long action research program in which teachers and out of school time professionals joined forces to research educational practices in their own sites for better STEM education for all youth.

Research topics included:

  • Linkage Power: Classroom Based And Out Of School Time Service Learning Projects. 
  • Listening To The Language Of STEM After School: Designing After School STEM Experiences To Support Collaborative Inquiry Processes And Skills
  • Do Afterschool Programs Help Students Achieve Success at Math In School?
  • Math Is Like A Scary Movie?
  • Pushing To Persevere:  How To Create A Culture Of Perseverance Both In And Out Of School
  • Paper Copters And Possibility: Leveraging Afterschool And Youth Development Trainers To Extend The Reach Of STEM Program
  • Opening Up To Multiple Intelligences For Deeper Math Learning
  • Shopping Bag STEM:  Modular Delivery Of Science, Technology, Engineering And Math In An After School Setting
  • Bringing STEAM Into STEM
  • Introducing STEM To Our Afterschool Philosophy
  • Outdoor Science Field Trips: Teaching Science Practices For Meaningful Learning

School’s Out Washington and the Puget Sound Writing Project manage the Fellowship, and it is funded by the National Writing Project, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time, and the Noyce Foundation.  

Strategies for Engaging Diverse Girls:

In this interactive session and panel discussion local experts shared successful strategies they have implemented to engage diverse girls in their youth programming. Attendees engaged with panelists and fellow attendees to identify strategies they can implement in their own programs to reach new and diverse populations of girls.

Panelists included:

  • Arielle Davis (Youth Program Facilitator) and Jamie-Rose Edwards (Program and Development Director) from Young Women Empowered
  • Trish Millines Dziko, Executive Director from Technology Access Foundation
  • Monica Feliu-Mojer, Vice-Director and News Editor at Ciencia Puerto Rico and Manager of Outreach Programs at the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Washington, Seattle


Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Spring Forum: Increasing Impact: Engage Girls in STEM by Building Capacity

May 13, 2013

The Pacific Northwest Girls Collaborative Project welcomed program managers, business partners, technical professionals, K-12 teachers, and representatives from professional organizations and higher education to a professional development forum at Seattle University on May 13, 2013. The morning plenary featured a welcome address from Isiaah Crawford, Seattle University Provost, followed by a lively panel of undergraduate women majoring in STEM fields. After a speed networking activity and lunch, participants selected one of two afternoon breakout sessions: "Teach your staff and volunteers to facilitate science inquiry" or "Who wants to give you money - and why?"

Stephanie Lingwood (Girls Scouts of Western Washington) and Dr. Jen Sorensen (Seattle University) co-presented a highly engaging and interactive workshop based upon their NSF-funded project, "Inquiry in the Community." Participants experienced project curriculum which included designing, building, and testing paper parachutes. Participants also had the opportunity to identify specific behaviors staff and volunteers who work with kids can use to promote scientific inquiry.

pd forum with parachutes

In the concurrent session, Susan Howlett (Susan Howlett Consulting) helped participants discover twenty sources of sustainable funding they may not have approached in the past, and how to find support year after year. Participants left her session with clearly identified prospects. Susan illustrated her recommendations with success stories and practical strategies for sustainability.

To close the forum, everyone reconvened to share takeaways from the breakout sessions. Participants left with many new connections and opportunities for collaboration to increase impact and engage girls in STEM.

Mini-grant Details

Open Date: 08/10/2015
Close Date: 08/13/2015
Decision Date: 08/15/2015