NGCP is accepting proposals from organizations that are interested in hosting collaborative activities and leading their state in STEM collaboration. The ideal Convening Organization for a Collaborative is one that is already engaged in work relating to girls in STEM and can fit the collaborative activities into existing job roles and organizational events. Current priority areas of the United States for hosting new Collaboratives are: Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New England, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Puerto Rico, and the Dakotas.
General information about model components, the history of the project, the benefits of belonging to the NGCP network, and the commitments required of Collaboratives is detailed below. In addition, we are hosting New Collaborative Informational Meetings in July and August. Technical assistance for completing the Collaborative Interest Form is available. Please contact info@ngcproject with any questions.
The National Girls Collaborative Project maximizes access to shared resources and disseminates research-based promising practices that advance the work of existing and evolving girl-serving projects. The goals are to:
1. Maximize access to shared resources within projects, and with public and private sector organizations and institutions interested in expanding girls’ participation in STEM.
2. Strengthen capacity of existing and evolving projects by sharing exemplary practice research and program models, outcomes, and products.
3. Use the leverage of a network and the collaboration of individual girl-serving STEM programs to create the tipping point for gender equity in STEM.
Exemplary practices in these areas will be delivered using a variety of methods, including webcasts, the project Web site, and included in the professional development forums throughout each collaborative.
The National Girls Collaborative Project began in 2002 as the Northwest Girls Collaborative Project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Currently, 33 Collaboratives, serving 41 states, have been established as a part of NGCP, facilitating collaboration between more than 42,500 organizations. The NSF Grant Information page also has details about the NGCP Model and project evaluation.
Collaboratives are typically contracted for a period of two or three years contingent upon an annual renewal process. The ideal setting for a Collaborative is a state already replete with extensive, but uncoordinated, activity in support of girls in STEM. A Collaborative is defined as two or more organizations which lead the activities for a state. Some larger states may utilize regional teams to assist with implementation of the NGCP model.
The ideal Convening Organization is one already engaged in work relating to girls in STEM and can fit the collaborative into existing job roles and activities. The ideal Collaborative Lead (an individual) lives and works in the community the collaborative serves, and has experience in forging mutually beneficial partnerships. The Collaborative Lead must be employed by the Convening Organization.
Using the NGCP collaborative structure, the NGCP National Leadership Team will assist in identifying strategic partners and forming collaborative networks at the local level. The NGCP National Leadership Team provides support to Collaboratives through the Collaboration Institute, ongoing and proactive technical assistance and mentoring, and webinars and other professional development.
A Collaboration Institute will be held for new Collaborative Leadership teams and is facilitated by NGCP National Leadership Team. Workshops and activities are focused on the NGCP delivery structure and promising practice implementation. The Institute provides an opportunity for new collaborative leadership teams to plan and to meet with existing Collaborative teams to share strategies and lessons learned in Collaborative efforts and activities.
Ongoing Training and Support
The NGCP provides training and support to Collaborative Leads and Leadership team members through webinars and other targeted professional development.
Conferences, Forums, and Webinars
The NGCP model includes in-person and online professional development events and dissemination of exemplary practices, content, and resources via an interactive website, live and archived webinars, and in-person conferences and forums. These activities are designed to facilitate connections between organizations, improve access to exemplary practices in STEM, and encourage and support collaborative projects to more efficiently use resources. Most Collaboratives host a minimum of five events during the contracted project period (2-3 years): a Kick-Off conference to introduce the project, a Collaboration Forum to share strategies for successful partnerships, two professional development forums, and a Collaboration Conference. Each Collaborative will negotitiate the number of activities they will host during the contracting process. The NGCP National Leadership team provides Collaboratives with resources and presentations that can be customized for local events.
Exemplary STEM Curriculum
The NGCP gives Collaboratives access to exemplary STEM curriculum via the Network Project model. The NGCP works with curriculum experts across the country in order to implement 'train-the-trainer' events, in which one to two individuals are selected from the Collaborative to participate in in-person training on hands-on, engaging STEM curriculum. Trainers then travel back to their respective states and are responsible for training educators within their state on the curriculum. Curriculum is often accompanied by kits, books, or other valuable materials and is an effective way of infusing resources across the Collaborative.
The Connectory is a critical online collaboration tool unique to the NGCP model. Projects and organizations enter basic program data into the directory, providing brief descriptions of organizational goals, populations served, geographic location, and contact information. Connectory entries also include needs and resources as a catalyst for collaboration. Users search by these variables to find potential partners to meet their needs, resulting in more effective use of resources among projects, through the Provider Portal. The National Leadership Team provides administrative support for The Connectory and local Collaborative Leadership Teams are provided access to their state data. Girl-serving STEM programs in The Connectory are displayed on each NGCP Collaborative's website.
Collaborative and National Champions Boards
The Champions Boards are designed to advise, support, and disseminate information about the project. The NGCP National Leadership team works with a National Champions Board selected to give the project a balance of desirable expertise and national representation. Each Collaborative will also develop and work with a Collaborative Champions Board, composed of local members that will meet at least twice per year. More than 200 senior professionals serve as National and Collaborative Champions. The National Leadership Team will assist you in connecting with National Champions Board members and partner organizations to develop your Collaborative Champions Board.
- Participation in the Collaborative national and international Network.
- Use of the NGCP and Collaborative name and logo in grant applications and for partnerships.
- Access to marketing resources and the NGCP, FabFems, and The Connectory collateral, as well as collateral provided by external partners.
- Participation in regular Online Collaborative Support Meetings.
- Collaboration Institute training focused on strategies for convening and supporting girl-serving, STEM-oriented organizations.
- Organizational and Collaborative activity promotion through the national e-newsletter and social media channels.
- Access to the Collaborative Resource Google Drive.
- Facilitated donation processing.
- Participation in the NGCP Network Project community for bringing exemplary curriculum to your state or region.
- Opportunities to network and strategize with other Collaborative teams.
- The National Girls Collaborative Project Collaboration Guide, a practical step-by-step guide to establishing a Collaborative project in your region.
- Opportunity to provide statewide leadership in initiating and expanding STEM activities.
- Ongoing project implementation support provided by the NGCP National Leadership Team.
- Access to professional development to build organizational capacity.
Scenario One for a Potential Collaborative
Collaborative X serves a statewide region on the Gulf coast. The Convening Organization is a university that hosts a STEM summer program for girls, as well as other initiatives designed to encourage more women and to enter STEM fields.
The Collaborative Lead is a full-time university staff person and the director of the STEM summer program. The university has committed 10% of this person’s time to Collaborative activities. The coordinator is able to carry out most of the Collaborative work within her ongoing tasks, including making connections with other organizations that are working with gender equity and STEM, disseminating information about the project, and helping to plan events. The university program recognizes the need to work more closely with other universities, organizations, and businesses in the two-state region in order to be more effective in this field. Being a part of the NGCP helps the university achieve this goal.
The Collaborative Leadership team consists of seven individuals representing a variety of organizations across the state, including a science museum, representatives from the local Society of Women Engineers chapter, Girl Scout Council, and the state Department of Education. The leadership team members are able to spend a limited amount of time as part of their job roles helping the collaborative. Their organizations also see the benefit to being involved in the collaborative.
Scenario Two for a Potential Collaborative
Collaborative Y serves two small Northeastern states. The collaborative is based at a small girl-serving organization that provides after school and summer enrichment programs that include hands-on learning, mentors, and leadership opportunities in STEM.
The Collaborative Lead is the Convening Organization’s Executive Director and has a background in science education, regularly collaborating with other out-of-school-time programs for girls in STEM. Being a part of NGCP provides the convening organization with an opportunity to take regional leadership in initiating and expanding girls-in-STEM activities.
The Collaborative Leadership team consists of six individuals representing a variety of organizations across the two states, including a university admissions outreach manager, an AAUW board member, executive director of a local Boys and Girls Club, university professor, and a director on the Commission on the Status of Women.
Selected Collaboratives may elect, according to the needs and abilities expressed by the Collaborative Leadership Team, to partake in any of the following activities:Send Leadership Team members to the Collaboration Institute.
- Convene regular Leadership Team meetings, either virtually or in-person, recommended at least once per quarter.
- Develop a Champions Board, with recommended convening at least twice per year (online, in-person, via conference call or video conference).
- Hold events, such as: Kick-Off Conference, Collaboration Forum, Professional Development Forums, and Collaboration Conference.
- Administer mini-grants, if available.
- Outreach and dissemination, with an emphasis on reaching organizations that serve underrepresented girls.
- Release monthly or quarterly Collaborative newsletters.
- Participate in the NGCP's professional development offerings.
- Participate in project evaluation activities.