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Florida Girls Collaborative Project Newsletter
Advancing the Agenda in Gender Equity for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
In This Issue
Second Life
Program Directory
Conference Registration Now Open
E-Girl Project
Webcasts
Do you have a Second Life presence?
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Second LifeŽ is a 3-D virtual world created by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by millions of residents from around the globe.

From the moment you enter the World you'll discover a vast digital continent, teeming with people, entertainment, experiences and opportunity.

You'll also be surrounded by the Creations of your fellow residents. Because residents retain intellectual property rights in their digital creations, they can buy, sell and trade with other Residents. 
 

 Many organizations are using the Second Life Grid today to enhance their online presence and productivity by focusing on internal business uses such as training and simulation. Others engage with their customers through interviews, recruiting, and product research. You can reduce travel costs and downtime by substituting use of the Second Life Grid for real world events and meetings.
 
Don't you want to be where the girls are you are trying to reach?

Effective Collaboration
The Second Life Grid enables participants in different environments and locations to collaborate in real time in 3D space. You can walk through a new piece of equipment, engage with a scripted training simulation, or cooperatively design a new workspace.
Improved Communication
The Second Life Grid provides multiple channels of communication, including images, audio, video, text and voice, with both groups and individuals. The platform supports multiple languages, and real-time text chat translators are available. Educators are using the Second Life Grid as a platform of choice for a range of distance learning options from entire virtual campuses, to classes, office hours, meetings and presentations. A visible indicator of speech and spatial 3D-voice makes it easy to identify the speaker from among those present.

Enhanced Engagement with your Customers or Audience
Second Life Grid enables a unique, two-way opportunity for direct engagement with your customers or audience. Unlike most traditional Web sites, this virtual world platform encourages high engagement times with participants. Many organizations have taken advantage of this 3D interaction space and high engagement times for focus groups, customer research and feedback, recruiting and interviews, and other practices.
 
Reduced Business
Costs
Save expensive travel and business costs through the use of the Second Life Grid. This virtual world solution enables your organization to establish a private or public centralized 3D meeting space where participants can communicate, collaborate and present using voice and text in real-time. Meet with global partners at your own branded virtual headquarters. Participants from around the world can connect together daily for a fraction the cost of video conferencing solutions or airline tickets.
 
For more information about the Second Life Grid and how to create your own presence click here.

 
 
Add your Program to the Online Program Directory
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The online program directory lists programs and reosurces which encourage girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  The purpose of the directory is to help organizations and individuals network, share resources, and collaborate on STEM-related projects for girls. 
 
  The directory contains:
  • Program descriptions  with web site links
  • Program resources available
  • Program needs
  • Potential collaboration opportunities
With the online program directory you can:
  • Enter a program for inclusion in the directory
  • Sign up for the e-newsletter listserv
  • Search programs using various criteria

 

 
 
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   Girl Scouts of West Central Florida

Girl Scouts of West Central Florida is the lead agency for the Florida Girls Collaborative Project.  GSWCF serves 8 counties, 33,000 girls and 13,000 adults.  Girl Scouts introduces girls of every age to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with activities that are relevant to everyday life. Whether they're discovering how a car's engine runs, becoming math whizzes, or learning about careers in STEM fields, girls are moving forward into the future.   
 

 Conference Registration Now Open

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October 10, 2008  9 AM-3 PM
University of Central Florida
Student Union
Orlando, FL
 
This annual conference promises something for everyone; whether your organization is already offering STEM programs or you are just learning what STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) is.
  • Learn about the National Girls Collaborative Project.
  • Network with other professionals to share resources and collaborate with.
  • Add evaluation your programs to prove its effectiveness.
  • Learn how to successfully market STEM programs to girls and their parents.
  • Explore the expo area to find out more about other organizations.
Best of all, this daylong conference is FREE. 
Continental breakfast and lunch are provided.
 
For session details and to register, visit the National Girls Collaborative Project Web site.  For your convenience, a tentative agenda, hotel information, directions, and maps are all included on the registration page.  Session descriptions are osted and an interest indicator to select preferred workshops will be emailed to you after your registration is received.
 
If you would like more information about the conference or to showcase your organization, please contact Amy Foster, Collaborative Lead, at afoster@gswcf.org, or 800.881.4475.



E-Girl Project
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The 2006 National Academy of Sciences publication Rising above the Gathering Storm is a response to the realization that the US is losing its worldwide competitive edge in science and technology. The article demonstrates a vital change is necessary as the US educational system engages in attracting and retaining more women and minorities in STEM fields. Specific goals and mechanisms are outlined and emphasize collaboration among universities, private industry and governmental agencies.  One approach is the use of mass media including television, the internet, and small screen technologies in both informal and formal educational strategies to enhance public understanding of science and technology while increasing the workforce in these occupations.    
 
The National Science Foundation and many STEM professional organizations have monitored a downward trend since the mid 1990's of women entering STEM disciplines with the exception of the biological sciences. There was a 70% decline in the number of freshman women choosing computer science between 2000-2005 (NCWIT, 2006) and in the best cases only 20% of undergraduate engineering students are women. Many approaches have been tried to reverse this trend and increase recruitment and retention of girls and women. These range from science summer camps to reality TV to online mentoring. These programs have had little to moderate success when compared to the impact of forensic science TV programs. Women now comprise 70%-90% of undergraduate and graduate students in forensic sciences.  European countries and the UK have shown that TV programs attract girls into the STEM disciplines.  (Lieberman, LS  SWE: Society for Women Engineers Magazine, Summer, 2007:97-99.)

My colleagues (screenwriter, director, producer, actor, scientists and engineers) and I are working on the E-GIRL Project to develop a TV program to attract girls into engineering. We collected original data and have analyzed 305 girl surveys about TV and internet viewing behavior and intent to go into STEM disciplines.  Approximately 55% of adolescent respondents watch CSI -type programs and 65% of these students began to watch them at age 14 or younger. The programs are written for the prime time age group of 18-35 years but clearly have a much broader viewing audience. They routinely represent 4-6 of the weekly top ten Nielsen-rate shows.  Students report that they watch these shows for the mystery and plot and characters and only secondarily for the science content. We will be submitting the survey data and implications for publication in the next month.
I invite readers of this Newsletter to contact me with ideas about the E-GIRL Project and related projects.
Leslie Sue Lieberman, Ph.D.
llieberm@mail.ucf.edu    407.823.5142
Director, Women's Research Center
University of Central Florida 
Orlando, FL 32816-0995
 
 
 
Webcasts
 
asian girl with test tubeNGCP September Webcast

Effective Strategies for Working with Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (Part 2)
September 10, 2008
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific

This webcast is a follow-up event to our November 2007 webcast. We will discuss relevant research about working effectively with girls in STEM and highlight two program models that are successfully integrating research-based strategies into their girl-serving STEM programs. The November 2007 webcast recording and summary publication are both available online.
 
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The Florida Girls Collaborative Project is a collaborative effort funded through the National Girls Collaborative Project and the National Science Foundation.  Partners of the National Girls Collaborative Project are featured above.  Agencies involved in the leadeship of the Florida Collaborative include Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, Girls Inc. of Pinellas, University of Central Florida and the Women's Research Center, AAUW, and Girl Scouts of Apalachee Bend.  To learn more about the National Girls Collaborative Project or to contact one of the above agencies
click here.
Florida Girls Collaborative Project | 5002 West Lemon Street | PO Box 18066 | Tampa | FL | 33679