FGCP Logo 


Florida Girls Collaborative Project Newsletter

Advancing the Agenda in Gender Equity for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

In This Issue

Save the Date Annual Conference

Girl Scouts of West Central Florida

Girls and Information Technology

Mini-Grants Awarded

Where the Girls Are










Florida Girls Collaborative Project Annual Conference

Save the Date


Orlando, FL



The goal of the National Girls Collaborative Project is to maximize access to shared resources within projects and with public and private sector organizations and institutions interested in expanding girls' participation in STEM.


Join us at the Annual Conference to: 

  • Find out about future mini-grant funding
  • Learn about successful STEM projects
  • Collaborate and network with other organizations
  • Learn how to incorporate evaluation into your STEM programs
  • Use the program directory to market your organization

To find out more...  click here









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.






Girls and Information Technology

The information superhighway is changing exponentially, even as you read this sentence. 


Did you know that the average 21 year old has watched 20,000 hours of TV, played 10,000 hours of video games, and sent or received over 250,000 text messages or emails? 


In 2006, Google was searched over 2.7 billion times each month.


Are you still trying to figure out MySpace?  230,000 users join MySpace each day.  If MySpace were a country, it would be the 8th largest country in the world.


 The average student spends 3 1/2 hours online each day.  Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube are some of the most popular sites visited.


Use technology to engage girls in STEM and STEM career fields.


Use YouTube to educate yourself on the plight of students in a global world. 

A Vision of Students Today

Did you Know 2.0


Use YouTube to start discussions with girls about gender stereotypes and science.

Science Genius Girl


FairerScience - Women in Science Blogs provides information about blogs by women in scientific fields. Girls interested in STEM fields can read what real women in science are writing about their lives as scientists and students. The blogs also allow girls to network with women in STEM fields.  


Have girls create their own webpages, videos, and blogs.


Use curriculum and software like Microsoft Expressions mentioned in this newsletter.  Learn about social networking and safe blogging.


Find out more about teens and their internet habits from the Pew Internet and American Life Project








Add your Program to the Online Program Directory

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



During the spring of 2007, the Florida Distance Learning Consortium and Girls Get IT stepped up to lead the National Girls Collaborative Project in Florida.  Over the last 14 months, their efforts in Florida have brought girl-serving STEM programs, business leaders in STEM, educators from K-12 and higher education together to begin the work of building a stronger, more collaborative network to help close the STEM gender gap in Florida.  

As of June 1, 2008, leadership of the Girls Collaborative Project efforts in Florida will become the responsibility of the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida (GSWCF).  The National Girls Collaborative Project sends our sincere appreciation to the Florida Distance Learning Consortium, Girls Get IT, Leah Cook and John Opper for the work done so far and hope you will join us in welcoming the new leadership team with GSWCF as they assume project management of National Girls Collaborative Project activities in Florida.

The National Girls Collaborative Project comes to life in states or regions across the country because of local leadership efforts of organizations like the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida. If you have any questions about present or future Florida Girls Collaborative Project activities in Florida, feel free to contact Amy Foster, GSWCF Director of Program Services, at  afoster@gswcf.org or 800. 881.4475 ext 210. 


You also won't want to miss the Florida Girls Collaborative Project Annual Conference on October 10, 2008 at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL.  See the article in this newsletter edition for more details! 


We hope you find this newsletter filled with information and resources that helps move your organization forward in advancing the agenda in gender equity in science, technology, engineering and math.  If you would like to see a future article featuring your successful program or strategy please e-mail afoster@gswcf.org



Mini-Grants Awarded for 2008 

girls using beakers 

Ornithology 101: Bird Detectives
Collaborating Organizations:

St. Marks Refuge Association and Astoria Park Elementary School
Girls Served:

Grades 4-5

This after-school program combined classroom and schoolyard activities, presentations with permanently disabled birds of prey, and birding on school grounds and at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. The 20 4th and 5th grade girl participants used binoculars and field guides to identify and carefully observe birds, and partner with scientists to collect meaningful data. The program combined activities and materials from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Bird Sleuth curriculum and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Junior Birder Program, to engage girls in the process of science by asking and answering their own questions based on observations, data collection, and publishing their original research.
Learn more about St. Mark's Refuge
Learn more about Astoria Park Elementary School
Girls Go Green and Stormwater Reuse (FSGE)
Collaborating Organizations:

Florida Technical College of Engineering; Society of Women Engineers, Space Coast Section; and Girl Scouts of West Central Florida
Girls Served:

Grades K-12

The Florida Showcase Green Envirohome (FSGE) provides hands-on learning, education, research, and self-development for women and men and will demonstrate the economic and environmental benefits of building green. In the "Girls Go Green and Stormwater Reuse" event, girls will learn to connect STEM to the real world by touring the FSGE home, meeting female role models, and learning about stormwater reuse and how to protect their environment. On the tour they will see five green roofs, four cisterns, solar power, wind generation, flexipave, landscaping with Florida natives, Engineering design, architecture, and more. The workshops will provide a hands-on look into career opportunities for women in STEM.
Learn more about Florida Technical College

Galactic Girls Operation SMART Summer Camp
Collaborating Organizations:

Operation SMART Summer Camp (Girls Inc. of Pinellas) and Mad Science of West and South Tampa Bay
Girls Served:

Ages 5-13

Girls Incorporated of Pinellas operates a ten week Operation SMART summer day camp for 225 girls. The camp's mission is to "inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold." This innovative camp will include a combination of specialized STEM tracks with specific themes (earth sciences, marine biology, chemistry, and astronomy) designed to be holistic in structure, experiential in learning style, and conducive to new exposure to STEM topics. The Galactic Girls track will be interwoven into a broad array of camp activities, including a kick-off Astronaut Academy Fair, five educational field trips to area museums and nature preserves, relevant computer-based learning curricula, healthy eating classes, recycling projects, and more.
Learn more about Mad Science
Learn more about Girls Inc. of Pinellas
Introducing Girls to Engineering Workshop 2009
Collaborating Organizations:

The PINK Team (Robotics Outreach)
Girls Served:

Grades 3-6

 "Introducing Girls to Engineering" is a one-day workshop that will include hands-on lab activities to introduce 500 girls to engineering concepts and engineering and technology career choices. The program also provides up to 150 parents with information on how to encourage their daughters in science and engineering career fields. The grant helped provide 120 tuition fee waivers for participants and bus transportation for 71 of these girls and five teachers from two Title I schools. Hands-on lab activities will include Alkaseltzer Rockets, Programming LEGO Robots, Design a Dessert, Straw Structures, and Truss Bridges. The workshop engages around 120 women engineers as volunteers to maximize the amount of one-on-one student to engineer exposure.
Learn more about FIRST Robotics and the Pink Team






Where the Girls Are


girls on computerAAUW has recently released the most comprehensive analysis to date on trends in educational achievement by gender, race, ethnicity, and income. This report shows that girls and boys from the fourth grade through the end of college are making steady educational gains. An analysis of data from all 50 states indicates that girls' successes do not come at the expense of boys. This report is also the first to analyze gender differences within economic and ethnic categories. The data show that family income is more closely associated with academic success than with gender.

The report,
Where the Girls Are: The Facts About Gender Equity in Education, presents a comprehensive look at girls' educational achievement during the past 35 years, paying special attention to the relationship between girls' and boys' progress. Analyses of results from national standardized tests such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the SAT and ACT college entrance examinations, as well as other measures of educational achievement, provide an overall picture of trends in gender equity from elementary school to college and beyond.  Download a copy of the full report here.




Microsoft Expression Web Software
Microsoft has donated their Expression Web Software to the National Girls Collaborative Project to distribute to non-profit organizations working with high school girls. The software allows students to learn how to build a Web site from the ground up. Tutorial and curriculum units available at www.microsoft.com/facultyconnection/precollegiate. Click here to request a copy of the software 


The FunWorks

Three hundred middle school students from around the country worked on the Funworks Web site, created by the Education Development Center to link students' interests and hobbies to future careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. The site - chock full of graphics, photos, interactive games and more - can also be a wealth of information for guidance counselors, teachers, and parents.


Design and Discovery

Looking for a way to get girls interested in engineering? Design and Discovery is a free program from Intel that includes a complete, downloadable and reproducible curriculum as well as related resource materials and an implementation guide. Design and Discovery engages students in hands-on engineering and design activities intended to foster knowledge, skill development, and problem solving in the areas of science and engineering. 


U.S. House of Representatives Celebrates Women in STEM
On June 4, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution recognizing the efforts of outstanding women scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians in the U.S. and around the world. The resolution found that schools must continue to cultivate female scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians from every background; and there is a disproportionately low number of female students pursuing careers in STEM, so it is crucial that we focus attention on increasing the participation of women.


New Arctic Web Site from the Exploratorium
The Ice Stories: Dispatches from Polar Scientists Web site, developed by the Exploratorium, allows site visitors to meet penguin biologists, glaciologists, cosmologists, geologists, and marine scientists working in Antarctica and the Arctic. The site features dynamic information about the effect of climate change on the Arctic, people of the Arctic, polar geography, Antarctic projects, news stories, and more.

Design Squad Trash to Treasure Competition
The PBS Design Squad is accepting design submissions inventions that recycle, reuse, and re-engineer everyday materials into an out-of-the-box invention. The invention submissions should move things or people, protect the environment, or be used for indoor or outdoor play. Grand Prize winners will receive $10,000, a Dell laptop, a trip to Boston to see the design built, and an appearance on the Design Squad PBS show or Web site. Submissions will be accepted online through August 31, 2008.

Women in Science Booklet Download
The Women in Science Booklet, created by Science Magazine in partnership with the L'Oréal Corporate Foundation, presents a collection of inspirational stories from women in all walks of life whose common passion is science. The booklet is intended to motivate and inspire young women to pursue a career in science or engineering.



BrainCake is one of many programs the Girls, Math & Science Partnership sponsors.  This cool Web site is designed for girls around the globe who are interested in changing the world with math and science!





 women using computer

NGCP webcasts will be taking July and August off, returning on September 10, 2008. All previous NGCP webcasts are archived and accessible on the NGCP Web site. Webcasts have focused on a variety of topics relevant to girls in STEM, including evaluating girl-serving STEM outreach activities, applying for NGCP mini-grants, and reaching underserved populations in STEM. For example, the November 2007 webcast presented 'Effective Strategies for Working with Girls in STEM'. Sarita Nair- Pillai, Education Development Center, presented current research on engaging girls in STEM, including mentoring, experiential learning and fostering persistence. Jill Denner, Girl Game Company, and Zakiyyah Kareem, Girlstart, provided real-life examples of implementing these research-based strategies in their girl- serving STEM programs. 


3 logos


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