Florida Distance Learning Consortium
Girls Get IT! Newsletter Volume II Issue I
August 2007
Welcome Back Teachers and Students!!!
In This Issue
:: Florida Girls Collaborative Update
:: President Bush Signs the COMPETES Act
:: Florida High School/High Tech
:: Visit GGIT!!
:: PBS as a Great Resource
:: Cisco Offers an Internship Program
:: GGIT, Florida STEM Program Directory
:: Grants for Teachers
                                           Explore ~ Educate ~ Empower


Girls Collaborative Update


On August 1st, a group of over 25 informal learning educators, gender equity experts, science and mathematics education representatives, educational policy experts, and private industry partners joined together to form a Board of Champions to support Florida's new Girls Collaborative Project. The Board of Champions for STEM education in Florida showed they are up to the task, already planning their first face-to-face meeting in Tampa, Florida in early November.  This Board was developed as part of the larger national effort for gender equity in STEM.  The new Board members were very excited about the National Girls Collaborative Project model and the opportunity to connect girl-serving organizations across the state through the online Program Directory and desiminate mini-grant funding to organizations to foster postitive collaboration opportunities.   

The Florida Girls Collaborative start up team is made up of 4 regional partners.  They include the Suncoast Girl Scout Council (representing 8 counties in Florida) Florida Community College of Jacksonville, and the American Association of University Women (AAUW) -one of the nation's leading voices promoting education and equity for women and girls.  The initiative is coordinated by Girls Get IT!, the overarching gender equity program for middle and high school girls across Florida in STEM.

"Each member of the core team brings unique talents, dedication and vision to the initiative and has the opportunity to touch thousands of girls' lives through this exciting new collaboration" stated Leah Cook, Statewide Project Director.
The Board of Champions Meeting and Kick Off Conference is currently being planned for Friday, November 9th, in Tampa, Florida.  More information will be forthcoming about the location.   For additional updates on the initiative Click Here!

New Funding from the Federal Government for STEM

President Bush Signs the COMPETES Act

On August 9, 2007 President Bush signed into law a bill that will promote successful classroom practices through federal grants and strengthen education in science and mathematics through improved teacher recruitment and training.

The law is based on recommendations of the National Academies' 2005 report, "Rising Above the Gathering Storm". It has been dubbed the COMPETES Act because it was designed to strengthen the quality of the U.S. workforce and protect the American economy against foreign competition.

The COMPETES Act authorizes $33.6 billion over fiscal years 2008-2010 for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs across the federal government.  One such program headed by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) is "Math Now". This program will have the National Academy of Sciences and the Secretary of the U.S. DOE form a national panel to identify promising practices in the teaching of STEM in secondary and elementary schools.

Other programs funded by the law include two new competitive grant programs within the U.S. DOE. The first is authorized for $125 million in 2008 and is aimed at expanding master's degrees in science and math related fields. The other, authorized for $151 million in 2008, will support programs that encourage undergraduates to obtain bachelor's degrees in science and math related fields and foreign languages while they are gaining teacher certification.

The law will also expand the Robert Noyce Scholarship Program, which provides grants of $10,000 a year to college students majoring in math and science related subjects who agree to teach in high-need schools after graduation. Funding will now be awarded for three years instead of the current limit of two, which will allow recipients more time to complete their teacher training.

The House, the Senate, and President Bush were all in accord with this legislation and were supported widely by business leaders.

John J. Castellani, the president of the Business Roundtable praised the congressional action saying, "if we are to maintain our competitive edge, we must improve the education our students receive in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  America's ability to compete in a 21st-century economy rests on our continued investments in math and science education."

For more information, please click here: Click Here!
Florida High School/High Tech Reaches Out to Students!

The Florida High School/High Tech (HS/HT) Program is designed to provide high school students with disabilities the opportunity to explore jobs or postsecondary education leading to technology-related careers.

The HS/HT program was created as a means of improving postsecondary outcomes for transition-age youth with disabilities. In 2007, the program provided services to 1,145 high school students with disabilities in 123 high schools and 31 counties.  Over 40% of enrolled students are girls pursuing technology related careers.


The program uses a variety of activities and innovative approaches to expose students to careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (referred to as the STEM careers) and other technology-based professions.  Among other strategies, the program achieves its objectives by maintaining high expectations, exposing youth to high-growth industries, facilitating youth development and leadership, and encouraging the involvement of family members and caring adults. At the conclusion of the 2006-2007 school year, 95% of graduating seniors continued their education, entered post secondary education or entered employment.


The Florida HS/HT Program incorporates a variety of activities addressing the full range of needs identified in the Guideposts for Success, a framework that the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) produced, with funds from the U.S. Department of Labor.  This report came from examining nearly three decades of research, demonstrations, and promising practices, including the experiences of HS/HT programs. To read more, please visit Click Here!

HS/HT is an initiative of the US Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). In Florida, it is a program of The Able Trust, also known as the Florida Governor's Alliance for the Employment of Citizens with Disabilities. It is funded in part by the Florida Department of Education Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.


To visit GGIT! please click here

If you would like to forward this newsletter to a friend, Click Here!

Point, Click, Teach! With PBS Teachers.org


PBS Teachers.org makes teaching as simple as a click of a button with their extensive website featuring high-quality educational resources.


The site has mapped out simple ways for teachers to bring the most educational material to their students through lesson plans, teaching activities, video assets, and interactive games that are available for every subject grades K-12. The website can also be used as a gateway for local resources and services offered by your local PBS station, as well as their national on-air programming to correlate with your specific lesson planning needs.


In addition to the plethora of resources for teachers on Teachers.org there is the PBS Kids site. This site offers games and activities that are sure to keep kids entertained, all while being educational and enriching at the same time!
Teachers, Students, and Parents - come check out everything that PBS has to offer Click Here!

Cisco Offers an Internship Program to Students

The Cisco Networking Academy students at Miami-Dade County Public Schools are offered an opportunity to participate in an Internship program that allows the students to showcase their technical aptitude. This internship program was developed by the staff of the Infrastructure and Systems Support department in conjunction with the Cisco Networking Academy from Miami Lakes Educational Center. The Cisco Academy Apprentice Program (C.A.A.P.) Internship has concluded after 6 weeks with a culminating Presentation program which was held at the SBAB Auditorium on July 23, 2007.


Twenty-eight students participated from Miami Central, Miami Lakes Ed. Center, N.M.B., American, Miami Palmetto Sr., John A. Ferguson Sr. High Schools and Miramar High. Under the direction of Davion Q. Crumel (CAAP Supervisor) and Marlon Vernon (CAAP Instructor) these student interns engaged in employability and technical curriculum, hands-on experiential learning, and a team-based project and presentation. During their final presentations of the New School Site Infrastructure (NSSI) Project, staff was on hand to capture the moment which will be reproduced on DVD. Mr. Freddie Woodson, Associate Superintendent - School Operations, stopped by to address the student interns on behalf of Dr. Rudy Crew.


All five teams of CAAP Interns are to be commended for their hard work and dedication in completing their projects, however, there can only be one winning team. The team that won this year created a prototype school site called Okeechobee Sr. High and their members included Daniel Saleh (Team Leader), Jennifer Arbelaez, Edgardo Agosto, Carlos Gomez, Nelson Pradera, and Rigoberto Santos. They were awarded gift cards from the Cheese Cake Factory, Starbucks, and American Express. Additionally, Dr. Sylvia Diaz and Linda Trupia were on hand to present one raffle winning Intern a brand new laptop. That winner was Allen Feliz from Miami Central Sr. Out of the 28 Interns that participated this summer, 7 are 2007 graduates who are scheduled to interview for part-time positions with the district. Many of the 21 remaining students expressed interests in returning to CAAP in 2008.


A special Thank You goes out to our W.R. Thomas Middle School family that housed the internship program. For every individual that contributed to the success of the CAAP Internship Program by thought, word, or deed, a debt of gratitude is owed. It STILL takes a village...


For more information about this program visit Click Here!

Florida STEM Program Directory- Register your Program Today!

The online Florida STEM Program Directory lists organizations and programs that focus on motivating girls to pursue education and 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. 
Organizations that serve young women and are interested in bringing more STEM resources to them also encouraged to sign up!
The Directory contains program descriptions, resources available within each organization, program and/or organization needs, and contact information.  What better way to promote your program, resources and find other organizations in your area to collaborate with?

Having Your Program Listed in the Directory Has Several Advantages:

  1. Anyone with internet access can find out about your program.
  2. You can view other programs in your area and across the state.
  3. Your organization can do a search and compare needs and resources in your area and across the state.
  4. Your organization is eligible for a mini-grant for innovative projects.

Don't wait - Sign up today! 

Here's How:

 Use the following instructions to create a new user account and then enter a program's information into the NGCP program directory.

  • Click Here!!
  • Click "Register New User" which is located on the far left.
  • Fill out the form and click "Submit"
  • On the next page, click "New Program"
  • Fill out the form and click "Submit"

That's it!  Your program will be listed and can be searched by anyone with access to the internet.  It's that easy!


Once a new program's information has been submitted and approved,  it will appear in the public Directory for anyone to search. 


What better way to highlight the great work in STEM that you are doing in your community!



In order to be eligible for mini grant funding, your program MUST be listed in the Program Directory.  Once listed, you are encouraged to submit a proposal for consideration of funding.  For mini grant submission guidelines, Click Here!


Check It Out - There Are Many Grants for Teachers and Non Profit Organizations!!


 In a number of our conversations with teachers and other non profit organizations, we have learned that many lack the necessary funds to incorporate more innovative teaching strategies in the classroom or their program. 


There are many grants available that will help non profits, teachers and schools get the training, books, computers, software, and other supplies that they need to improve their student achievement in reading, math, and all other subjects.  These funds are available through many different organizations including, the state and federal government, parent associations, foundations and more.


Girls Get IT! has compiled several sites below that have information for these types of opportunities across the country.

A fantastic resource for teachers, which is supported by First Lady, Laura Bush, is Teachers Count.  This website offers a wealth of support for teachers, from lesson plans to stories from award winning teachers. Click Here!
Grants Alert offers a database of grant providers where the user can select specific criteria and be linked with the appropriate funders. Click Here!
The US Department of Education's website also has funding information.  This year alone the US DOE will give nearly $37 billion to states and school districts to improve K-12 schools and meet the special needs of students.  Also close to $2.4 billion will be given to help strengthen teaching and learning in colleges and other postsecondary institutions. Click Here! 
What is Girls Get IT?
Florida Girls Get IT is a partnership between Florida Distance Learning Consortium, Cisco Systems, Inc.,  Florida's Community College and University system to create gender equity in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) & Information Technology (IT).
Why does Florida need this initiative?
To remain competitive, Florida must offer a highly trained workforce. Nearly 75% of future jobs in the United States will require the use of technology, yet fewer than 33% of students in computer courses are female and women comprise only 20% of IT professionals and 13% of engineers.
Contact: Leah Cook, Project Director
Phone: 850.922.3359
Fax: 850.922.3109
Useful Links for Teachers, Parents and Students

Teacher Magazine
A website especially for teachers! A place to interact with fellow educators, post blogs, and read articles that may enhance your educational ability.To check it out, Click Here!
Tools For Understanding
This site is intended for educators who teach mathematics and are interested in integrating common technologies into their daily instruction. Our target audience includes intermediate and middle-grade teachers and secondary special educators. While much of this site focuses on mathematics, there are a number of lessons and activities that are intended to blend mathematics with writing and make use of mathematical reasoning in other content areas such as social studies. Click Here!
Family Education
This website can help parents with their children no matter what age they are! It offers guidance for parents dealing with anything from infants to teenagers. There are also message boards that connect parents with one another to discuss any issues they may be dealing with. Click Here!
Family Corner

Get good, solid advice on everything from teething, fitness, teenagers, home decorating, and harvesting your herb garden. This website offers ideas for any kind of problem or event that may be going on in your household. Click Here!



Contains a "we hear that" and a "girl to girl" section where girls tell their stories and write down their thoughts on topics twice a month.  Also includes a "she's living it" section where women act as mentors to younger girls. Click Here!


Astro-Venture is an educational, interactive, multimedia Web environment highlighting NASA careers and research in the areas of Astronomy, Geology, Biology, and Atmospheric Sciences. Students in grades 5-8 are transported to the future where they role play NASA occupations, as they search for and build a planet with the necessary characteristics for human habitation. Click Here! 

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Florida Distance Learning Consortium | Girls Get IT! | Tallahassee | FL | 32310