Florida Distance Learning Consortium
Girls Get IT! Newsletter Volume II Issue V
December 2007
In This Issue
:: New GGIT! Chapter in Miami-Dade
:: NASA Leads the Way in Professional Development
:: Tis' the Season for Technology
:: Visit Girls Get IT!!
:: Cool Career: Robotic Toy Inventor
:: Teachers Will Receive Bonus Pay Based on Test Scores
:: STEM Mini-Grants & Program Directory
:: After-School Programs Prove They ARE Important!
:: NEW Useful Links for Teachers, Students, & Parents
                                           Explore ~ Educate ~ Empower

GGIT!'s New Chapter in Miami Hits the Press!

 
 

Recently, the Miami Herald highlighted Girls Get IT! and our newest chapter that has flourished in Miami. The article emphasized our first event which took place at a local high school, the amazing  opportunities GGIT! can bring to the young ladies of our future, and the fantastic group of women who are running the program in Miami-Dade.

 

The first event held in Miami took place at John A. Ferguson Senior High. The coordinator, Christy Charters, invited professional women from the Information Technology (IT) field to an all day event that focused on educating groups of 30 girls in separate sessions. There was an esteemed panel that included Madeleine Garcia, Senior Director of Corporate Systems for Burger King, and Lilliam Vega, a Systems Analyst Programmer for Miami-Dade Fire Rescue to aid the young ladies in examples of careers that a person could attain if they were to get a degree in IT.

 

This event will be taking place at three other pilot schools including Central High, MAST, and Felix Varela Senior High. Our hope is for collaboration and recruitment to work hand-in-hand with bringing young ladies together to further educate themselves and others in both IT fields and science, engineering, and math. To plan your next adventure with GGIT!, Click Here!

 

We applaud all that our newest team members in Miami are doing to spread the word about all the awesome opportunities that the IT fields have to offer. We look forward to additional opportunities to work with students and making additional headway to advance our efforts and reach as many girls as we possibly can. If you are interested in participating in any of our events, becoming a mentor or role model, and/or serving in other ways in the Miami-Dade area, please contact Lourdes Whittington at LWhittington@dadeschools.net.

NASA Leads the Way in Professional Development

 

As the concern for the quality of education in the U.S. continues to plague the American people, NASA has taken the lead in providing opportunities for teachers to flourish. NASA offers several different professional development opportunities and grants for teachers and educational organizations.

 

Two different professional development workshops are offered by NASA. The closed workshop is organized by a school coordinator or a representative from an educational organization. The representative arranges to bring a group of teachers to NASA's Educator Resource Center (ERC) to attend a professional development session based on a specific topic of the group's choice. The ERC also offers an open session for any interested teachers. For more information on theses programs, Click Here!

 
NASA has long been an advocate for K-12 education. The agency provides programs that serve about 1,000 current science and mathematics educators a year, as well as host institutes for teachers just beginning their careers. NASA also offers grants for educators and educational institutions, including the NASA Opportunities for Visionary Academics, which works to create, develop and disseminate a national framework for enhancing science, mathematics and technology literacy for pre-service teachers. For more information about grants from NASA, Click Here!
 
NASA has also partnered with the U.S. Department of Engineering, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Science Foundation to create the Academies Creating Teacher Scientists program for professional development. Teachers are given an opportunity to work with top federal scientists on research projects and attend seminars and demonstrations to create lesson plans and activities for the classroom. The program lasts 4-8 weeks over three consecutive summers. The program was launched in 2004 and over 200 teachers have participated. To learn more, Click Here!

Tis' the Season for Technology

 

This year, give family and friends what they really want. These are some gifts that keep on giving!

 

Starting in the vast land of laptops, the ASUS Eee 4g Notebook is the perfect gift for the business people in your life. It's small enough for travelers to stash in their carry-on, and hold enough information to last through an event. Take it from me; this gift would be a fabulous addition to any hectic life. Face it - the three E's stand for Easy to learn, Easy to work, and Easy to play.

 

Over the past few years, consumers know the holiday season wouldn't be complete without an "i"something. Apple knocks our socks off again with the recently introduced iPhone and iTouch, and newly remodeled iPod Nano. All three of these wildly popular products can be nicely accompanied by the iHome docking system, which acts as a radio for your iPods, as well as an alarm clock system.

 

As for the gaming world, revolutionary is an understatement when describing the Wii game console. Ever since it hit stores last year, a never ending line has been wrapped around stores across America. Hot games this holiday season include Guitar Hero 3 'Legends of Rock' and "Rock Band". Boys and girls of all ages come together for the music through these exciting and interactive games. Rock on!

 
Say Cheese! The Sony Cyber-Shot Digital Camera is an absolute must for the snap-happy. The Cyber-Shot lets you automatically capture an image when a subject smiles. For more information, Click Here!

To visit GGIT! please click here

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

Cool Career: Robotic Toy Inventor

 
 

Did you ever wonder how that doll of yours "talks"? How do they make those little cars you race with controllers go that fast? How did they get robotic dogs and cats to really "bark" and "meow"? Some can even know your voice or learn new words. These amazing pets, cars, and friends have come a long way from the old stuffed animals and dolls that just sat on your bed.

 

All of these awesome toys starts in an inventor's imagination. These creative people make their drawings, ideas, and visions come to life by starting with a model called a "prototype" that they build. It's their starting point to bringing their toy to life where they can test it out and make improvements. Robotic toys are complicated, so knowing how things work, putting it all together, and getting the toy to act like the real thing means being a bit of an engineer. Even the best inventors need help from others. They usually get together a team of imaginative and artsy people ranging from designers to programmers, to figure out what will work and what will not. Sometimes even puppeteers, race car drivers, and real animals will be brought in to help make the toys as realistic as possible!

 

The coolest part of the inventors job is that working is always fun. Even when they're not physically creating something, you might find them in toy stores looking for fun and the next big idea. There's no specific requirement to become a robotic toy engineer, but being good at math and comfortable with computers helps! College degrees in engineering are also a plus!

Let your mind run free and start dreaming of what you could make! To find out more information, Click Here!

Want a Job When You Graduate?

Teachers Will Receive Bonus Pay Based on Test Scores

 

 
 

Recently, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the New York City Teacher's Union have agreed to a plan that will award teachers bonus pay based on test scores. Money will be awarded to high-needs schools that show a school-wide increase in test scores.

 

Each school will have a Compensation Committee, consisting of two teachers, the principal, and a principal appointee, The Committee will determine how to distribute the money, will have the option to divide the money evenly among union members or to single out and reward specific teachers. Distribution of the money based on seniority will not be allowed.

 

The bonuses will only be made available to high-needs schools that are largely affected by poverty. Mayor Bloomberg hopes this will give high-performing teachers incentive to work at underprivileged schools.

 

This year, 200 schools would be eligible to receive $20 million in bonuses, which will be paid with private money. Next year it is expected that over 400 schools will be eligible to receive a bonus, and it will be financed by the city.

 

This agreement is a major achievement for Mayor Bloomberg who has been advocating for extra pay for high-performing teachers for years. Randi Weingarten, president of the United Federation of Teachers, praised the program and feels that the concept promotes collaboration.

 

Merit-based and incentive plans are usually opposed by teacher unions, but these programs have been gaining popularity across the country.

 

The movement will be fueled by this plan being implemented in the nation's largest school district.  For more information, Click Here!

Inspirational Quote
 
All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
 
- Walt Disney



Florida STEM Mini-Grants and Program Directory

Do you have a collaborative idea within STEM education and need some additional funds to assist you? If so, join our team and receive up to $1,000 for your support. All you have to do is sign up to become part of our statewide Program Directory, and collaborate with another organization that is also in the Program Directory. It's that easy! To sign up, follow the short instructions below and be on your way to making connections you never thought you would!
 
For a more in depth overview of our mini-grants, Click Here!
 
SIGN UP FOR THE FLORIDA STEM PROGRAM DIRECTORY NOW!
 
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 are 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!

 

Note:

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!

After-School Programs Prove They ARE Important!

 
 
 

The results of the Promising After-School Programs Study are in! According to the data, disadvantaged students can gain a lot from high-quality after-school programs.

 

Not surprisingly, after a two year period, students that attend these after-school programs academically surpassed their peers who do not attend. This study is part of an emerging body of research that links participation in after-school programs to academic and social gains.

 

The Promising After-School Programs study was conducted across eight states, examining 35 different programs. All programs that were studied had been operating for at least three years and had a record of success. The students that participated in the studies were divided into three different groups. One group only participated in the after-school program, one group participated in multiple extracurricular activities, and one group rarely participated in any organized after-school activity.

 

After three years, the more engaged students performed better academically, behaviorally, and socially. The more-involved third and fourth graders scored twenty percentile points higher on mathematics standardized tests than the other students. These students also show an increase in self-esteem and self-confidence, improved grades and test scores, and a decrease in behavioral problems.  To read the full study, please Click Here!

What is Girls Get IT?
 
ggit
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, Students, & Parents

Teachers:
 
Smithsonian 
 

The Smithsonian site offers excellent lessons plans and tip to make science class engaging! You can search a variety of different resources, For all grades K-12. Click Here!

 
goENC.com
 

"The largest, most comprehensive resource for K-12 math and science educators" ENC offers math and science educators access to information about more than 27,000 print and multi-media curriculum resources and professional development materials. Web-based resources are only available to paid subscribers. Click Here!

 
Students:
 
Elmer's
 

Elmer's site offers helpful links to prepare and present a science fair project. It includes ideas, tips, and resources for other science-related topics. Click Here!

 
The Fun Works 
 

This site from Education Development Center is a career exploration library designed by and for youth ages 11 to 15. Funded by the National Science Foundation, it helps children connect their current interests, such as sports and music, to careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Click Here!

 
Parents:
 
Family TLC 
 

Tools to enhance the parent/child relationship based on the age of your child. Find activities for the both of you! Click Here!

 
Minti
 

Join this on-line community powered by parents. Find advice and answers to your questions from real parents just like you. Click Here!

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