|Girls Get IT! Newsletter
||Volume II Issue VII|
| Explore ~ Educate ~ Empower|
African American's Contributions to STEM are Tremendous and Growing!
In recognition of Black History Month, Girls Get
IT! would like to take this opportunity to highlight the
achievements of outstanding individuals and organizations in the
African American community. The Florida African American Education
Alliance (FAAEA) is one of these exceptional organizations.
They recently held their Annual Issues Summit and Recognition Program
in Orlando. This summit, held on January 20-21 (Martin Luther King Jr.
Day), was designed to recognize and celebrate the advancements,
accomplishments, and successes of minority students, teachers,
administrators and community leaders. Nominations were requested for
these exemplary individuals from each school district, community
college, college, and community organizations from across the state of
Florida. Winners were selected from among over 250 finalists.
outstanding young female is Carissa White. Carissa White is a
Middleton High School student who has experienced academic success
while taking an extremely difficult course-load. She thrives on a
challenge and does not stop until she has met every objective and goal.
As a member of her school's Biotechnology program, she has studied gene
splicing, genetics, and DNA. She is a well-rounded student,
participating in extracurricular activities, both in school and in the
community. She is a member of the Future Farmers of America, National
Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, Future Business
Leaders of America, and Key Club. In addition to being full of energy
in school, she takes time out to volunteer with Metropolitan Ministries
(homeless shelter). Within the ministry, she organizes the clothing
distribution and the soup kitchen. Not only does she donate time to the
needy, but she stays abreast of the latest political issues by becoming
involved in political campaigns. Her talents extend to playing piano,
softball, and volleyball. Within the next few months, she will be
representing Middleton in the Miss Teenage Tampa Pageant. If Carissa
had to name one weakness, she would say that it is math, although no
one would believe it because she strives to maintain academic
excellence regardless of the task. When she was experiencing trouble in
math, she made it a point with the encouragement of her parents to seek
help. She attended math labs at her local community college to ensure
that her grade did not fall below her own expectations. Her current
grade point average is a 4.4. As one can see, she does not allow a
"can't do" attitude to penetrate her spirit.
FAAEA was formed to partner with minority students, parents, teachers,
educational institutions and communities to improve educational
opportunities and students achievement. They are certain that if all of
these individuals focus on "all that is good" minority students will be
able to fulfill a prophesy that will inspire them to achieve their
highest potential and beyond.
year, FAAEA has created a program that will attract minorities to the
field of aerospace and motivate them to participate in the fields of
STEM. Through this program, the organization looks to change minority
students' perception regarding their abilities in these fields.
With a positive attitude and support from the people around them,
surely these students can go to Mars and back.
Director of Girls Get IT! Leah Cook recently witnessed the launch of
the Space Shuttle Endeavor at Cape Canaveral and came away from the
experience not only amazed at how far man kind has come in the past 100
years but excited to see where we can reach in the next century with
the advancements in STEM.
role models like Mae Jemison-the first woman of color to enter
space-there seems to be a growing positive influence behind minority
students. Jemison always followed her dreams, undaunted by the lack of
positive role models in her field or roadblocks to women and
minorities. Her positive attitude and high achievements in the
field of science is surely what landed her a position at NASA in 1987.
Like the FAAEA, Jemison is committed to ensuring that science and
technology fields represent full gender, ethnic and social diversity.
Johnson, Chair of the Board of Directors of FAAEA commented on the
importance of recognizing the amazing accomplishments of African
American Women. "African Americans have a rich and profound legacy that
has allowed our nation as a whole to enjoy an improved quality of
life. In acknowledging the significant contributions of
minorities, it will inspire future generations to push further to reach
their highest potential." With the help of Julia and the staff of
the FAAEA, there is no doubt that Florida will be producing an
equal to Mae Jemison very soon.
Girls Can Have Beauty and Brains!
By Eunice Cofie, Miss Black Florida USA 2008
beauty queens are not seen as being smart or brainy. Society seems to
think that the two don't quite go together. But as the reigning Miss
Black Florida USA 2008, I am here to prove everyone wrong. You can have
both brains and beauty. I have always had a love for science. As a
young kid, I would wake up early just enough to catch PBS's chemistry
show before the Saturday morning cartoons. This love has led me to earn
a degree in chemistry/molecular biology, develop my own cosmetic line
called Nuekie as well as pursue a career in medicine. My journey into
the field of science has proved to be quite an interesting one. My
first introduction to science was as a first grader at Bond Elementary
School. My father heard that my school would be hosting a science fair
and he thought it would be a good idea for me to participate. So my
father and I came up with charting the growth of corn as a project. My
dad helped me design and implement the project, from planting the corn
seeds to measuring and documenting the growth of the corn stalk. To my
surprise, entering the science fair was a success; I won first place! I
believe that my father's encouragement and my win were just what I
needed to boost my interest in the sciences.
flame of my interest in science continued to grow! My parents later put
me in an engineering/inventing-focused program on the weekends at
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU). I was so
intrigued with the activities in this program because I had the
opportunity to use Legos, which were the fad at the time, to create
machines. As a final project in the program, we were told that we would
have to invent a machine that could be useful to society. Well, I knew
from personal experience at night that I would sweat a lot. So I
figured that it would be great to create a bed with an internal fan to
cool me down on those hot nights. I took the motor out my brother's
paint spinner toy and put two popsicles sticks on the spinner. Then I
placed my new fan in a mini-cardboard box bed and glued my net mattress
on top. I popped some batteries in the motor, placed my Barbie doll on
the mattress and turned it on. I was amazed; my fan really was in
motion. Wow, talk about necessity being the mother of invention!
was very proud of myself when I presented my invention to everyone in
the program. It gave me a sense of pride within myself to take an idea
and actually bring
it into manifestation. I realized science wasn't has as hard as people
thought and I learned how much I enjoyed it. Because of my confidence,
I allowed myself to be exposed to various areas of science as teenager
from competing in national science competitions to creating science
exhibits for the local science center. Science has created endless
possibilities for me. The same skills that I use in science, I can use
them in any arena, including pageants. I deem it very important for
parents and teachers to encourage girls to pursue careers in the field
of science by exposing them to all that it has to offer. By doing this,
we can ensure the closure of the gender gap of women in science,
technology, engineering and math careers.
Bring Mad Science to Your School or Home!
Science is an international science enrichment program that has
recently teamed up with NASA. Together they strive to emphasize the
importance of science and technology hoping to inspire kids from a
young age to pursue careers in science, technology,
engineering and math related fields. They have succeeded to spark
children's imagination with fun interactive programs such as in-class
workshops, after-school programs, birthday parties, special events and
summer programs. With a variety of programs they are able to tailor
their programs to appeal to children ranging from preschool to middle
before 1993 when Mad Science was incorporated into a franchise; it
began with two teenage boys, Ariel and Ron Shlien. They wanted to have
fun while making money, so they started doing science shows for camps
and birthday parties. And over 20 years later Mad Science has grown to
the international program it is today. Its headquarters are located in
Montreal, Canada and with locations across the United States and 22
countries world wide, Mad Science is bound to be located in your
backyard. They have nine locations throughout Florida ranging from the
Big Bend area to Miami. To find locations in Florida, Click Here!
October, Mad Science launched programs in Duval, St. Johns and Clay
Counties and has been growing at tremendous speed in Florida. In the
near future Mad Science will be featured at the Home and Patio Show
Feb. 28-March 2nd in Jacksonville, FL with a 2,000 sq. ft.
Mad Science Laboratory. All across Florida Mad Science features after
school programs with their partners, the NASA Academy of Future Space
Explorers, in a number of schools. This academy is designed to ignite
children's interest about Earth, the planets, and space. Mad Science is
currently designing a series of workshops called FCAT PACK for Florida 5th graders. This new program will be introduced in fall 2008 to help kids excel in science portion of the FCAT.
Mad Science online for information about how to bring their programs to
your school or home. Their Web site gives details about additional
benefits of the program, including live science show videos,
locations of your local Mad Science representative, and Kids Club
online-where your child can log on to win prizes, a science trivia
challenge, and much more! To check out what Mad Science is all about, Click Here!
To visit GGIT! please click here
If you would like to forward this newsletter to a friend, Click Here!
Tallahassee Takes off with Math & Science!
On February 6th, Girls Get It! (GGIT!) and the Florida Girls Collaborative Project (FGCP) hosted the Tallahassee Takes Off With Math and Science forum sponsored by the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science in Tallahassee, Florida.
based organizations from across the Big Bend area attended the event
and were joined by representatives from the Florida Department of
Education and Cisco Systems, Inc. Participants were inspired by local
high school senior Netia McCray as she told of her achievements in STEM
and the creation of Science Days, an afterschool program for African
American elementary and middle school students. To find out more
about Science Days, click here.
in attendance had the opportunity to meet and network with other local
programs advocating gender equity in STEM education. They were also
given the opportunity to explore our online Program Directory and
register their respective programs. We currently have over 69
programs registered within the state of Florida and hope to have over
100 by summer. A number of new programs have been recently registered, Click Here to find a program in your area and begin collaborating today and receive a mini grant from us to get started!
Get IT! would like to thank Crispers for providing us with an
assortment of sandwiches and salads. Everything was delicious and we
look forward to working with them again in the future.
Historically Black Colleges & Universities Memories Are Online NOW!
dating back to the 1800's regarding Historically Black Colleges and
Universities (HBCU) can now be viewed online thanks to a convenient
digital collection recently made available to the public. The
collection includes over 1,000 scanned pages and represents HBCU
libraries first collaborative effort to make historic collections
digitally available. The
collection also includes photographs, university correspondence,
manuscripts, images of campus buildings, alumni letters, memorabilia,
and programs from campus events.
These documents represent HBCUs as cultural, social,
and political institutions from the early 1800's thru today, and are a
wonderful resource for the public.
To view the collection, Click Here!
|Just for Teachers: "Teacher Talk"
Florida Department of Education and the Florida Education Channel have
partnered together to provide Florida Educators with programming for
teachers by teachers. "Teacher Talk" is a wonderful resource and will air its eighth installment this month, featuring an
interview with Florida Education Commissioner Eric Smith, coverage of a
unique program being implemented by Palm Beach County National Board
Certified Teachers, and the latest education news. In addition
they cover special resources for teachers and parents during each
To view Teacher Talk online, Click Here! You
can also catch the show on TV on the Florida Education
Channel (DISH 9418), your local PBS affiliate, or by consulting your
local education channel for broadcast times. To view past shows and broadcast schedules, Click Here!
Florida Girls Collaborative 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!
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
that serve young women and are interested in bringing more STEM
resources to them are also encouraged to sign up!
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:
- Anyone with Internet access can find out about your program.
- You can view other programs in your area and across the state.
- Your organization can do a search and compare needs and resources in your area and across the state.
- Your organization is eligible for a mini-grant for innovative projects.
Don't wait - Sign up today!
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.
Wham-O Kid Inventor Contest
For Wham-O's 60th
anniversary they are hosting a Kid Inventor Contest in search for their
next great toy. You may recognize Wham-O from classic toys such as Slip
'N Slide, Frisbee Flying Discs, Hula Hoop and much more! The company is
looking to their audience, creative fun loving kids for innovative
ideas. The winning prize is $2,000! Contestants must be between the ages 6-17 and turn in their idea to Wham-O by March 31, 2008. For more information about the contest and the competition rules, Click Here!
|Cool Career: Rocket Scientist
Ericsson-Jackson was the first African American woman to receive a
degree in aerospace engineering at Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT); and later a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Howard
University. With all odds against her-being that this field was
nontraditional to women and African Americans-her accomplishments
provided amazing opportunities. She has paved the way for young women
in science and is included among the "Top 50 Minority Women in Science
and Engineering". In 1997, she received the Women in Science and
Engineering award, given to the top engineer in the federal government.
Ericsson-Jackson is passionate about advocating to women the importance
of science and math, stating, "We must reach out to the biggest
population of math and science underachievers - girls." She currently
works for the guidance, navigation, and control design analysis section
at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, located in Greenbelt,
Engineers are the driving force behind aircraft development and space
exploration-they design, develop, and test aircrafts, spacecrafts, and
missiles. Aerospace Engineers who focus on
the aircraft are called aeronautical engineers and those working with
the spacecraft are astronautical engineers. These people are our modern
day 'rocket scientists'.
of the growth in commercial aircrafts and space travel, these modern
day rocket scientists work to develop superior aircrafts that are
quieter and more full-efficient. Another area of importance is the
development and administration of safety regulations related to air
travel. These jobs will contribute to a 10% growth of employment
opportunities in the next decade, with positions available at the
Federal Aviation Agency (FAA), the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA), and the military.
Engineers earn an average salary of $58,000, and the highest 35% in the
field earn well over $100,000. There are many aspects of Aerospace
Engineering that do not focus on commercial aircrafts and spacecrafts.
The possibilities extend to military fighter jets, helicopters,
missiles and rockets. Aerospace engineers become experts in their field
as well as aerodynamics (motion of air), thermodynamics (relations
between heat and mechanical energy), and control systems. For more
information on Aerospace Engineers
|What is Girls Get IT?
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
Why Does Florida Need This Initiative?
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
Contact: Leah Cook, Project Director
|Useful Links for Teachers, Students, & Parents|
Exploratorium site offers great hands on lessons in a variety of
science fields. It is guaranteed to catch your students' attention in
the classroom! Click Here!
you a high school student and want to win $2000? PBS & Wired
Science has teamed up to host a science video contest. Wired Science is
looking for creative ways to present chemistry equations, math
formulas, etc. March 15 is the registration deadline. For more
information, Click Here!
site offers useful links and information to help students of all ages
get through those tough homework problems. There is even a study break
link when you're ready to take a break and play games. Click Here!
This site is full
of fun, yet challenging games for students. Games like Battleship,
Tic-tac-toe, checkers, and scrabble can all be found here, and best of
all-they're all free. Click Here!
a parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world. This site provides
parents with the expert information, tips and support they need and
deserve to be the best parent they can be. Click Here!
Have questions about your
child's health? This site has tons of information about children's
health, including general health, nutrition and fitness, first aid, and
behavior. Click Here!