Florida Distance Learning Consortium
Girls Get IT! Newsletter Volume I Issue VIII
July 2007
In This Issue
:: School-Business Partnerships Target STEM Projects
:: Say Hello to iPhone!
:: Microsoft Surface
:: SLOOH- The New Way to Explore Outer Space
:: "There are no limits...Reach for the stars!"
:: NetSpace Challenge is OPEN!
:: Girls Get IT Focus Group Meetings Set
:: GGIT, Florida STEM Program Directory
                                           Explore ~ Educate ~ Empower

School-Business Partnerships Target STEM Projects


Students in Mesa, Arizona began learning math through flight simulators, aeronautics, and even mock space-shuttle missions. The programs stem from a partnership between the school district and the Boeing Co., which has a plant in Mesa that builds the U.S. Army's Apache helicopter.


Using this curriculum is a great way to show students the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classes, and show kids the kinds of careers that might be the best fit for them in the future. The goal of this program is to help students feel comfortable and encourage them to enter the math-science realm.


School-business partnerships can also help our looming workforce crisis. If more businesses follow the lead of companies like Boeing, we could educate our future workforce in our own country, rather than demand that lawmakers in Washington expand the federal HB 1 visa program which allows businesses to temporarily hire skilled workers from abroad to do the work that they can't complete because they don't have Americans in the field. 


In the past, many corporate giants have pushed advancement in STEM related subjects for students, but these ideas never reached the middle and small sized companies. However, today more business including Bayer Corporation based out of Pittsburgh and an accounting firm named Ernst & Young LLP from New York have recently released reports outlining best practices in K-12 education and successful business partnerships with schools.


Achieve, a Washington-based non-profit organization formed by governors and business leaders that focus on standards-based school reform, has produced a website that promotes college and work readiness, competency in STEM disciplines, and data-driven education. The goal of the site is to make sure the United States has enough graduates that are college or work ready, who studied the STEM disciplines. The site is supported by business-oriented organizations based in Washington. These include the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. These companies feature case studies of school partnerships by large companies. One important thing to remember is there are businesses all over the U.S. that are supporting and participating in these types of school-business partnerships. For example, in Sacramento California, the Chamber of Commerce has teamed up with the Los Rios Community College System, Sacramento's workforce board, and five local hospitals to help create a public high school focused on health fields.


With companies all over the U.S. supporting the school-business partnerships, this will encourage and push STEM related education and possible careers for our next generation of future employees and employers. To learn more about how to get involved Click here!


Call to Florida Businesses - If you are interested in collaborating with Girls Get IT or one of our partners to further STEM education in Florida, we are anxious to hear from you.  Please contact, Leah Cook at LCook@distancelearn.org.


Buy Your Own iPhone Today!!

Say Hello To iPhone!

During the iPhone's debut weekend June 29th , people from all over the country waited hours in line at Apple and AT&T stores in hopes to be one of the first owners of the coveted "smart phone." Over 500,000 were sold within the first day alone!


Love it or leave it, never in the 30+ years of cell phone history has one wireless device caused such a media frenzy. This innovative piece of technology is mesmerizing to many, but others just look at it as a $600 paperweight. According to the industry, on average, Americans spend $100 or less on a cell phone, so the iPhone better have some pretty impressive features to get consumers to spend 6 times that amount.


Here's what we agree are the coolest features: It's a phone, music-player, movie-player, internet browser, and iPod in one. It is Apple's first iPod that can not only play music through headphones, but through speakers as well. Whether you're flipping through your songs or browsing the web, you can hold your iPhone vertically or horizontally and the screen will automatically adjust with it! The iPhone has its own internet service, Edge, as well as the ability to pick up Wi-Fi wherever you are. Also, the photo quality on the camera is pretty fantastic. It also features satellite pictures of the earth and you can literally zoom all the way from the earth right to your home. Can you even imagine what the next version of iPhone will offer us?


So what possibly can keep consumers from purchasing this product besides the hefty price tag? Well for one, only one wireless carrier, AT&T currently sells iPhone; and they will be the exclusive carrier for the next 5 years. Although the phone has internet service, some users are agitated that it runs slowly, according to several internet polls. Another thing to keep in mind, as with most " new " technology, the iPhone is also in its 1st generation, so until Apple works out the kinks, some consumers are still a little weary to purchase.


Overall, you can't beat the iPhone technology as of now. We think it's pretty fantastic. So go check it out yourself and see what you think! For a list of Apple Stores near you, Click here!


Microsoft Surface - The Future is (almost) Here


Microsoft has just introduced to the world their new touch-screen computer coffee table called Surface. Microsoft's Surface will allow users to place physical objects such as digital cameras, cell phones, and credit cards on the actual surface of the computer and all of the information will instantly transfer to the computer screen for you to see and use! 


This is the next generation of hands-on interface that will modernize the way we share pictures, pay bills, shop online, and even decorate a room in our home. As of now, the Surface computers are only available to commercial businesses. 


Several businesses are already planning to use this revolutionary product.  For example, Harrah's Entertainment in Las Vegas will be using the computers in their casinos for gaming and payment while Starwood Hotels & Resorts will have do-it-yourself check-in, and T-Mobile will be using the Surface technology in their retail stores for customers to compare cell phones!


In about 3 years, Microsoft hopes to have Surface available for use with the general public in their homes. Digital pictures, e-mail, online shopping are just a few of the everyday things we do that Surface will make easier and a whole lot more exciting!
Check out the website for video demonstrations. To find out more about how Surface will change the world Click here!

To visit GGIT! please click here

SLOOH- The New Way To Explore Outer Space!


Gathered atop Mount Teide, off the coast of Africa, there is a powerful cluster of telescopes and Charge-coupled device (CCD) cameras that allow access to our ever-changing universe. SLOOH is a new remote-astronomy service for observers of all ages and levels of experience to be able to explore the unknown world of outer space using their computer. SLOOH allows you to view the cosmos in real-time while actual observation missions are going on.


There is even a Live SkyGuide which will allow you to hear renowned experts describe the mission's target.
The only requirements are that you have a computer with a 56K+ Internet connection and a browser with Adobe Flash 8+. Click here!
If you would like to forward this newsletter to other potential readers Click Here!

 Test Your Knowledge!

NetSpace Challenge is OPEN!!!


The NetSpace Challenge, which is also known as the Cisco Networking Academy Tournament, is now open! Whether you're a teacher, student, or just someone interested in technology, this game is definitely for you!


It's a way to network with other people who are interested in technology or just relax and play a game. The NetSpace Challenge tests your knowledge about Networking and Information Technology (IT). The complexity of the questions makes this game advanced for those who aren't familiar with these subjects. However, if you're a techie, you'll have a blast. 


Gamers will compete against participants from all over the world and expand their skills and capabilities within this sector of the business world.  Each of the questions are set up as multiple choice questions. Points are gathered throughout the entire game by answering questions correctly. High scores will allow your name to appear on the leader board.


Registration is easy and free, so sign up today! Click here!!

Google Is Helping Nonprofits Raise Awareness, Money, Volunteers with Their Mapping Software


Google, Inc. recently launched an initiative to help charities and other nonprofit groups use maps and satellite images to raise awareness, recruit volunteers and encourage donations.  The Google Earth Outreach Program represents a formalization of several partnerships with organizations using free software to publicize their works. 


What a way to get the word out!!  Hundreds of millions of people use Google Earth to explore the world around them.  We even use the word Google as a verb in every day conversations. "Why don't you just Google it?"   With the Google Earth Outreach program, your organization can get your cause out in front of the masses.  You can share the knowledge and resources you need to reach their minds and their hearts.

By downloading your KML files, anyone, anywhere can fly in Google Earth from where they live to where you do your work. This virtual visit to the projects and people you support gets users engaged and passionate about what you're doing and builds support for your cause.

To visit Google Earth, Click Here!

Girls Get IT! Focus Group Meetings eye

We want to hear from you!


The purpose of our focus group meetings is to discuss issues regarding young women and their interests in science and math courses and to provide us practical suggestions on how we can best help teachers, students and parents most effectively with STEM in the classroom and at home.


During these specific group meetings we will discuss:

  • Champions Board Development
  • Teacher Outreach Program and Resource CD
  • Computer Mania Day
  • GGIT Mentoring Program & Clubs  
  • Next Steps with the Florida Math and Science Research Center

Your input will help us set our priorities and offer you a better selection of products and services to young women interested in STEM - science, technology, engineering and math.

Our conference call will take place:


August 22, 2007   3:30-4:30pm


Toll Free Conference Call: 1.877.384.0543

Participant code: 62344136


Girls Get IT! encourages you to share your thoughts, feelings and attitudes on all related topics! If you will not be able to participate on the call or session on line, you can still have your voice heard. 

Please RSVP to lcook@distancelearn.org. We will send you materials for the call.
Girls Get IT, Florida STEM Program Directory- Register your Program Today!
The online Program Directory lists organizations and programs that focus on motivating girls to pursue STEM education and careers. The purpose of the directory is to help organizations and individuals network, share resources and collaborate on STEM-related projects for girls. When you sign up for the Program Directory you will enter your program description, resources available within your organization, program and/or organizational needs and contact information.  Sign your organization up today: 
Click here!
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 from Girls Get IT! 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.


  Navigate to the National Girls Collaborative Project site at http://www.pugetsoundcenter.org/ngcp/

  In the horizontal linkbar, click "Directory"

  From the left navigation area, click "Login" then "Register New User"

  Fill out the form and click "Submit" -- this logs you in

  On the page that appears, click "New Program"

  Fill out the form and click "Submit" -- this places your program in "pending" status


Once a new program's information has been submitted, an administrator will review and approve the program (or request more information about the program, then approve the program once the information has been provided).

When approved, Programs 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!


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 Students and Teachers

Discovery School
This site is a perfect tool to help teachers with lesson plans, and even give them new and creative ideas to teach their students. Click Here!!
Education World
Need help with lesson planning, technology integration and professional development? This is the site for you.  Click Here!!


Zoey's Room
An online community for middle school girls, which encourages creativity through science, technology, engineering and math! Click Here!!

Youth Noise

This awesome website, geared toward high school students, helps you find, explore, and network any cause you have a passion for and offers ways for you to get involved. Click Here!!

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