Florida Distance Learning Consortium
Girls Get IT! Newsletter Volume II Issue III
October 2007
In This Issue
:: Champions Board Meeting and Kick-Off Conference In Tampa Next Month
:: World Space Expo
:: Become a Forensic Scientist!!
:: Visit Girls Get IT!!
:: Cosmetic Chemist!
:: Gloomy Forecase for IT Workforce
:: A Closer Look at Facebook and Myspace
:: Florida STEM Program Directory
:: Real Girl Power!!
:: Entertainment and Education
                                           Explore ~ Educate ~ Empower
Board of Champions Meeting and Kick-Off Conference is Shortly Approaching!!
 

Next month, Girls Get IT! & the Florida Girls Collaborative Project will be hosting a Board of Champions meeting followed by a Kick-Off Conference for local child serving organizations.

 

The Board of Champions meeting will take place on November 8th, 2007 from 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa, Florida. Items discussed at the first face-to-face meeting include an overview of the statewide Program Directory, soon to be administered Mini-Grants, Strategic Planning, Board Roles and Responsibilities, and How to get involved.

 

The following day, November 9th, 2007, the Kick-Off Conference for local programs will occur also hosted by MOSI.  This event starts at 8:00 a.m. and will last until around 3:00 p.m. The Kick-Off is open to ANY program that is involved with in school or after school programs, gender equity, STEM education for elementary, middle and high school girls. We encourage everyone who can to participate and pass the word on! 

 

The goal of the Kick-Off is to allow local programs to showcase their offerings. Participants will hear an overview of how to get a Mini-grant, how to become a part of a collaboration, and to list their program in our online Program Directory. Lunch will be provided for FREE to all participants. We want everyone to walk away from this event with a sense of partnership for the Tampa Bay area between private industry, K-20 education institutions, and community organizations.

 

We hope to see as many people as possible at our first annual Board of Champions meeting and Kick-Off Conference. If you have any questions or concerns or are interested in participating, please contact Leah Cook at lcook@distancelearn.org or (850) 922-9025.

World Space Expo Coming Soon!!

The World Space Expo continues to open up opportunities for the next generation of explorers by offering them a way to discover and learn about the many different aspects of space.  This year it will be held from November 1st - 4th in Florida at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. As expected, most of the institutions, schools, and corporation that are involved are based in Central Florida.

 

There will be many demonstrations and activities for students of all ages to enjoy during this week of adventure and fun. For example, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration will present Science on a Sphere, a 3-D interactive display that gave students insight into how geography, comparative planetology, and weather tracking data sets are collected, integrated, and used to study the Earth and other celestial bodies. At the Commercial Space Pavilion, the X PRIZE Foundation, the Rocket Racing League, and the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Flight are among private space companies who showcase the future of personal space travel. Dr. Jimmie L. Davis, Jr., a board member of Space Florida, described the event as "a high-energy, high-impact event illuminating of the intelligence of space, the love for space, and most importantly, the business of space that should inspire the students, invigorate the teachers, and motivate the workers of the state of Florida." He went on to say, "The exposition of space has brought us lifestyle and lifeline changes like Velcro, the microwave, Teflon, ski-boots, and provided a technical core for computers and the computing age."

 

Other activities included a Tour of the Universe, an Air-powered Rocket Demonstration, and Weather Balloon Launches. The Tour of the Universe used high-resolution videos and images that are taken from the most recent images from Mars and the Moon to captivate the audience. The air-powered rocket demonstration will show basic principles of aerodynamics as well as show students on how to build a rocket of their own at home, under parental supervision, of course! Finally, student teams from around Florida design, assemble, and launch high-altitude weather balloons equipped with video cameras and GPS sensors. Students will be able to track the flight path the balloon across the State of Florida with the GPS sensor while the camera on board relayed live video back to a large outdoor screen at the Visitor Complex.

 

Florida has become thoroughly involved with the World Space Expo. "This year alone there will be more than 3,500 students from 30 schools across 14 counties involved from the state of Florida," continued Dr. Davis. All this program can hope for is the continuing enthusiasm of its students, and to grow as much as possible. Click Here!

 

Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?

Solving mysteries is a real job.

 

Who committed the crime? When, where and how did it happen? How long has the victim been dead? What was the cause? What type of weapon was involved? What evidence was left behind? These questions, among millions more, come up in crimes such as murders, burglaries, and violent attacks. After a serious crime has been committed, a team of forensic science experts must come to the scene to investigate the event and find answers!

 

Forensic science experts are the people who find the evidence and figure out what really happened. (Forensic refers to debates and legal arguments. The science part is about coming up with facts and answers to settle the argument). Most forensic experts work alongside police officers and lawyers to help solve the mystery. They also work with victims, patients, and government agencies, and sometimes even testify in court about what evidence they found to help crack the case.

 

Forensic science jobs include lots of different areas. Crime scene investigators work on the spot to find evidence. Toxicologists work in the labs to help decode what substances were found at the scene. Beyond that, forensic scientists can even specialize on specific things like firearms and bullets (ballistics expert), or someone who's an expert on insects and how to use them in solving mysteries, such as finding out when somebody died (an entomologist).

 

Most forensic science careers require at least a four year college degree. Within forensic science, there are lots of jobs you can do, so you have choices about what to study. If you are inquisitive and determined, love to not only find an answer, but prove it too, this might be a great area for you to explore. Read some mystery books, or play some crime-solving computer games. This field can be fascinating, but it also involves critical thinking and testing. So the next time someone in the house stole the cookies from the cookie jar, it's up to you to find out exactly who did it! For more information about how to become a forensic scientist, Click Here!

To visit GGIT! please click here

Cool Career: Cosmetic Chemist

Looking your best may be as much a science as it is an art - especially in the makeup business...

 

Take a look at the cosmetics and beauty products you use everyday: shampoo, lip gloss, nail polish, eye shadow, face powder, mascara, body lotion, hair spray, and more. Every one of these products is a chemical concoction created by scientists!

 

So how did those cosmetics get crafted? What ingredients are in those magic potions that smooth away your frizzy hair? Who mixed that perfect shade of red polish for your nails? What is the difference between body lotion, body butter, and body cream?

 

Cosmetic chemists answer these questions among hundreds more. Whether they work for big famous companies like Estee Lauder, or at smaller companies that are trying to create something groundbreaking and new, cosmetic chemists spend their days in makeup labs mixing, testing, and cooking up the formulas and products that make us feel beautiful.

 

Are you naturally curious? It takes having good, creative ideas and seeing if you can make them work. It took cosmetic chemists long hours of hard work in their science and math classes to make sure their products are not only appealing, but useful and safe too.

 

You might initially think that a career in science might be dull and unexciting. Now think about how cool it would be if you opened up a magazine to see an advertisement featuring the brand new lip gloss you created in your lab - yeah, it's all in a days work for a cosmetic chemist! Click Here!

Gloomy Forecast for IT Workforce
 
The United State's global competitiveness may be in trouble as a growing lack of digital literacy, math, and science skills continue to plague the nation. These skills are essential to help the IT workforce grow and flourish. The IT workforce is the fastest growing workforce in the world, yet there are not enough qualified people to fill the jobs.
 
Currently the IT field employs only 3.5 million out of the national workforce of 141 million, and, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it will grow at more than twice the rate of the overall workforce in the next ten years. The IT workforce will have a 46% growth rate and provide one out of every nineteen jobs between 2004 and 2014. 
 
As the IT workforce continues it astronomical growth, the need for qualified workers is becoming more urgent. However, America does not seem to be able to produce enough high school and college graduates with IT capabilities. STEM education needs to be encouraged throughout the nation.
 
Cisco Systems, Inc. and The Florida Distance Learning Consortium forged
a partnership with Florida's community college and university system to develop Girls Get IT. Other c
ompanies such as IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and Yahoo are partnering with schools to develop technology education programs. Microsoft has developed a program comprised of three phases to help prepare the future IT workforce. The first phase, digital literacy, teaches basic skills. In the second phase, digital fluency, the basic skills are applied. In the third phase, digital mastery, the first two steps are combined to nurture advanced skills.
Click Here!
A Closer Look at Facebook and Myspace
 
 
With a combined 142 million registered users, both Facebook and Myspace have become household names. Though they have been around for less than five years, both websites are ranked in the top eight of global websites, and Facebook is experiencing an incredible growth of 3 - 4% per week. 55% of American teens ages 12 -17 use either Facebook or Myspace, and 48% visit these sites daily.

 

With such large numbers of registered users, Facebook and Myspace must have something useful to offer. As online social networks, these websites offer people a chance to stay connected. Users are able to get in contact with long-lost friends and stay in contact others who are close to them. Pictures are posted, plans are made, memories are relived, and thoughts are shared all through these websites.

 

Myspace and Facebook offer educational advantages as well. Both websites have a blogging feature. Users can keep a blog, updating it whenever they want and writing about whatever is on their mind. This is a simple and fun way for teens to develop better writing skills.

 

Colleges and Universities are also taking advantage of the Myspace and Facebook phenomenon. Many schools are using these websites to recruit students. The University of Florida was able to recruit three students to their graduate program by contacting them through Facebook. Even Girls Get IT now has a Myspace page. To become our friend click here!

 

Of course safety has been a main concern as Facebook and Myspace continue to penetrate the lives of the American teens. But these websites have taken strides to help protect their members. On both websites, users can set their profile to private, allowing only their approved friends to view personal information. 66% of users have set their profiles to private. Users are getting smarter about what they publish and what they don't publish. As these social networking websites continue to evolve, their members will too. Click Here!
If you would like to forward this newsletter to a friend, 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 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!

Girls CAN Make a Difference!

Real Girl Power: Girls For A Change enables girls to transform our world and reinvent girl culture.

 

Girls For A Change (GFC) is a national organization that empowers thousands of teenage girls to create and lead social change. GFC provides girls with professional female role models, leadership training, and the inspiration to work together in teams to solve persistent societal problems in their communities.

 

Girls from around the country participate in projects ranging from self-esteem workshops, preventing teen pregnancy campaigns, stopping animal abuse and peer pressure. The best part is the programs are seeing results - and big ones for that matter. 90% of GFC girls agreed that despite the fact that creating changes in a community is challenging, they know they can create change. 80% of the girls reported that after participating in GFC they now speak up when things are bothering them.

 

Girls For A Change provides the tools, resources, partnerships and support girls need to gain the voice, ability, and problem-solving capacity to realize their full potential. To find out more information visit Click Here!

 

Entertainment Makes a Dent in Higher Education

On September 20th, 2007, the University of California and the Motion Picture Association of America brought over 200 people to discuss "The Expanding Universe of Internet Entertainment."

Issues discussed included illegal copying of music and movies, using the Internet as an educational tool, and using the Internet for business purposes. The goal was for it to be possible for businesses to be able to use material, but without copying and sharing it without paying whomever wrote that information.

The workshop is aimed at sparking people's minds into discussions about how to integrate the Internet with higher education with barriers. The workshop explored areas where vision, strategic interests, and expertise help bring together a sense of partnership.

The way they managed these discussions was through a panel. They had four different panel discussions that included social network and individual behavior, consumption in the digital age, recent technologies and approaches that give birth to new opportunities, and frameworks for collaboration.

The main point of the panel was to truly understand what students want to get out of using the Internet, and how higher education programs can integrate business with pleasure to engage students. 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, Parents and Students

Teachers:
 
HotChalk
 
Explore a website that automates the work involved in planning, grading and communicating with students and their parents. HotChalk makes your job easier than ever before! Click Here!
 
FunBrain
 
This website offers a variety of fun, educational games for the classroom. Discover new ways to engage your students and make learning fun again. Click Here!
 

Students:
 
Science Club for Girls
 
Interested in Science?? Join this Science Club for Girls!! Check out the website. Click Here!!
 
How Stuff Works
 

It's good to know how stuff works. Learn how anything and everything works at this cool site! Click Here!

 
 
Parents:
 
One Tough Job! 
 
This website helps parents with any kind of problem they may be having with any age group of child. There is even a Father specific section, so they don't feel left out. Check it out! Click Here!!
 
Parenting Teens
 

This website explores the many dark sides parenting a teen may bring. Everything from eating disorders to depression to religion are discussed on this website. It offers a lot of information and ways to help your child. Click Here!!

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