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Black Girls Code Receives $50k TechCrunch Include Grant

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blackgirlscodeBlack Girls Code, whose mission is to increase the number of women of color in STEM fields by empowering girls to become innovators, leaders and builders of their own futures, is the recipient of the first TechCrunch Include Grant of $50,000. By reaching out girls through workshops, summer camps and after school programs, Black Girls Code introduces computer science to girls from underrepresented communities.

TechCrunch Include had applications from over 145 organizations around the world; all of them advocate to make tech a more inclusive place. Applicants had to show how they were making an impact in their local community.  TechCrunch will be working with Black Girls Code, and 3 runners up ensure that they are better connected to the TC community.  As the Include recipient, Black Girls Code will receive tickets and exhibiting space at upcoming TechCrunch events.

Broadcom Foundation Launches Series of Interactive STEM events at Computer History Museum

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BROADCOM LOGOPartnering with the Computer History Museum and major corporations in Silicon Valley, Broadcom Foundation will introduce middle school students to basic concepts involving coding, such as logic, structure, space and change. Students in Broadcom Presents Design_Code_Build will gain hands-on experience through activities like programming Raspberry Pi, which uses a Broadcom system-on-a-chip, to navigate a maze. Each event will be keynoted by a high-tech industry luminary who will share his or her personal store to inspire students.

“The program will introduce the untapped talent reserve of young people to computer coding and afford them the opportunity to interact with volunteers working in exciting careers that rely on coding —from chip design to app building in fields from medicine to digital animation,” said Paula Golden, Executive Director, Broadcom Foundation, and Director, Community Affairs, Broadcom Corporation.

“Through our partnership with the Broadcom Foundation, we look forward to creating a unique educational experience for these young people by providing access to technology and industry leaders and leveraging rich historical content through the Museum’s legendary exhibits,” said John Hollar, Computer History Museum Chief Executive Officer and President.

Broadcom Presents Design_Code_Build hosts its first session on October 11, 2014. The 2014 schedule will include three full-day workshops in 2014, followed by four more in 2015.

For more information, visit the Broadcom Foundation and Computer History Museum websites or visit Broadcom Foundation’s Newsroom and read the B-Inspired Blog.

US Patent & Trademark Office Launches Website to Encourage STEM in School

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Official seal of the USPTO

Official seal of the USPTO (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Innovation is clearly vital to the success of the US Patent and Trademark Office. The USPTO recently launched USPTO KIDS!, which includes games, coloring pages, audio and video, to encourage students of all ages in the inventive thinking process. Students will get to explore profiles of students their own age such as Marissa Streng, who received a patent for her dog dryer invention while in elementary school, and Rebecca Hyndman, who received a patent for the invention of an under-floor she developed as an 8th grader.

Michelle K. Lee, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the USPTO, explains the importance of inspiring innovation and creativity in children: “The USPTO looks to our children—the doers, makers, and tinkerers of the future—to reimagine the world and, as the Constitution calls for, ‘to promote the progress of Science and the useful Arts’ like never before. As schools across the country ramp up their STEM programming, we look forward to putting even more tools in teachers’ hands that will ensure our next generation is well-versed in concepts of making, inventing, and creating the high-value intellectual property that drives our economy.”

The new USPTO KIDS! website provides educational and outreach material, not only for students, but also educators and parents.

Physics Girl Interviews Emily Calandrelli about The Vomit Comet #WomenInSTEM

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Ever wonder what NASA’s Vomit Comet is like? Wonder what microgravity feels like? Physics Girl interviews Emily Calandrelli who is the host and co-producer of FOX’s Xploration Outer Space. She’s a graduate from MIT and WVU with degrees in aeronautics, astronautics, technology and policy.  Follow Physics Girl on YouTube and Emily at her website.

Learn about the Physics behind Weightless Flight and The Vomit Comet:

2020 Girls — Introducing Girls to the Thrills of Science, Design, Engineering & Tech

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DSC_7470There is no doubt that there is a need for professionals in the STEM fields in this country, especially women. ITEC in Lansing, in partnership with MCWT, is jump-starting girls’ interest in STEM with their 2020 Girls program, launched just this year. About 100 middle school girls are participating in programming, engineering and design activities led by female instructors and assisted by women currently in the field.

I attended one of these classes, where the girls were presenting what they learned over the course of the session. Brightly decorated posters with pictures encapsulated what the girls liked best. The girls eagerly shared how they built racing LEGO robots and programmed games using Scratch. Mostly they learned how to use tools to create, design and solve problems while working together and building confidence. As Kirk Riley, Executive Director of ITEC, explained, it’s “an ordinary environment to do extraordinary things.”

While ITEC more formally surveys the girls at the start and end of the sessions to gauge impact, if you asked any of the girls, they were excited by what they learned and eager to come back. This eagerness and excitement is what really impressed me — what we really need to encourage girls to continue learning. These girls had the opportunity to experience STEM at its best and hopefully this excitement encourages them to take more STEM courses in their schooling.

With the success of the 2020 Girls pilot program, ITEC hopes to double, or even triple, the amount of schools they’re operating in, as well as extend the duration of each program.  The only real “complaint” they received from the girls was that the clubs didn’t last long enough (5-7 weeks). Ideally 2020 Girls will run the length of a semester starting in the fall.

2012-10-10 18.18.25The curriculum used for 2020 Girls was compiled from ITEC’s “Techtronics” courses (Lego Robotics, Programming and App Design).  They spent a good deal of time identifying the core content of each course and implementing it in a way that is more relevant to girls, which was implemented by the instructional team.  With 5-6 2020 Girls clubs this summer, the Science and Art of Game Design will be added (more instructional time). Graduates from the program will also have the opportunity to re-enroll during the following semester as mentors to new girls.  This will allow the instructors much more liberty to explore the curriculum, while also providing additional time for guest speakers and field trips.

ITEC will extend the 2020 Girls program this summer to a camp and hopes to renew their grant to offer sessions next school year and summer. If you’re interested in helping, volunteers to assist in the classrooms are coordinated through MCWT. For more information, please visit the 2020 Girls page on the ITEC website.

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Women in STEM Roundup – Week of May 26, 2014

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FBiconHere’s the Women in STEM articles this week of May 26, 2014…

Have an article you think we should share? Leave a link in the comments.

Women in STEM Roundup – Week of May 19, 2014

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FBiconHere’s the Women in STEM articles this week of May 19, 2014…

Have an article you think we should share? Leave a link in the comments.

STEM Events for Week of May 19, 2014

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STEM-calendarSTEM events for Women happening this week of May 19, 2014…

Saturday May 17  – Tuesday May 20

Monday May 19

Monday May 19 – Wednesday May 21

Wednesday May 21

Wednesday May 21 – Saturday May 24

Have a STEM event you’d like us to feature?  Please submit it.

Women in STEM Roundup – Week of May 12, 2014

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FBiconHere’s the Women in STEM articles this week of May 12, 2014…

Have an article you think we should share? Leave a link in the comments.