Welcome to SciGirls, the ultimate destination for girls who love science! SciGirls is an upcoming PBS TV show, a website, and a resource provider for educators, club leaders and mentors who are working with girls doing science.

Are you a girl, age 11-14, who thinks science is fun and interesting? Or do you know a girl who fits this description? Then we want to hear from you! SciGirls is starting production on a brand new TV show and website and we're looking for girls to feature. Tell us who should be a SciGirls star!

Want to know more about us? Click here.

Friday, January 30, 2009

SciGirls Mentor | Patricia Wright, Primatologist

Primatologist Patricia Wright, one of the world's leading experts on lemurs, has studied the species in Madagascar for over twenty years. You know lemurs: the tiny, wide-eyed prosimians with striped tails (think King Julien from the Madagascar movies). Turns out the island of Madagascar, off the east coast of African, is the only place on the planet these creatures are found. And Wright was instrumental in helping establish the country's leading protected area for this rare wildlife. In fact, she's often called a "conservation hero" for her work.

Dr. Wright is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stony Brook University and the Executive Director for the Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments. In 1986, she and her colleagues discovered a new species of lemur, the golden bamboo lemur. Want to know more? Check out the Nova special on Patricia Wright.

Do you know an interesting scientist like Dr. Wright we should feature on SciGirls? Tell us about her.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

SciGirl Extraordinaire | Melissa Rey, 2008 "America's Top Young Scientist"

Meet Melissa Rey, America's Top Young Scientist for 2008! Melissa won the honor at the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, a program that targets middle school students in the years when research indicates their interest in science begins to wane and encourages them to explore scientific concepts and creatively communicate their findings.

Participants were challenged on their knowledge of space related themes including jet propulsion, repair of the Hubble Space Telescope, Martian topography and how to simulate lunar gravity on Earth.

No doubt about it, Melissa was up to the challenge: "Whenever I solve a scientific problem, I can think of a dozen more questions about where to go next. Science questions are the most exciting because I have the chance to think of something that no one else has thought of before and I have the opportunity to make a new discovery that could change the world."

Know any other great SciGirls we should feature on TV? Send us your thoughts.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Behind the Scenes: The Birth of SciGirls

By now you’ve heard about SciGirls, the innovative TV series for ‘tweens coming to PBS in 2010. But did you know that this TV show is an outgrowth of a DragonflyTV outreach initiative called SciGirls?

DragonflyTV is an Emmy-Award Winning science TV show produced by Twin Cities Public Television (TPT). In 2004, the National Science Foundation gave TPT a grant to support the creation of a DragonflyTV outreach program targeting girls: SciGirls. The goal of SciGirls was to encourage girls’ interest in science through community-based programs that drew on the resources of DragonflyTV and key findings from research on gender and education.

Select DragonflyTV videos of women scientists and girls doing inquiry-based investigations were repackaged as “SciGirls” DVDs. Companion SciGirls Activity Guides were created as well, containing instructions for hands-on inquiry experiences based on the videos and a summary of the latest research on how to encourage girls in science. DragonflyTV distributed these resources to science centers, PBS stations, schools, and girl-serving organizations nationwide along with grants and professional development training to support their use.

Since 2005, DragonflyTV’s SciGirls outreach programs have been implemented in 25 communities, reaching more than 5,000 girls in grades 3 through 8. Each SciGirls outreach partner custom designed programs – whether they were summer camps, science clubs, or special events – that used SciGirls videos and activities to encourage girls in science.

These outreach programs were an outstanding success. But it became clear that DragonflyTV’s SciGirls outreach program – and all the other successful STEM enrichment programs for girls – could only reach a small fraction of the girls who need this kind of encouragement. TPT envisioned developing a broad-based, multimedia strategy that could inspire and enable girls in every American community to discover the excitement of science, technology, engineering and math. That is the vision of the new SciGirls television show!

Monday, January 26, 2009

SciGirls Mentor | Nerd Girls

Brains are beautiful.
Geek is Chic.
Smart is sexy.

This is the working mantra of Nerd Girls, a growing, global movement that celebrates the smart-girl individuality that’s revolutionizing our future.

Nerd Girls want to encourage other girls to change their world through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, while embracing their feminine power.

The first Nerd Girls Club was founded by Dr. Karen Panetta at Tufts University to empower her female engineering students and challenge the stereotypes about women in engineering. Dr. Panetta has been instrumental in shifting attitudes about women engineers, utilizing film, television and web media to extend the reach of Nerd Girls.

If you know any powerful mentors like Nerd Girls, tell us about them. We're waiting to hear from you!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

SciGirl Extraordinaire | Nadia Studnicka

With a little help from her mom and older sister, this ambitious SciGirl raised $7,100 by selling origami cranes to support conservation efforts protecting endangered Whooping Cranes. It took them 7 full months to fold all the tiny paper cranes! They received donations from all across the United States (including Hawaii!) and from as far away as Australia. Nadia and her family drove from their home in Illinois to the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin, where the baby cranes are raised, to deliver the money in person. Awesome job, Nadia!

While touring the refuge, Nadia saw hawks, deer, kingfishers, eagles, and her first wild whooping cranes! She says of the experience, "What I have learned from this project is that anyone can make a difference. Even if it's just one small thing, it is still helping. By doing our crane project we not only hope to save the cranes but to inspire other people to make a difference as well. If kids start trying to help animals and the environment now, then maybe someday our world will be a better place to live for everyone.

Know another SciGirl with a story to tell? Talk to us!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Calling all SciGirls | Measure your carbon footprint

You've heard about global warming. And maybe you've heard the word "carbon footprint." Carbon footprint refers to the amount of carbon dioxide a person adds to the atmosphere, contributing to global warming.

The Zerofootprint website has a cool kids calculator for checking your carbon footprint.

Whether it's recording usage of disposable products, choice of lunch and snack foods, time spent using electrical gadgets, or frequency of showering, you can evaluate the impact of your actions on the environment.

Tell us your ideas for measuring the "eco-friendliness" of kids' lifestyles. SciGirls want to know!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Behind the Scenes: The SciGirls Team

Here a little background information on our project. SciGirls is funded by the National Science Foundation. We have two major partners: The National Girls Collaborative Project, which is based in Seattle, and The Franklin Institute, one of the nation's premier science centers, which is located in Philadelphia.

Both organizations have extensive programs and background knowledge in promoting STEM education for girls. The SciGirls project is fortunate to have their such an amazing team. Do you know any great STEM organizations?

SciGirls Mentor | Kristi Curry Rogers, Paleontologist

Do you know those stories about people who knew what they wanted to be when they grew up as children and then went out made it happen? Vertebrate paleontologist Kristi Curry Rogers is that kind of gal!

Growing up in Missouri, Kristi was a bonafide dinosaur freak! As an undergraduate, she studied at Montana State University, a hotbed of dinosaur research. She went on to receive a Ph.D in Anatomical Sciences from Stony Brook University in New York.

Today, Kristi specializes in
the long-necked, herbivorous dinosaurs known as sauropods. This group included the largest terrestrial vertabrates of all time. Kristi says, "They are perfect fodder for my interest in dinosaur evolution and offer a wealth of data on the biological consequences of living life at large size."

Kristi's career takes her to museums and field digs all around the world from Montana to Zimbabwe and from Madagascar to Argentina! She also teaches at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Kristi has even named several species of dinosaurs. So you could say Kristi Curry Rogers is a SciGirl who DREAMS BIG!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

SciGirl Extraordinaire | Lani Lazzari, Simple Sugars

Meet Lani Lazzari, creator and founder of Simple Sugars, a company that creates and distributes an all-natural product line of face and body scrubs. Did we mention that Lani is 14 years old and currently navigating the 9th grade? It's true—and we were impressed, too!

Lani first got into product development when her mom insisted she and her brothers make homemade Christmas gifts. So this SciGirl rolled up her sleeves in the kitchen, devising two scrubs, which she gave out to friends and family. Three years later, she sells her wares online (at simplesugarsscrub.com) and continues to research aromatherapy and natural ingredients to expand her product line.

Know any fabulous SciGirls like Lani? We want to hear from you!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Take a look-see...

Take a look at our series pilot, which was shot in the wetlands of North Carolina. It will give you a better idea of what SciGirls is all about.

Behind the Scenes: Hello, howdy, have a seat!

Welcome to the SciGirls blog, where you can learn all about the development of SciGirls, a new TV series and website for PBS Kids!

You've no doubt heard the saying "It takes a village to raise a child." Well at SciGirls, we know it takes a community to inspire, encourage and enable 'tween girls girls to pursue their interests in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). So we're inviting you to participate in the SciGirls development process.

As we create our series, we want to hear from you—girls, parents, teachers, mentors, and working scientists alike. Our first 13 episodes won't air until sometime in 2010, but we're already busy dreaming all that SciGirls can be.

Stay tuned!