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.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Behind the Scenes | SciGirls en Español training

This week Maddie Ziegler and Margaret Duden met with our SciGirls en Español partners from the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys for a day-long workshop in St. Paul. This was the third of nine workshops Maddie, SciGirls' bilingual informal science education consultant from Albuquerque, is conducting this spring for SciGirls en Español grant recipients.

Girl Scout Community Specialists Isabel Morales and Graciela Gorman learned how the Girl Scouts can take maximum advantage of the SciGirls en Español educational resources to encourage Latina girls in STEM. Turns out the research-based strategies SciGirls recommends for engaging girls in science echo the core values of the Girl Scouts. Isabel and Graciela pointed out that the model for Girl Scout experiences – Discover, Connect, and Take Action – was consistent with SciGirls practices such as highlighting real-life contexts for science and challenging dominant ways of thinking.

Isabel, Graciela, and other Minnesota-based Girl Scout leaders will be integrating SciGirls activities into troop meetings this spring, summer and fall. They will also draw on SciGirls resources to bolster STEM experiences for girls at summer camps.

The Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys has developed several community initiatives to empower girls from traditionally underserved communities. Their Latina Initiative offers more than 550 Latina and Hispanic girls culturally relevant programming and is serving as a national model for other Girl Scout councils trying to reach more diverse communities. You go, Girl Scouts!

Friday, April 24, 2009

SciGirl Extraordinaire | Eden Maloney

Meet Eden Maloney. Eden volunteers twice a week at the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, California. We think she's the quintessential SciGirl!

Since 1975, the Marine Mammal Center has rescued and treated over 12,000 elephant seals, sea lions, sea otters, harbor seals, fur seals, dolphins, harbor porpoises and the like at its hospital facility. While the Center’s mission is to save as many animals as possible, sometimes their patients are too sick to recover. These animals play an extra special role. When doctors look inside them, they find clues and information about how they died and how they lived. This helps the docs understand how to prevent other deaths. Sometimes they can even use a former patient’s bones, teeth or organs to educate others about the importance of caring for these wonderful creatures.

Here's the deal: Eden volunteers in the specimen preparation lab. This particular task (one of the smelliest around!) entails preparing skulls, whiskers, pelts, and other parts for teaching and research. Eden’s dissects and cleans specimens, preserving the bones and putting them back together again -- no easy task. While many other youth volunteers choose to work in animal care or teaching, Eden chose specimen preparation over all other departments! No wonder we're so impressed!

Know any other great SciGirls like Eden? Tell us about them and we'll try to feature them on the blog and maybe even the TV show!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Behind the Scenes | Lights, Camera, Action!

It's official! SciGirls producers recently crossed out the "pre" in front of "production" and jumped in to shoot the very first SciGirls episode, right here in Minnesota. Cast and crew are busy creating some theatrical magic to show girls everywhere that STEM-related activities aren't just good for kids—they're fun, too!

So are you a little curious as to which fabulous girl-centered project is the star of the show? All we can say for sure is that in a fit of outrageous creativity, SciGirls Anna, Lacie, Norah and Clarasophia are busy engineering a gigantic puppet, which shall go pictureless until it makes its debut on May 3 in the annual parade put on by Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater. (But the images in this post from past parades should give you an inkling of what to expect.) The girls are working with mechanical engineer AnneMarie Thomas and mentor Willis "Bow" Bowman to design a puppet that will move and shake its way down Bloomington Avenue to rush in the Spring. Good luck, girls!


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Behind the Scenes | SciGirls en Español

SciGirls is turning bilingual! For the first time we're offering our educational resources in Spanish and English as well as customized professional development training and funding for 9 Latina-serving programs throughout the United States. See a list of SciGirls en Español groups. The first training is scheduled for next week in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The project is the result of two partnerships. The Self Reliance Foundation (SRF), a Washington, D.C. based organization, empowers underserved communities through culturally-grounded media (radio programs, newspaper features, community festivals, and family programs) and access to practical services. SRF staffer Alicia Santiago helped select segments that would resonate with young Latinas, oversaw translations for video and print and helped provide insight on how SciGirls content could best serve the Latina community.

KLCS-TV—“The Education Station”—is a noncommercial educational television station licensed to the Los Angeles Unified School District and a member PBS station. The production staff at KLCS was instrumental in helping repackage individual SciGirls video, collaborating to develop a format that would best serve middle school Latinas and their families.

SciGirls en Español is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Research on Gender in Science and Engineering. For more information, or to request review copies of SciGirl en Español materials, email scigirls@tpt.org.