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, September 23, 2009

Summer Stock '09 | USF Sarasota-Manatee Girls Stem Summit

School is back in session and it's that time of year we all look back and ask "where did the summer go?" For groups working in STEM encouragement, that sentiment can be especially profound because they were so busy, running great summer programs.

Over the next couple weeks, SciGirls will post a round up of fabulous summer programs we've heard about from across the country. We're calling the feature "Summer Stock." And here's the first installment--news from our friends at University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.

On June 20, the university, working with the American Association of University Women, held their first Girls STEM Summit. The full-day program featured a keynote by marine scientist and author, Dr. Ellen Prager. Discussion workshops included: Careers in Marine Science (a perennial favorite girl topic!); Research and Research Process; Are You Smarter Than a Fourth-Grade Boy?; New Faces of Engineering; and Math is Cool. After a lunch break, girls participated in hands-on activity sessions and then wound up the day with a salsa dance lesson.

Sounds like fun! And who wouldn't consider a career in STEM after that kind of introduction to the field!

Valerie Connors, who helped organize the event, says feedback from girls has been positive. One young woman wrote: "Thank you so so so so so so so so so so so so much for putting the summit for girls together!! I had a ton of fun, and learned a lot! Now I am seriously considering taking up a career in marine biology, and its all thanks to u!!"

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Flatland: The Movie

Here's an inspired project that helps kids think about geometry, while being thoroughly entertained. Flatland: The Movie is an animated film based on Edwin A. Abbott's classic novel, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. One of the main characters is a charming little hexagon called Hex, so the movie is likely to engage the SciGirl in your life!

Set in a world of only two dimensions inhabited by sentient geometrical shapes, the story follows Arthur Square (Martin Sheen) and his ever-curious granddaughter Hex (Kristen Bell). When a mysterious visitor arrives from Spaceland, Arthur and Hex must come to terms with the truth of the third dimension, risking dire consequences from the evil Circles that have ruled Flatland for a thousand years.

Check out the trailer:

Want to see more? The producers sell DVDs for home viewing and for use in educational settings on their website Flatland: The Movie.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

SciGirls Extraordinaire | Kim Ursetta, educator

With school back in session this week all over the country, SciGirls thought it would be a great time to recognize an educator who's making a difference in her approach to STEM education.

Under teacher Kim Ursetta's leadership, the new Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy opened to 142 kindergartners and first- and second-grade students in Denver's Athmar Park, a largely low-income, Hispanic neighborhood. Here's how Ursetta describes her vision for the school:

"I started talking about 21st century skills and wanting to prepare our kids in math and science, especially our low-income and ethnic minority students," Ursetta said. "We've been doing schools the same way in this nation for 150 years, so if we don't step up, then nothing is going to change."

Congratulations to Ursetta and her colleagues for making her visionary school a reality. Read more about the Mathematics and Science Leadership Academy.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Girl on a Mission--Meet Alanna Koppen!

Alanna Koppen, a Minnesota seventh grader, is the state’s winner of the Igniting Creative Energy Challenge, an educational competition sponsored by Johnson Controls that encourages North American students to develop ingenious ways to save energy today and protect the environment. Watch her winning movie.

No doubt Alanna has mastered the green message in a really direct and creative way. Here's an excerpt from her statement of purpose:

Why do people who have the knowledge that they can save the world fail to do the least they can do? I made this movie to show the simplicity of the least people can do. That was my motivation for this project.

There are three things I want people to do from this project. I want them to know how easy doing their part can be. I picked three easy things: turning off the lights before leaving a room, switching from incandescent to compact fluorescent and recycle recycle recycle! Recycling just one can saves enough electricity to light a 100-watt bulb for 3 1/2 hours. Fluorescent light bulbs save over 2,000 times in its own weight in green house gases. Lighting makes up about 11% of our electricity and it's a huge waste of energy to leave them on when not in use. So these actions will not only save the planet, they can save people a lot of money.

The impact this will have on my own life will be minimal, I consider myself very green. I am hoping that whoever sees this video will think about it and perhaps do something about it. I don't care if one person or ten people see this movie, if at least one person walks away and says "You know what? That got to me. I'm going to recycle my bottles instead of throw them in the garbage" I will consider that a success. Every little thing matters when it comes to saving the planet.