If you haven’t heard of the PBS award winning show “SciGirls,” you simply must check it out. It is an incredibly important PBS program that strives to change the way girls think of science, technology, engineering, and math. The “SciGirls” program features girls between the ages of 8 and 13 having a great deal of fun with relevant and interesting STEM activities. Each episode inspires tweens to explore, investigate, and inquire about the world around them. “SciGirls” also offers exciting resources and opportunities for teachers who are looking for lessons in STEM.
Why STEM and Tween Girls
Alarming research shows that although girls are quite capable of excelling in science, technology, engineering, and math, they begin to lose confidence and interest in these subjects at an early age (Heaverlo). Knowing that jobs and wages in the fields of STEM are growing faster than other jobs, “SciGirls” is working hard to support educators with relevant and fun STEM activities to help engage girls in exploring science, technology, engineering, and math.
Resources from SciGirl Educator Training
I had the great pleasure of attending a free SciGirl Educator Training at Simmons College presented by Cheryl Lavoie and Jenna Canfield. We spent the day learning about intriguing STEM resources that were fun to explore, and we also participated in hands-on activities that got our minds thinking! If you ever have an opportunity to attend one of the SciGirl Educator Training sessions, please take advantage of it. You will not be sorry!
The resources listed below were introduced to the teachers that participated in the training. You are welcome to add the following resources to your own STEM Toolbox and share them with others!
Streaming Videos from SciGirls episodes. Each highly engaging, 30-minute video offers supporting materials to use in your class, club, or group. While watching a video, you will soon realize that this programming is not just for girls! Guys will learn a great deal from the videos, too. Another cool thing about the site is the video-sharing feature. There is a share button for Google Classroom so you can directly share a video with your students.What a smart feature!
SciGirls Connect. This website offers an online community where people share STEM ideas and resources. There are webinars, a forum, a photo gallery, activities, videos, and Spanish resources available for educators. Apply for a membership to be a part of this collaborative community!
SciGirls Website. This colorful, intuitive site offers a safe place for girls to watch videos, play games, and create profiles. It is easy to create a username and password, and the site does not ask for any personal information to create a profile.
The National Girls Collaborative Project. The NGCP’s goal is to connect like minded groups that are actively encouraging girls to be involved in STEM activities.
The Connectory. This website is one of my favorites! When you visit the site, the website offers STEM activities, camps, and clubs that are happening in your area. Wouldn’t it be fun to connect with these groups to see how you can bring their events to your school? When you run a STEM group, you can announce it on the Connectory, too. There are also reports and articles from reputable sources to read. Another attractive feature the Connectory offers is a widget for you to embed on your website to inform the public of what STEM opportunities are available in your neighborhood. Check out the STEM resources for classrooms on this site!
Citizens Science. Do you want to make science relevant for you and your students? Check out this extensive list of opportunities for all of you to assist scientists in their research! Just imagine how much the children will learn by collecting information to help science.
Do you have a favorite STEM for girls resource? If so, please share in the comment box and on the Twitter feed @SciGirls.
Heaverlo, C. “STEM Development: A Study of 6th-12th Grade Girls’ Interest.” 2011. <http://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1035&context=etd>
Author: Maureen Schlosser
Author: Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades published by ALA Editions