Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative Working for Gender Balance in STEM
Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative (KGSC) brings together businesses and other organizations and individuals who are committed to informing and motivating girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to encourage collaboration and improve inter-program communication. KGSC is a part of the National Girls Collaborative Project, which allows our collaborative access to best practices materials, funds for mini-grants, and some administrative assistance. In addition, this allows our collaborative to gather ideas and advice from collaboratives in other states.
The lead institution is the University of Kentucky, but we have other universities participating from all across Kentucky, including Western Kentucky University, University of Louisville, Northern Kentucky University, Morehead University, Eastern Kentucky University, Murray State University, and Kentucky State University. We have formed smaller regional collaborative units associated with each of these universities in order to have our network reach all across the state. We have members from several important Kentucky industries, including Lexmark, Toyota, Texas Instruments, AT&T, and Lockheed Martin. We also have members from informal education, including the Girl Scouts, 4-H, YMCA, East Kentucky Science Center, and the Kentucky Science Center. We have members from women focused organizations, such as Kentucky Commission on Women, Bluegrass Alliance for Women, and the American Association of University Women. While this list is by no means exhaustive (considering we have 1000 subscribers to our newsletter), the extensive background of the members supports our mission. The more connectivity we can achieve across the state, the easier it will be to make significant advances in gender balance in STEM.
KGSC hosts a website and sends out quarterly newsletters to keep educators, industries, parents, and girls up to date about various STEM opportunities in Kentucky. We also support several girl-serving STEM programs by advertising, finding volunteers, and networking. The programs include Tech Savvy, a full-day program at Kentucky State University, where girls learn about STEM and the soft skills that go with having a successful career. Another program, SciGirls, offers on-line movies and activities about girls in STEM and supports the development of educators to better serve girls interested in STEM. FabFems and the Million Woman Mentors campaign seek to sign-up female mentors from STEM, especially industry, where KGSC focuses on mentors from Kentucky. KGSC held a full-week Lego robotics camps for girls for two years and then trained 16 other educators to be able to have the same camp in additional regions. Specific programs that we have helped to promote are the Kentucky Science Center Youth Summits, Space Trek Summer camp at Morehead University, University of Kentucky Engineering Open House, to name just a few.
KGSC has funded 48 mini-grants since 2008, each approximately $1000. These funds were used to support programs for girls across the state. These programs all include new and developing collaboration between two or more groups, illustrating KGSC’s value of cooperation, communications, and of course collaboration.
Welcome to the Kentucky Girls STEM Website! We hope this site helps you learn how to help Kentucky girls reach their potential in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Although we have made strides in some areas, girls are not succeeding at high enough numbers in careers such as computer science, engineering and physics. Kentucky and the United States will not have enough workers to fill science and engineering jobs if girls are not prepared to succeed in STEM careers.
Feel free to browse through the site, learn more about us and how you can become more involved in helping girls achieve their goals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Thanks for visiting!
Czarena Crofcheck & Sue Scheff, Co-Chairs
Visit us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KentuckyGirlsStemCollaborative
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