Florida Distance Learning Consortium
Girls Get IT! Newsletter Volume II Issue IV
November 2007
In This Issue
:: Board of Champions Meeting and Kick-Off Conference- A Complete Success!
:: FCR-STEM Gender & Minority Advisory Group
:: Girls Get IT! Website Gets Face Lift!
:: Visit Girls Get IT!!
:: Cool Career: Web Designer
:: Jobs for Florida's Graduates- Daughters of Grace
:: STEM Mini-Grants & Program Directory
:: Test Scores for Upcoming High School Students Promising
:: NEW Useful Links for Teachers, Students, & Parents
                                           Explore ~ Educate ~ Empower

Board of Champions Meeting and Kick-Off Conference- An Overwhelming Success!!

 

On November 8th and 9th, the Florida Girls Collaborative Project (FGCP) and Girls Get It! (GGIT!) held our first Board of Champions meeting and Kick-Off Conference in Tampa, Florida at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI).

 

The Board of Champions meeting marked the beginning of many face-to-face interactions between esteemed board members who include private industry, k-20 education officials and community based organizations from across the state of Florida. Items discussed included a session on how the program directory and mini-grants work for those involved and how they would be dispersed, a session on strategic planning and goals for the future of the project, and a session on our subcommittees for our participants on our Board of Champions.

 

Many respected people and companies were present either in person or via conference call during our Board of Champions meeting. We are excited to show the state of Florida what we have planned and what we have already accomplished with this initiative. We will keep you updated on our progress!

 

The Kick-Off Conference was an entire day filled with speakers, an esteemed panel, and break-out sessions to go over the program directory, mini grants, current Florida data, and tips on recruitment and outreach.  Many community based organizations from the Tampa and St. Petersburg area displayed their goods to showcase their program in order to connect with others. The panel was filled with respected participants from organizations such as NASA, Raytheon, Cisco, Florida Community College of Jacksonville, and the Girl Scouts.

 

Overall, the entire event was a complete success!  We will also host many other events in cities across Florida in the near future. Our next one is currently being planned for the spring in Orlando. Stay tuned for more information!!  To find out more about the Florida Girls Collaborative Project, Click Here!!
 
NOTE:  One of the major goals of the Florida Girls Collaborative Project and the Girls Get IT! initiative is to maintain the interest and participation of girls in STEM fields of study through the power of collaboration and by building regional capacity of girl-serving organizations and services. All of which is part of a national effort funded by the National Science Foundation.  Elements of this project will document and promote coordination and collaboration among girl serving STEM programs in Florida and establish an on-going communication system linking these organizations. 
FCR-STEM Launches a Female and Minority Initiative!
 
One of our partners, The Florida Center for Research in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (FCR-STEM) at Florida State University has launched a Female and Minority Initiative created to develop a long-term, comprehensive plan to increase the participation and success of Florida's female and minority students in STEM education and STEM fields.

Since Spring 2007, FCR-STEM has convened an advisory panel to help guide the process and identify K-20 education, research, and business stakeholders to develop the plan. The center also prepared initial drafts of two reports to inform the planning process: (1) a summary of trends in female and minority STEM course-taking, achievement and degree attainment from K-12 through postsecondary education in Florida, and (2) a summary of research on the achievement, choice, and persistence of females and minorities in STEM education.

On November 13-14, 2007, a diverse workgroup of 50 members met in Orlando to begin examining policies, programs and strategies that hold promise for increasing Florida's female and minority representation in STEM courses and STEM fields. Members included representatives of Florida's school districts, community colleges, universities, businesses, department of education and similar initiatives outside Florida.  Leah Cook, Project Director for Girls Get IT! was among the distinguished group and stated, "We got more done in two days than I imagined and the energy among the workgroup participants was phenomenal, however there is still much to do."

FCR-STEM is currently preparing a report of the workgroup's discussion and recommendations, which will be reviewed by the advisory panel at its second meeting in January 2008. The workgroup will reconvene in late March to provide more input on the plan and identify potential measures of its success. 

Questions about the FCR-STEM Female and Minority Initiative should be addressed to Faye Jones, program manager, at [email protected]  For additional information, including a list of advisory panel and workgroup participants,  Click Here!

Girls Get IT! Website Gets Face Lift!

 

The Girls Get IT! website is currently getting a face lift. It is being revamped and refurbished to make it more informative and user-friendly. New features will be added and old features will be upgraded. The new, more accessible website is currently under construction and will be available soon.

 

The new website will feature several upgrades, including updated and current news about Girls Get IT! and the Florida Girls Collaborative Project. Up-to-date information about upcoming and recent events will also be easily accessible. News about STEM education, Girls Get IT!, The Florida Girls Collaborative Project, other grants, or any collaborating organizations will be available to anyone who is interested.

 

The renovated website will also feature an archive of all past issues of the Girls Get IT! Newsletter. It will also provide an easy way, for those who are interested, to sign up to become a member or receive the newsletter.

 

Fun and helpful links will be available on the refurbished website. These links will include all kinds of way for teachers, parents, and girls to promote and enjoy STEM education. Lesson plans, fun games, and activities, all revolving around STEM education will be available at the click of a button.

 

Girls Get IT! has also created an Activities CD that will be available on the new website. It is full of fun and educational activities, perfect for teachers looking for help with lesson plans, parents looking for ways to keep their kids busy, and girls looking to expand their horizons. All of the activities are STEM related and meet specified educational standards and benchmarks. Look for us after the new year!

 

Though our website is currently under construction, our Myspace page is up and running. Check it out and add us as a friend! Click Here!!

To visit GGIT! please click here

If you would like to forward this newsletter to a friend, Click Here!

Cool Career: Web Designer

 

 

What did you do today? Did you play games? Read the news? Go shopping? Chat with your friends? Send mail? And let me guess - you didn't even have to leave your computer to do any of those activities. Almost everything we do on a day-to-day basis can be done via the internet. But how did those activities even get on your computer screen in the first place you ask? Well there are people who create those websites we visit all of the time called web designers.

 

Web designers use their imaginations along with computer programs to help construct new website ideas and bring them to life. They use their creativity to pick out the best images and colors to help make every website you visit interesting and fun. They also write the messages that go into the websites, as well as all the technical stuff (such as "links" that direct you to other web pages) so you can click around each site to find what you are looking for.

 

Web design is an awesome job - and one of the best parts about it is that since the internet is so new and ever-evolving, lots of web designers teach themselves how to design sites and just keep learning! Many web designers are young people with little experience, but have big imaginations and a creative drive that helps them excel at what they do. They are like artists of the future who show off their creations using the internet.

 

So, how can you get started? Like most people, web designers start by using computers at home and at school - bylooking things up, playing games, and e-mail. You can even experiment by making your own homepage (the first thing you come across in a Web site). Get started! Click Here!

Want a Job When You Graduate?

 
Jobs for Florida's Graduates (JFG) is rooted in the three R's - Rigor, Relevance & Relationships. JFG is the Florida affiliate of Jobs for America's Graduates, Inc (JAG), a national non-profit corporation established for the purpose of assisting States in creating a stay-in-school and school-to-career transition system for students of promise based on the JAG Model. The foundation of all JAG programs is the 86 competency curriculum which covers Career Development, Job Attainment Skills, Basic Work Skills, Leadership and Self Development Skills, Personal Growth, Life Survival Skills, and Workplace Survival Skills (all of which are infused with core academic assignments). Furthermore, students create and lead a student association in which they plan projects that center on community service, leadership and team work.
 
In 2003, the US Department of Labor (USDOL) named Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) a Stay-in-School best practice. The results for the last year are consistent with the previous 26 year track record and they are compelling:
  • A 94% graduation rate across the 30 States currently offering the JAG program and, from 1998-2003, JFG enjoyed a 95% graduation rate.
  • Nearly 40% rate of enrollment in post secondary education after high school and, in Florida, 66% of the classes of 2003 & 2004 are in college.
  • 82% of the 7,000 employers that have hired a JAG alumnus would hire another JAG student over any other young person that they interviewed according to a US Chamber of Commerce study.

Finally, independent third-party research, also funded by the USDOL, shows that JAG affiliates have one of the highest impacts ever recorded in helping the poorest minority youth from single-parent homes in getting and keeping a job. The increased value ranges from 40% - 102% academic, work and life skills improvement for economically disadvantaged African American and Hispanic youth.

 

JFG operates programs in middle schools, high schools, alternative schools, community colleges, juvenile justice facilities and one-stops throughout Florida. To find out more information, Click Here!

Florida STEM Mini-Grants and Program Directory

Do you have a collaborative idea within STEM education and need some additional funds to assist you? If so, join our team and receive up to $1,000 for your support. All you have to do is sign up to become part of our statewide Program Directory, and collaborate with another organization that is also in the Program Directory. It's that easy! To sign up, follow the short instructions below and be on your way to making connections you never thought you would!
 
For a more in depth overview of our mini-grants, Click Here!
 
SIGN UP FOR THE FLORIDA STEM PROGRAM DIRECTORY NOW!
 
The online Florida STEM Program Directory lists organizations and programs that focus on motivating girls to pursue education and careers in
science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The purpose of the directory is to help organizations and individuals network, share resources and collaborate on STEM-related projects for girls. 
 
Organizations that serve young women and are interested in bringing more STEM resources to them are also encouraged to sign up!
 
The Directory contains program descriptions, resources available within each organization, program and/or organization needs, and contact information.  What better way to promote your program, resources and find other organizations in your area to collaborate with?
 

Having Your Program Listed in the Directory Has Several Advantages:

  1. Anyone with internet access can find out about your program.
  2. You can view other programs in your area and across the state.
  3. Your organization can do a search and compare needs and resources in your area and across the state.
  4. Your organization is eligible for a mini-grant for innovative projects.

Don't wait - Sign up today! 

Here's How:

 Use the following instructions to create a new user account and then enter a program's information into the NGCP program directory.

  • Click Here!!
  • Click "Register New User" which is located on the far left.
  • Fill out the form and click "Submit"
  • On the next page, click "New Program"
  • Fill out the form and click "Submit"

That's It!  Your program will be listed and can be searched by anyone with access to the internet.  It's that easy!

 

Once a new program's information has been submitted and approved,  it will appear in the public Directory for anyone to search. 

 

What better way to highlight the great work in STEM that you are doing in your community!

 

Note:

In order to be eligible for mini grant funding, your program MUST be listed in the Program Directory.  Once listed, you are encouraged to submit a proposal for consideration of funding.  For mini grant submission guidelines, Click Here!

The National Assessment of Education Process Results Are In!

 

The 2006 results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) were very promising for future high school students. The report stated that reading scores for 4th graders and math scores for 4th and 8th graders were higher than ever before. There is also a narrowing of the persistent achievement gap between minority and white students.

 

Although there is major progress happening in our education system, there was something rather disconcerting. Only 30% of students scored above average in 8th grade reading and math. This brings about many questions of whether or not the students are getting proper education in their earlier education years. More states are raising their high school standards and graduation requirements to ensure they are prepared for postsecondary and career success. The NAEP results are a reminder that many students aren't receiving the knowledge of the challenger they will face in the future.

 

In addition to the NAEP, the National Assessment Governing Board and the National Center for Education Statistics are working to further analyze and enhance the requirements and qualifications students must have in order to advance to either or both postsecondary education and career success.  To read the report in its entirety, Click Here!
What is Girls Get IT?
 
ggit
Florida Girls Get IT is a partnership between Florida Distance Learning Consortium, Cisco Systems, Inc.,  Florida's Community College and University system to create gender equity in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) & Information Technology (IT).
 
Why Does Florida Need This Initiative?
 
To remain competitive, Florida must offer a highly trained workforce. Nearly 75% of future jobs in the United States will require the use of technology, yet fewer than 33% of students in computer courses are female and women comprise only 20% of IT professionals and 13% of engineers.
_______________________________________________________________________________________
Contact: Leah Cook, Project Director
Phone: 850.922.3359
Fax: 850.922.3109
 
Useful Links for Teachers, Students, & Parents

Teachers:
 
PBS 
 

Find exciting new teaching plan ideas and activities through PBS. Find new ways to excite your students and stay informed about what programs they will be running. Click Here!

 
Rainforest Maths
 
Discover fun and new math activities for your students. This site includes activities that meet standards for grades K-6. Click Here!
 

Students:
 
Josie True
 
A free, NSF-sponsored adventure game that features math and science activties. Click Here! 
 
Brain Cake 
 

This website contains a "we hear that" and a "girl to girl" section where girls tell their stories and write down their thoughts on topics twice a month.  It also includes a "she's living it" section where women act as mentors to younger girls. Click Here!

 
Parents:
 
The Foundation for a Better Life 
 
Be inspired and pass it on. This website hopes to inspire people to make values a part of their own lives, and then to communicate the benefits to others. Click Here!
 
Fun Brain Parent's Place
 

Get fun activities and skill-building ideas for your kids in a variety of subjects. Click Here!

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Florida Distance Learning Consortium | Girls Get IT! | Tallahassee | FL | 32310