On Wednesday, December 4th The National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) hosted their conference Exploring Collaborations: Successful Strategies for Increasing Equity and Access to STEM (PNW Collaborates). Here is a summary and some take away points from the day:
- There was an incredible breath and depth of education leadership, common experience, and commitment to STEM learning and engaging girls.
- Diversity was a persistent topic; one key point made was that people from diverse backgrounds must be making the decisions, not just presented with them at the end to review.
- The conference was a great networking opportunity and we met many leaders in the STEM and girls advocacy world.
- Our GAMES Initiative break sessions were interesting especially because of the amount of non-gamers that really got what we were trying to do. Gamification is a know technique for accomplishing the GAMES Initiative and NGCP goals.
- We significantly grew the GAMES Initiative network with girls, gaming, and STEM expertise to refine our thought strategies and heard many additional, unique perspectives.
For a more in depth play-by-play review, read on:
The NGCP brings together organizations throughout the United States that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). PNW Collaborates was a full-day conference of inspiring panels and thought-provoking sessions. We explored new research, learned about new initiatives, shared vital resources, and connected with community partners. Over 125 people from regional non-profit groups and school made for exciting opportunities to network and discuss joining forces on initiatives to increase girls’ advocacy and interest in STEM.
To start off the day Karen Peterson, Principal Investigator of The NGCP gave opening remarks and welcomed the participants to the conference. Then Jenny Lay-Furrie, Senior Director, Accessibly & Customer Partner Advocacy of Microsoft gave the opening welcome remarks regarding accessibility and advocacy. Next we heard from the “Girl Perspective” panel, a group of young ladies that talked about their interest and involvement in STEM at. One woman, Mayukha Vadari, a sophomore at Redmond HS said this, “In 4th grade the math club was half girls, by 8th grade I was the only girl.” Her and others comments made us laugh and think. Continue reading