Girls in Technology poster

Press Release

September 2002

Northwest Girls Get Support from National Science Foundation
BOTHELL, WA - Puget Sound Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology (PSCTLT) has announced receipt of a $99,982 grant from the National Science Foundation's STEM Pathways, a gender-equity program that funds efforts to motivate and support girls' interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The grant was awarded to Puget Sound Center, which will work with the Northwest Girls Coalition, a collaboration of organizations serving Northwest girls. PSCTLT will provide an additional $50,000 to fund the effort to encourage collaboration between existing STEM activities and support services for girls in Washington and Oregon. PSCTLT is a private, non-profit information and communications technology training collaboration between Edmonds and Shoreline Community Colleges and is funded by corporate contributions, private endowment and government grants.

According to Karen Peterson, PSCTLT's Director of Diversity in Technology, "As we began working on a grant proposal, we identified more than 25 organizations in Washington State alone that provide valuable but uncoordinated support services to motivate and support girls' interest in STEM careers. It became clear to us that what Washington and Oregon needed was not a new, competing program but rather a way to coordinate the efforts of existing programs. We want to make sure that girls learn about the wonderful opportunities already available to them—and to continue to improve these opportunities through cooperation."

The grant-funded effort will produce a resource guide of all STEM programs for girls in Washington and Oregon and will help such organizations network and collaborate to share resources. Activities will include ongoing forums and virtual conferences, as well as creating an online resource database. In addition, standardized tools will be developed to help Northwest STEM programs measure their own effectiveness. Twenty-two organizations will receive grants of $1,000 each to try out and report on the value of these new evaluation methods. Results will be used to design a national program replication guide for other states. All work on the program must be completed by February 2004.

Project management will be collaborative. Peterson of PSCTLT will direct the project. Louise Stevens, former Project Manager with the U.S. Department of Education, will lead outreach efforts. Francine Lindner, Research Associate, Education, Career and Community Program will guide the Northwest Regional Laboratory’s assessment and evaluation team. And, Patricia MacGowan, state director of Washington Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA), will lead the mini-grant process.

The project will be under the guidance of a Champions Board made up of individuals such as Dr. Denise Denton, Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Washington, current presidents of the state Math and Science teacher associations, and representatives from both the Washington and Oregon state education departments.

A daylong kick off celebration and information forum will be held on Friday, September 27th at Microsoft's Redmond, Washington campus. For more information, contact at Puget Sound Center, 425.368.1028.
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