5 Great Resources for Girls Interested in STEM

By Michael Rosa

At Digital Media Academy, we believe everyone should be exposed to the benefits of learning STEM.

Unfortunately, girls are represented in STEM fields at disproportionately low numbers. “Lack of role models, negative stereotypes and isolation are significant barriers preventing girls from reaching their full potential,” explains Made By Girls Program Director Peggy Lee.

We want to change that, and we’re not the only ones. Here are five great resources designed to help girls gain insight, interest and success in STEM!

Made By Girls

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The overriding Made By Girls mission is to serve the global community and help girls reach their fullest potential, encouraging them to express their creativity and personality every step of the way.

Made By Girls tech courses are designed to increase girls’ confidence in coding and computer science. Classes are led by female instructors/mentors dedicated to serving as role models and building a supportive community for girls learning STEM.

DMA’s Made By Girls initiative aims to build tech confidence in young women, and was created exclusively to support early positive experiences with technology. “The Made By Girls program is dedicated to supporting change by providing a safe environment where girls can learn and grow together with the support of strong female role models,” says Made By Girls Program Director Peggy Lee.

One of the latest Made By Girls courses is Wearable Tech & Fashion Design. There’s even a Made By Girls Scholarship, where girls are asked to finish this prompt, “I want to join Made By Girls because…” in either an essay or short video.

The Made By Girls Scholarship deadline has been extended, and applications will be accepted through April 16th for the 2016 summer season! To learn more about how to nominate yourself or another deserving girl to receive tuition support for a Made By Girls course of her choice, visit the Made By Girls Scholarship page.

Vidcode

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Vidcode focuses on project-based learning through creative art projects. That means students learn by creating! With Vidcode, students can create motion-reactive videos using computer vision or custom video filters using advanced JavaScript.

DMA was lucky enough to have Vidcode visit us for our A Conversation With Women In STEM panel last year. Co-Founder Melissa Halfon and designer/developer/tinkerer Leandra Tejedor taught students at the Girls’ Middle School of Palo Alto how to create their own videos effects by using code in a Bestie E-Card tech activity.

Vidcode was also awarded the Best Learning Website of 2015 by Graphite/Common Sense Media!

National Girls Collaborative Project

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The National Girls Collaborative Project envisions bringing together organizations throughout the U.S. that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in STEM.

NGCP wants to create the tipping point for gender equity in STEM through the use of network leveraging, strengthening the capacity of existing and evolving projects by sharing research, and maximizing access to those shared resources within projects. But the coolest thing about NGCP is its mini-grant program.

If your nonprofit organization is seeking financial help to kick off a program built around empowering young girls, NGCP offers mini-grants that foster collaboration with other like-minded organizations. Mini-grants are awarded to girl-serving, STEM-focused programs to support collaboration, address gaps and overlaps in service, and share promising practices.

SciGirls and SciGirls Connect

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SciGirls is an Emmy-award-winning PBS Kids television show, website and educational outreach program engaging girls in STEM learning and careers. Now reaching more than 14 million girls, educators and families, it’s the most widely accessed girls’ STEM program available nationally.

The goal of SciGirls is to change how millions of girls think about STEM, addressing a singular but powerful goal: to inspire, enable and maximize STEM learning and participation for all girls, with an eye toward future STEM careers.

SciGirls CONNECT is essentially a social network encouraging educators to adopt new, research-based strategies to engage girls in STEM with videos, activities and other resources. This network is a supportive community of dedicated educators who provide the spark, the excitement and the promise of a new generation of women in STEM careers.

Techbridge

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Techbridge inspires girls to discover a passion for technology, science and engineering, and aims to expand the academic and career options for girls in these subjects.

Through hands-on learning, Techbridge empowers the next generation of innovators and leaders. It believes every girl needs personal and consistent support to succeed, and so it has created resources for educators, families and role models to build up girls’ support networks.

Techbridge also provides training to school districts and partners to build capacity for STEM teaching in after-school and summer programs.