The Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative is pleased to announce the 2016 Mini-Grant Awardees. Partnering with the NASA Kentucky Space Grant Consortium, KGSC was able to fund 7 STEM outreach projects this year. For more details on each of the projects KGSC funded, please see the project summaries below.

SWAG MINORITY COLLEGE ACCESS PROGRAM

FAYETTE COUNTY

Project Leader: Tiffany Harper
Collaborating Program: University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment

Project Overview

The S.W.A.G. (Science With AGriculture) program will inspire and encourage minority pre-college students to pursue a future degree in STEM. Middle school girls grades 6th-8th will come to the University of Kentucky campus and be exposed to departments in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment to learn about exciting STEM careers and majors within agriculture and natural resources fields.

STEM FOR GIRLS AFTERSCHOOL CLUB

ROWAN COUNTY

Project Leader: Kay Roe
Collaborating Program: eTextile

Project Overview

The STEM Club for girls is an afterschool program that provides instruction in science, technology, engineering and math through a variety of hands-on activities. This offers girls the opportunity to enhance their knowledge in different STEM areas and the education needed to pursue STEM-related careers.

The Craft Academy of Excellence in Science and Mathematics will be the collaborating partner in our afterschool STEM Club for girls. They will provide access to tools/equipment, computer access, computer technology support, facilities/physical space, girls interested in STEM, mentoring, online resources, STEM curriculum/activities, teaching or tutoring, volunteers and workshops/classes/training. Additionally, the Assistant Director of Academic Services is a female and great role model for the participants. Rowan County Middle School will provide support, facilities/physical space, technology, teaching, girls interested in STEM, and funding.

LEARNING SCIENCE IN THE GARDEN

BRECKINRIDGE COUNTY

Project Leader: Alexandria Bryant
Collaborating Program: Breckinridge Public Library

Project Overview

Women are poorly represented in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields (US Department of Labor, 2014). Marra et al. (2008) suggests that middle school is the first age when boys’ interest in STEM becomes disproportionally greater than girls’. This trend continues through college where fewer women pursue STEM-related degrees and careers. This program aims to target elementary and middle school youth during those critical years and spark their interest in science, particularly Food and Agricultural sciences.

The program consists of two parts: 1) weekly meetings during an 8 week summer program with activities led by extension personnel, library staff, Master Gardeners, and other community leaders and 2) field trips to see local female leaders in action in the Food and Agricultural science fields. Through hands-on activities and interaction with real female leaders putting STEM into practice, this program aims to increase youth’s confidence in science, knowledge of science careers, and develop skills used in the Food and Agricultural science fields.

ST. LEONARD WOLVERETTES MAKERS CLUB

JEFFERSON COUNTY

Project Leader: Joe Reed
Collaborating Program: Kentucky Science Center

Project Overview

Due to its location, two blocks from I-71 on Zorn Avenue in Louisville, KY, St. Leonard school serves students from across the city. There is particularly large population of girls from the West End of Louisville coming to St. Leonard from Community Catholic Center. These girls typically receive free or reduced lunch as well as substantially reduced tuition.

While STEM has been a focus at St. Leonard for years (outdoor wetlands classroom, science fairs, one-to-one program, environmental club, math counts), recently we have partnered with the Kentucky Science Center to plan a Wolverettes Makers Club (a play on our school mascot, targeted to girls). This club is targeted at girls from the West End, though other students are welcome. It is hoped that these West End students will choose to participate in this after school club.

WITH-IT WOMEN

HARDIN COUNTY

Project Leader: Susan Ryan
Collaborating Program: LEAF-STEM

Project Overview

In collaboration with area Information Technology businesses, Elizabethtown Technical and Community College, and civilian IT employees at Ft. Knox, female students in grades 4-11 at Elizabethtown Independent Schools will be exposed to IT and STEM related careers, role-models, and skill sets. With-IT Women events will build a female pipeline for a new IT career pathway at the local high school. Raising young female students’ awareness of IT career fields and self-efficacy as related to IT skills will encourage female enrollments into this non-traditional pathway.

GALAXY GIRLS

JEFFERSON COUNTY

Project Leader: Mellisa Blankenship
Collaborating Program: Galaxy Girls

Project Overview

Explore space, leadership, engineering, and more in this girls-only overnight at the Kentucky Science Center! Kentucky Science Center is proud to partner with Girl Scouts of Kentucky’s Wilderness Road to offer a STEM-rich program designed to help girls engage in space exploration and uncover the variety of career fields associated with Space, Aeronautics, Engineering, and more! Particpants will work in teams to solve real-life problems that occur in space exploration and discover what it means to work as a team!

NKY MAKERSPACE

BOONE COUNTY

Project Leader: Ryan Kellinghause
Collaborating Program: NKY Makerspace

Project Overview

NKY Girls in Aviation is an exciting opportunity for girls in middle and high schools across northern Kentucky to build confidence in aviation science, explore STEM opportunities and meet aviation experts. Girls will build hot air balloons, fly drones, constuct basic and advanced planes, tour local airports, explore local aviation history and work one-on-one with pilots, engineers and local aviation experts. Events will include workshops and Super Saturdays at NKY MakerSpace, field trips and a culminating celebration with their parents.

The program is a collaborative effort between Northern Kentucky University and Boone County Schools to expose northern Kentucky girls betwteen the ages of 11 and 18, to aviation through a series of fun hands-on explorations, labs and field activities. Programs will involve the Boone County Civial Air Patrol, Conner High School Aeronautics Engineering, Adjunct NKU Professor Bill Schneider, Pilot Tom Edwards, Jim Daniels with GE Aircraft, Workforce Development, NKY MakerSpace and CVG Airport.

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