Montana State University

Montana Girls STEM funds eight Montana youth projects

July 17, 2014 -- MSU News Service

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Tel: (406) 994-4571

BOZEMAN – Eight projects have received mini-grant funding from the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative Project through Montana EPSCoR, a National Science Foundation-funded partnership that includes Montana State University and the University of Montana.

The mini-grants seek to develop or grow programs that offer exposure to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), with a focus on building collaboration between existing programs and organizations that will encourage girls to pursue STEM-related education and careers. Funding for the grants was given in partnership with the Women’s Foundation of Montana.

The projects are:

In Bozeman:

  • The Gallatin Girls Coding Club will work with the Children’s Museum of Bozeman to launch an innovative high-touch club that engages girls in the joy and beauty of coding. GGCC will help girls acquire valuable skills in a safe and structured environment, gain confidence in their ability to create beautiful and functional code, and can inspire them to pursue further education and careers the STEM fields;
  • Hyalite STEM Club is based at Hyalite Elementary School in Bozeman. Working with engineers from McKinstry, the after-school school club will meet monthly to focus on creating a working greenhouse classroom. The students will conduct an energy audit of their school and learn about conceptional design, site location and sustainability.

In Butte:

  • Montana Gems is an after-school STEM program for girls in grades 5-8 based at Montana Tech in Butte. The participating girls will conduct hands-on STEM activities and develop science fair projects. The experience will culminate in a multi-day summer camp experience featuring guest scientists and technologists. Montana Gems will take place in partnership with Montana Tech’s Create Math: Mathematics and Music Summer Experience.

In Great Falls:

  • LittleBigPlanet Club in Great Falls will offer a video game development camp for girls. Working in partnership with the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art and Team KAIZEN (Montana’s first PlayStation-certified game studio), the camp will include real world game development and help students see how their passion in gaming can translate to a fulfilling career in the game industry.

In Missoula:

  • The University of Montana’s PJW College of Education and Human Sciences and the UM Paleontology Center will collaborate to create a YouTube STEM Channel that features female role models demonstrating various STEM topics including fossils, exoplanets, oceans and many others. High school girls will help produce, edit and review films. The project is in collaboration with spectrUM Discovery Area;
  • The SciGirls After-school Astronomy Club is an afterschool program partnership between the Girl Scouts of Montana & Wyoming and the University of Montana’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. Activities will include a tour of the night sky in spectrUM Discovery Area’s Starlab, outdoor stargazing with UM astronomers and their telescopes, Native American storytelling, SciGirls light pollution activities, and an array of self-guided art and astronomy experiences.  The club will culminate with a “night at the museum event” where girls get to stay the night at spectrUM Discovery Area.

In Philipsburg:

  • Montana Trout Unlimited, in partnership with the Big Sky Watershed Corps, received scholarship funds to send five girls to Fly Fishing and Conservation Camp near Georgetown Lake outside of Philipsburg. The camp strives to educate girls about fly fishing, fly tying, conservation and stream restoration and will feature expert speakers sharing knowledge on water quality, watershed management, trout habitat, insect life, fly casting, stream etiquette and more.

Reed Point:

  • The Reed Point STEM Club will offer a robotics camp for youth in grades 3-8. This summer’s camp will focus on robotic surgery, and participants can choose an area of personal interest, whether human or animal surgery.

The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative is part of the National Science Foundation-funded National Girls Collaborative Project with hubs at Montana State University’s Extended University and at the University of Montana’s spectrum Discovery Area. The group’s Website is: and the group is on Facebook at

Contact: Suzi Taylor, Montana State University, (406) 994-7957,