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The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative:

  • brings together organizations and individuals who are committed to informing and motivating girls to pursue careers in STEM
  • shares research and exemplary practices
  • offers professional development and opportunities for collaboration
  • funds mini-grants and brings national STEM resources to Montana
  • provides girls and other under-represented youth with access to STEM mentors and role models and hands-on STEM opportunities

The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative was launched in 2012 as a state chapter of the National Girls Collaborative. MSU’s Science Math Resource Center houses and provides leadership for Montana Girls STEM. A co-leader is located at the University of Montana’s spectrUM Discovery Area, and volunteer board members are located throughout the state of Montana and represent government, industry and education.

Networking and Collaboration

The primary goals of the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative are to:

  • Maximize access to shared resources within projects, and with public and private sector organizations and institutions interested in expanding girls’ participation in STEM.
  • Strengthen capacity of existing and evolving projects by sharing exemplary practice research and program models, outcomes, and products.
  • Use the leverage of a network and the collaboration of individual girl-serving programs to create the tipping point for gender equity in STEM.

We do this through....

  • Collaboration forums that include networking, presentations on local STEM projects and best practices
  • Social media: Facebook and Twitter
  • A free quarterly e-newsletter that includes STEM events and opportunities (Sign up)
  • Presentations to professional associations and other organizations
  • Access to national programs including The Connectory and FabFems

STEM Projects for Youth

As part of the National Girls Collaborative, we can take part in national “network projects” through which STEM resources for youth are distributed in Montana communities. Via these national programs, Montana Girls STEM Collaborative has brought more than $100,000 of resources to Montana with emphasis on serving girls and boys who are typically under-represented in STEM, particularly those in our rural and reservation communities.

Network projects include:

Leap Into Science: a national program of the Franklin Institute that integrates open-ended science activities with children’s books.

No Limits: A nationwide partnership between Mercedes-Benz and Mattel that helps tackle gender stereotypes in toys.

Role Models Matter (TechBridge Girls)

This training prepares organization leaders, educators, and STEM professionals and students how to increase and improve the quality of outreach to girls in STEM.

Habitat Connections (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

A hands-on curriculum that directly connects young people with their local habitats in order to build their scientific and environmental literacy.

Science Action Club (California Academy of Sciences)

A STEM program for middle school youth in out-of-school time that includes units on birds, bugs and clouds and a heavy focus on citizen science. See more on Montana’s program

CryptoClub (University of Chicago)

A middle school program that helps youth crack ciphers, discover secrets and improve math skills with engaging activities.

Professional Development / Training

The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative seeks to:

  • Strengthen the capacity of girl-serving STEM programs to effectively reach and serve underrepresented girls in STEM by providing professional development and exemplary practices.

Professional development partners have included:

  • Montana Afterschool Alliance
  • Women’s Foundation of Montana
  • Montana Environmental Education Association
  • MSU Women’s Center
  • Montana Educators Association
  • Montana Library Association

In addition, the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative is served by volunteer board members at organizations such as D.A. Davidson, ExxonMobil, Department of Defense STARBASE and even the First Lady of Montana and the president of Montana State University.

The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative was launched as an outreach program of Montana NSF EPSCoR and is based upon work supported in part by the National Science Foundation EPSCoR Cooperative Agreement IIA-1443108 and EPS-1101342 as well as National Science Foundation EPSCoR Cooperative Agreement OIA-1757351.

View more resources on the Montana Girls STEM pages of the National Girls Collaborative site.