Letter from the founders

Dear All,

Scientific Adventures for Girls is a 510c3 not-for-profit organization that is laser-focused on narrowing the gender and minority gap in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.  As we mention time and time again, this mission is an “all-hands-on-deck effort” which involves bringing a wide range of stakeholders to the table – corporations, school districts, parents, foundations and the community at large – volunteers.

Anna Lee

Anna Lee

Jackie Brew

Jackie Brew

Katie Clasen

Katie Clasen

In this letter we would like to shine the spotlight on three of our amazing volunteers, specifically Anna Lee of Lioness, Jackie Brew of Shell and Katie Clasen of Shell.  Combined they have given approximately 80 hours to SAFG in just the last six months on top of their full time STEM jobs.  They not only serve as female engineer role models for our girls, but they are also using their expertise and life experiences to help teach our after school classes at Temescal Library, Curiosity Hacked and numerous drop-in library programs at 81st Ave Branch and Eastmont Branch in Oakland. 

Yes, they are donating services to SAFG (helping us tremendously!), but more importantly, they are also providing something so invaluable to our girls – a nurturing, encouraging role model who understands first-hand what it is like to be one of few women in industries composed of mostly men.  They are showing our girls at a young, impressionable age that female engineers, scientists and 

mathematicians are normal and are viable, reachable options for them.  Our volunteers are breaking down gender stereotypes in STEM!
 
When asked why she volunteers with SAFG, Anna Lee replied, "I grew up in a traditional patriarchal family with no family members in STEM fields. I was lucky enough by chance to have a teacher in school who believed that I could be a woman engineer. I truly believe SAFG is making those chances greater for young girls to believe they can achieve any STEM role they choose. I'm hopeful they'll be my bosses one day!"

Our volunteers are critical stakeholders in this conversation about how we can encourage more women to pursue STEM classes, majors and ultimately careers.  We are overwhelmed by the women who approach us for volunteer opportunities because they want to help inspire girls to pursue their passion in STEM. We want to thank all of these volunteers who make our classes a success!  We are proud of the role model community we are building in the East Bay - because not one organization or corporation can overcome the gender gap in STEM alone. 

All the best,
Tiffany and Courtenay

Winter program highlights

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SAFG started Winter 2017 in full swing with five after school sessions and monthly drop-in STEM programs at three Oakland libraries.

As mentioned in our last newsletter, Wareham Development is generously funding our after school STEM programs at Anna Yates Elementary and is supporting a third after school class – making it possible for SAFG to hold six sessions from Jan-June and reaching 108 girls from K-5th grades.  We want to say thank you to the City of Emeryville's Vice Mayor, John Bauters and Judy Wetterer from Wareham Development, for taking the time to visit the 2-3rd grade class at Anna Yates this week. We loved having you! 

This Winter session the girls are exploring the intersection of mathematics and art in our new program "The Art of Numbers".  The girls will do a variety of projects that provide them with new ways to practice their math skills with beautiful art results.

SAFG is delighted to announce its new program at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary in Oakland.  We are working with Roma Groves, the Principal at MLK and a big supporter of early STEM education.  This 14-week program is for girls in K-2ndgrades. Girls will be having fun making rockets blast, marshmallows fly and motors whir in this hands-on, minds-on exploration of science!

SAFG is continuing its STEM drop-in sessions at 81st Avenue Library on the 4thTuesday of each month and at Eastmont Library on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 3:30-5:00pm. We are starting a third class at Golden Gate library in March on the 2nd Thursday of each month. Girls and boys are having fun this month with “Parachute Science”!

As a celebration for Women’s History Month, SAFG is holding a special STEM program at six Oakland Libraries (Melrose, Brookfield, 81st, Montclair, Asian and Elmhurst Libraries) throughout the month of March.  In addition to learning about famous women in STEM, this fun program will look at “Space Science” and introduce kids to female STEM role models – who will talk about their STEM careers and why they love STEM. Please check out our website for more details on all of our library programs.

Finally, SAFG is happy to announce another new after school STEM program starting at Emerson Elementary in Oakland from April – June 2017. We are looking forward to working with Emerson’s K-2nd grade budding scientists!

Fundraising update

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SAFG is very pleased to announce it received a grant from NXP Semiconductors to support its Summer 2017 STEM Library Programs in Oakland. This program is in coordination with the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) at University of California, Berkeley. Free, drop-in STEM programs will be held at three Oakland libraries from June – August. We will post the classes on our website in April. SAFG and LHS hope to reach over 500 children during this program. Thank you NXP for your generous support and helping us engage girls and boys in Oakland in STEM!

On May 4th SAFG will be participating in East Bay Gives (EBG) – a 24-hour online giving blitz supporting Bay Area nonprofits. EBG aims to mobilize more than 15,000 people to give $5 million to support hundreds of nonprofits. We would love your support on this day and will send out a reminder at the beginning of May.  EBG will be giving cash prizes out to organizations raising money throughout the day – so your support can help us receive extra donations from EBG.  

If your company provides small grants to STEM programs, we would love to apply. We would also love to come speak to your company at a brown bag lunch to gain support for our mission. Please contact Courtenay at ccarr@scientificadventures.org.

If you would like to donate and support girls in science, please go to our website:
http://www.scientificadventures.org/donate.html

Summer Camp 2017

SAFG is getting ready for lots of hands-on STEM fun this summer!  In addition to the expanded STEM drop-In Library Programs mentioned in our Fundraising Update, sponsored by NXP Semiconductors, SAFG will also offer summer camps. Please stay tuned for information on registration details on our website.

 
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Scientific Adventures at home

Springtime STEM:  Tie-Dyed Flowers

If you want to get creative with flowers, there’s another option besides simple arranging: tie-dye! You can dye white blooms to create multi-colored blossoms. First get some white flowers, carnations work well.
 

Materials
- White flowers
- Sharp knife
- Food dye
- Containers for food dye and flowers

  1. Trim the Stems: Cut the stems of the flowers so they’re between 12″–18″ tall (the shorter the stem, the faster the color change). Remove any large leaves. Using a sharp knife, cut a 6″ slit that bisects the very bottom of the stem. You should now have 2 sections of stem at the bottom of your flower. If you’re using more than two colors of dye, cut one or both of these stem sections in half. Keep these cut edges moist since exposure to oxygen can make the flowers wilt at a faster rate.

  2. Add Dye: Set up a container for each color you plan to use and fill with enough water to cover the slit you cut in the stems. Use roughly 20-30 drops of dye per cup. If your bouquet came with a little packet of flower food, you can divide it equally among the cups. Place each separate stem end into a cup of colored water and prop up the flowers so they don’t fall over.

  3. Wait: You should begin to see the first hints of color in the petals after a couple of hours, but wait a full 24 hours to see an even more vibrant color change. Don’t wait too long though — these flowers won’t last forever. Cut off the frayed bottom edges and gift your tie-dye bouquet to someone special.

The Science! As the flower releases moisture through a process known as transpiration, more water gets pulled up through tiny tubes within the stems known as xylem. Water has a tendency to “stick” to water, so as a water molecule leaves the plant it drags the next water molecule up to take its place.

Courtesy of Make