STEM Consortium 2011 Summary

The first annual STEM Consortium meeting was held at The Harpeth Hall School November 9-11, 2011.  This group is comprised of STEM leaders at K-12 girls' schools, university-level STEM programs with strong female participation, STEM corporations with welcoming cultures for women, and other informal education groups who serve girls.  Each year this group will provide leadership and guidance to the new Center for STEM Education for Girls.  This year the Consortium worked on two main tasks: setting goals and priorities for the Center and determining the theme and conference strands for the upcoming Think Tank and Conference.


Using a generative meeting design, the Consortium members present developed fourteen topics for discussion and ultimately selected five of them as priorities for the Center.


What do we know? What do we need to know to keep women in STEM?  Create a literature survey and summary and disseminate it broadly. Identify holes in the literature for future projects and grants.Online education – Create a position statement on blended learning in STEM courses (especially a lab course) with guiding principlesSupporting girls in STEM: Secondary through College – Create regional summer "boot camps" and "booster camps" for girls going into STEM majors with regional secondary/higher-ed partnerships.Failure as a part of the Creative / Learning Process (and making it a positive experience) – Gather and disseminate relevant literature.  Create best practices repository for relevant curriculum and assessment tools. Changing the Conversation / Messaging – What message do we send to girls about STEM?  Gather and disseminate existing resources for students, parents, and educators.


The Think Tank and Conference will continue to build upon the successful previously held Think Tanks.  The new dates are July 18-20, 2012, and it will be held at The Harpeth Hall School.  The group has set "Changing the Paradigm: Lessons Up & Down the Pipeline – K12 to university to corporate" as the conference theme for 2012.  Conference strands have been selected as follows:


Best Practices in Curriculum & Teaching for GirlsGirls in Coed SchoolsGetting Started in STEM – What do we mean?  How is it different?  How do you do it?Changing the Conversation – What message do we send to girls about STEM?Community Outreach - How can schools use local museums, universities, science centers, and businesses to give girls hands-on experiences and access to STEM careers?