Tuesday, March 21, 2017

This March Let Us Celebrate the Female Pioneers Who Have Contributed to the STEM Fields

In the United States, Women's History Month traces its beginnings back to the first International Women's Day in 1911. In 1978, the school district of Sonoma, California participated in Women's History Week, an event designed around the week of March 8 (International Women's Day). In 1979 a fifteen-day conference about women's history was held at Sarah Lawrence College from July 13 until July 29, chaired by historian Gerda Lerner.[2][3] It was co-sponsored by Sarah Lawrence College, the Women's Action Alliance, and the Smithsonian Institution.[2] When its participants learned about the success of the Sonoma County's Women's History Week celebration, they decided to initiate similar celebrations within their own organizations, communities, and school districts.[3] They also agreed to support an effort to secure a National Women's History Week.[3]
In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980, as National Women's History Week.[3]The proclamation stated, "From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well. As Dr. Gerda Lerner has noted, 'Women’s History is Women’s Right.' It is an essential and indispensable heritage from which we can draw pride, comfort, courage, and long-range vision. I ask my fellow Americans to recognize this heritage with appropriate activities during National Women’s History Week, March 2–8, 1980. I urge libraries, schools, and community organizations to focus their observances on the leaders who struggled for equality - Susan B. AnthonySojourner TruthLucy StoneLucretia MottElizabeth Cady StantonHarriet Tubman, and Alice Paul. Understanding the true history of our country will help us to comprehend the need for full equality under the law for all our people. This goal can be achieved by ratifying the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states that 'Equality of Rights under the Law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.'"[3] Carter was referring to the Equal Rights Amendment, which was never ratified, not to the amendment which did become the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution after his presidency.
In 1981, responding to the growing popularity of Women's History Week, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) co-sponsored the first Joint Congressional Resolution proclaiming a Women's History Week. Congress passed their resolution as Pub. L. 97-28, which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week."[4] Throughout the next several years, Congress continued to pass joint resolutions designating a week in March as Women’s History Week.[4] Schools across the country also began to have their own local celebrations of Women's History Week and even Women's History Month. By 1986, fourteen states had declared March as Women's History Month. 
In 1987, after being petitioned by the National Women's History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as Women’s History Month.[4] Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month.[4] Since 1988, U.S. presidents have issued annual proclamations designating the month of March as Women’s History Month. (Wikipedia)

For more resources (i.e. videos, photographs, activities, etc.) please click here.

Here are a few pioneers who deserved to be celebrated:

1) Marjorie Lee Brown - was a noted mathematics educator. She was one of the first
    African-American women to receive a Ph. D in mathematics. Browne also saw the
    importance of computer science early on, writing a $60,000 grant to IBM to bring a
    computer to NCUU in 1960 - one of the first computers in academic computing, and
    probably the first at a historically black school. 

Marjorie Lee Brown

2) Kamala Sohonie - was a noted biochemist. She was also the first Indian woman to
    receive a Ph. D in scientific discipline. Please click here to read about other famous
    Indian female scientist. 

Kamala Sohonie

3) Chika Kuroda - was a Japanese chemist whose research focused on natural pigments.
    She was the first woman in Japan to receive a Bachelor of Science. 

Chika Kuroda

Now let's take a look and see how one site in Region 3 is engaging expanded learning youth in STEM Learning Activities.

Name of Expanded Learning Program Provider: Sacramento Chinese Community

Name of School Site: John Cabrillo Elementary School

Grade Level of Activity: 4th and 5th Graders

Number of Students who took part in the activity: 22

Type of Activity: Slime

Learning Outcomes: Students were able to: 

  • Learn about chemical reactions
  • Learn about the different states of matter (liquid and solid)
  • Learn about viscosity
  • Learn how to work together
  • Learn the basics of Newtonian Fluid

Expanded Learning students learning about chemical reactions.
For more information about this STEM learning activity please email 
Duc-Hanh Nguyen @ duchanh@sccsc.org.

STEM / Expanded Learning and Other Pertinent Articles:

   (Afterschool Alliance article by Rachel Clark March 16, 2017)

2) Why Strong After School Programs Matter
    (Washington Post article by Jodi Grant December 15, 2011)

3) Afterschool Program Quality and Student Outcomes
    (The Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project report by 
    Deborah Lowe Vandell)

4) The Importance of STEM
    (The Hanford Sentinel article by Julissa Zavala March 8, 2017)

5) Teachers eye potential of virtual reality to enhance science instruction
    (Edsource article by Carolyn Jones February 20, 2017)

    (California Community Schools Network Blog March 2017)

    (NPR article by Sophia Alvarez Boyd March 10, 2017)

    (NPR article by Anya Kamenetz March 9, 2017)

    (KQED article by Leah Shaffer March 8, 2017)

      (Guardian article by Paula Briggs March 17, 2016)

      (Guardian article by Lilufa Uddin February 24, 2017)

      (U.S. News article by Anzish Mirza March 1, 2017)

      (World Economic Forum article by Alex Gray January 19, 2016)

14) DACA One Student's Story  
      (NPR article by Claudio Sanchez March 8, 2017)

15) Coding for All with Free C-STEM Studio for Raspberry Pi
      (UC Davis article by Andy Fell March 14, 2017)

STEM (and other interdisciplinary core content) Activities / Videos / Websites:

    (Teaching Tolerance resources for educators)

    (Teaching Tolerance resources for educators)

    (Activity Ideas)

    (NPR Radio Clip March 2017)

     (NPR Radio Clip March 2017)

     (NPR Radio Clip March 2017)

    (Lesson Plans)

    (SEDL Website)

STEM Educational Grants:

1) The Big List of Educational Grants and Resources 
     (Edutopia: Updated on March 15, 2017)

2) California After School Network Funding Opportunities
    (CAN Grant Page)

3) After School Funding Database (Afterschool Alliance)

4) Grant Opportunities (Impact Foundry)

5) Bank of The West (Funding Opportunity)

6) Application for Free Computers (RRR Computers)

STEM / Misc. Professional Learning Sessions / Contest / Events: 

    (High School Students can submit their art: April 24, 2017 is the 
    deadline to submit)

    (SCOE: May 19, 2017 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, Free Admission)

    (SCOE: May 23, 2017 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, Free Admission)

4) College and Career Readiness Workshop (Grades 5-12)
    (SCOE: May 31, 2017 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, Free Admission)

Thanks again for all that you do in the field. Please keep us posted about STEM events/activities in your area. Please feel free to contact us at any time.

Monica Gonzalez-Williams (SCOE: Region 3: After School Regional Lead):

Phil Romig (SCOE: Science Curriculum Specialist): promig@scoe.net

Mark Drewes (SCOE: Project Specialist II: Expanded Learning) mdrewes@scoe.net

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