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Research shows that, for a variety of reasons, some girls begin to lose interest (and confidence in their abilities) in math and science in middle school. This PBS SciGirls7 free guide features seven proven strategies to increase female interest in STEM. Keep handy when planning summer activities for girls and youth. These strategies, also been proven to work with underrepresented youth include - collaboration, meaningful and relevant projects and investigations, positive feedback, problem solving, and use of mentors. Check out activities on the site as well. http://scigirlsconnect.org/page/scigirls-seve

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Icebreakers

Sample:

Silent Identification

  • Each participant is asked to write words or draw pictures that describe themselves. This is done silently. They pin the picture on their chests, walk around and have everyone look each other over. Pictures are then shuffled and participants are asked to identify the person to whom the picture belongs.

 

 

Name Game

  • Sit in a circle. One person starts by using an adjective starting with the same letter as his or her first name, followed by the first name (e.g., Clever Claire, Kind Karen). The next person has to repeat the first person's adjective and name and then add his or her own. It goes around the circle and the last person has to repeat all the other names in order and end with his or her own.

 

 

Human Knot

  • Have a group of 10-15 stand very close together. Tell them to reach out their arms so all hands are jumbled and intertwined. Tell them to grab one hand for each of their hands, but not the hand of the person next to them. Now they are a human knot and must use teamwork to untangle themselves into one circle without letting go of their hands.

 

 

Toilet Tissue

  • Tell participants to take a length of tissue. Only after all have taken some, tell them for each panel of tissue they have to say one positive thing about themselves. (You could vary what they have to do or say for each tissue square, tailored to your objective. In another variation, use M&M's – for each color they have to say one thing. For example, if the color is yellow, they must say something sunny about themselves; if it’s red, they must share an embarrassing moment, and so forth.)

Video of the Week

A year in review!  Eleven classes and over 100 volunteers!

Model Lesson:  Team IBM @ Capital Middle

US2020 - The National STEM Education Challenge and Role of Mentors

Establishing Real World Connections with Projects  

Students are more engaged when learning relates directly to the world they live in. This video from Edutopia reinforces the need for community involvement in projects to add relevance.