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CGEST E-Newsletter Spring 2017


The National STEM Collaborative

Through the National STEM Collaborative, a consortium of higher education institutions and non-profit partners, we advocate for and with girls and women of color in STEM by providing research and evidence based practices, networking resources, programs and initiatives that may be seamlessly implemented in p-20 education settings. We equip fellow advocates with the tools to expand opportunities for girls and women and color to enter, persist, and succeed in STEM both academically and professionally.

2nd Annual Women of Color STEM Entrepreneurship Conference

by Sharon Torres

In partnership with Arizona State University Office of Entrepreneurship + Innovation, the 2nd annual Women of Color STEM Entrepreneurship Conference was held on March 23-25 at GateWay Community College with the help of our host institution, Maricopa Community Colleges District. With almost 200 registrants, six plenary sessions featuring eight keynote speakers, and twenty workshop sessions the 2017 conference was our largest yet. Entitled HERstory is Our Story: Creating a Legacy through STEM Entrepreneurship, attendees came from across the country, including students from high school to graduate level, faculty, administrators, corporate professionals, entrepreneurs, policy makers, and community members.

The robust curriculum focused on Entrepreneurship, Intrapreneurship, and Implicit Bias. In collaboration with the Global Institute of Sustainability, an exclusive educators’ track on Friday engaged more than thirty K-12 education professionals from the Phoenix area. A closed roundtable discussion with guest of honor Winona LaDuke, political and environmental activist and a series of workshops designed specifically for educators were offered.

Overall, the conference was well received by the participants as demonstrated by the positive feedback collected through evaluation forms and video confessionals. One attendee remarked, “I found it really empowering to hear stories of women of color in STEM fields, and to personally talk to them as well.” A full digital narrative is in post-production and will be published soon.

NSTEMC Regional Convenings

by Sharon Torres

The first NSTEMC Regional Convening was held on March 31 at the University of Alabama. The meeting is a systematic gathering of leaders from key post-secondary institutions from the Southwest region. During the meeting, participants learned about Collaborative opportunities and resources that align with their personal and institutional vision for inclusive STEM initiatives.

Facilitated by Executive Director, Dr. Kimberly Scott and Program Coordinator Sr for Advocacy, Sharon Torres, participants engaged in dialogues and activities that: 

  • Explained, through data, race-gender disparities in STEM academia and industry;
  • Examined their target population;
  • Broke down the challenges they face on an institutional level; and
  • Helped envision systematic, strategic, and concerted solutions in conjunction with partner institutions within their regional network and with the national collaborative.

The meeting was hosted by the Office of Academic Affairs at the University of Alabama and was attended by approximately 60 representatives from the following Southeastern institutions: University of Central Florida, Mississippi State University, University of West Alabama, University of Alabama in Huntsville and Tuscaloosa, Furman University, Georgia Tech, Birmingham-Southern College, Shelton State Community College, Birmingham-Southern University, and Lurleen B. Wallace Community College. Participants included faculty and administrators from various levels. In the afternoon, three separate round table discussions were held for: (1) Deans and Directors, (2) Department Heads; and (3) Faculty. As a result of this meeting, twenty-four new individuals have completed a commitment form and have articulated the types of partnerships and support that they can provide as individuals and on behalf of their center, department, or on an institutional level.

Participants walked away with new knowledge, and expanded network, and a specific action plan for their organization or institution to effectively advance women and girls of color in STEM both academically and professionally.

Capacity Building


Our flagship capacity building program, CompuGirls, is excited to be hosting multiple CompuGirls Camps in Arizona, California, and Michigan. Camps will take place in partnership with Papago School in Phoenix, Portable, Practical Educational Preparation (PPEP)  in Tucson, San Luis, and Douglas, Tempe Public Library in AZ, City of Imperial Public Library in CA, and Ypsilanti District Library in MI. Collectively we anticipate serving over 200 girls.

Girls between the ages of 13-18 will be selected for our innovative and data-supported program. Visit each link for their deadline dates.

  • CompuGirls Summer Camps at Papago School (AZ) now accepting applications. First campus from 05/29/17 to 06/09/17 and second camp from 07/10/17 to 07/15/17 — Learn more
  • CompuGirls Summer Camp at Tempe Public Library in AZ now accepting applications. Camp runs from 06/19/17 to 06/30/17 — Learn more
  • CompuGirls Summer Camp at Ypsilanti District Library in MI now accepting applications. Camp runs from 06/27/17 to 07/13/17 — Learn more
  • CompuGirls Summer Camp at City of Imperial Public Library in CA will be accepting applications soon — Learn more


Through peer-reviewed publications, national and international conferences, and community events, the research team is committed to reaching a a diverse audience, including scholars, policymakers, and community organizations.


by Kimberly A. Scott, Ed.D.

The Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology at Arizona State University was selected among the 15 highest-rated i3 applications under the FY 2016 competition by the U.S. Department of Education. Please find our abstract below describing how project will impact numerous schools, teachers, communities, and 640 students of color.

Project Abstract: COMPUPOWER: Developing a Culturally Responsive Social System

Arizona State University’s Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology (CGEST) proposes an I3 development grant that addresses Absolute Priority 4 (Influencing the Development of Non-Cognitive Factors) and Absolute Priority 5 (Serving Rural Communities) by expanding our empirically-based program, COMPUGIRLS to COMPUPOWER, to examine the impact of “developing non-cognitive skills” on STEM education within 3 rural and 5 urban high schools throughout Arizona. In collaboration with American Institutes for Research, our external evaluator, the COMPUPOWER: Developing a Culturally Responsive Social System project will provide access to 640 students of color within LEA’s.

Goal, Objectives, Outcomes: To positively impact underrepresented students’ noncognitive outcomes, plans for STEM coursework, and increase computational thinking skills. Objective #1: Revise an out-of-school culturally responsive computing curriculum as an in-school model that includes girls and boys; outcome: More students from high needs areas will have access to a prolonged intervention with a strong theoretical foundation. Objective #2: Expand our curriculum to provide participants with increased opportunities to positively affect their interests, self-efficacy, self-regulatory, self-concept and computational thinking skills; outcome: More students from participating high needs area possess non-cognitive and computational thinking skills poising them to pursue future STEM coursework and careers; Objective #3: Integrate more experiences within our curriculum that demonstrate cultural relevance of learning from varied social actors; outcome: More students from high need areas will have access to a strong support system that will influence self-perception in short and long-term outcomes.

REU Participants Present at 2017 STEMPower Conference

by Megan Berry, NSF REU

In March, Tori and I were given the opportunity as REUs to present at the 2017 STEMPower conference in San Diego. We had a hand in all aspects of the presentation, from working with the CoRobots data to determining the lesson we wanted to share with conference participants. While I have given other conference presentations, this was the first one where we were given the task of determining what stories and data to share, and how best to present that information. My favorite part was weaving an activity of identity dolls into the presentation because we really got to get to know and interact with out audience. We came away with ideas on how to improve CoRobots activities and our presentation skills, as well as knowing that what we talked about was going to be shared in out of school settings across the nation.