Girlstart Blog


After School Week 1

Pop Fly Challenge

Girlstart After School made its return to schools this week and we are serving more girls than ever! Girlstart After School will be meeting at 36 schools across 7 districts in central Texas this fall and even more with our 'to Go' programs. 

This week, girls met for their first week, getting to know new friends and club leaders. They were introduced to the engineering design process and talked about brainstorming, testing and redesigning projects. Getting their first challenge, to design and build a catapult, girls worked as structural engineers to launch their ping pong ball as far as possible. 

Posted in After School Blog


Connect With Weather

Know the Elements, Make a Plan

The Weather Channel and Time Warner Cable are excited to present their Connect with Weather event to the Austin community hosted at the Girlstart STEM Center. Everyone is invited to join us Wednesday, October 9th from 6:00pm-7:30pm for an interactive, free safety and preparedness program!

Don't miss this opportunity to...
Meet The Weather Channel meteorologist Kelly Cass! 

Learn how our Austin community responds to emergencies.
Create your own family emergency preparedness plan.
Get life-saving severe weather information.

The entire family is welcome to explore hands-on activities provided by local community organizations, including Girlstart's popular WeatherFest activities.

To share this event with friends and neighbors, click here.

Click here to RSVP!

Posted in Girlstart


Hands-On Wednesday

Making a Bouncy Ball

Don’t want to go to the store to buy bouncing balls? Check out this experiment to learn how to make your own right at home.

Posted in STEM Hands On


Donor Spotlight

Alcoa & The Alcoa Foundation

Girlstart's STEM programs are only possible because of the support of our generous community of corporate, foundation, government, and individual donors. Today we are highlighting a new corporate partner, Alcoa, whose generous support has helped us bring fun STEM education programs to girls in rural Rockdale, Thorndale, Thrall, and Taylor, Texas.

About Alcoa and the Alcoa Foundation
Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary aluminum and fabricated aluminum, as well as the world’s largest miner of bauxite and refiner of alumina. In addition to inventing the modern-day aluminum industry, Alcoa innovation has been behind major milestones in the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics, and industrial markets over the past 125 years.

Among the solutions Alcoa markets are flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, as well as Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, and building systems in addition to its expertise in other light metals such as titanium and nickel-based super alloys. Alcoa employs approximately 61,000 people in 30 countries across the world.

Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately US$446 million. Founded more than 50 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than US$550 million since 1952. In 2011, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than US$20 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships, engaging its people to improve the environment and educating tomorrow’s leaders. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers who share their energy, passion and purpose to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the company’s signature Month of Service program, in 2011, a record 56 percent of Alcoa employees took part in more than 1,200 events across 24 countries, reaching 81,000 children, serving 9,000 meals, planting 34,000 trees and supporting 1,800 nonprofit organizations. More information can be found at

Alcoa & The Alcoa Foundation supports Girlstart’s programs in Taylor, bringing STEM education to girls from Rockdale, Thorndale, Thrall, and Taylor, Texas.

What drove the Alcoa Foundation to invest in STEM education for girls?
One of the two key themes that guide the Alcoa Foundation's funding decisions and engagement priorities is supporting education and training where Alcoa can offer expertise and make a difference in manufacturing, the environment, and safety. A STEM workforce is vital to America’s global competitiveness. However, women are greatly underrepresented in STEM jobs and among STEM degree holders despite making up nearly half of the U.S. workforce and half of the college-educated workforce.

What message would you tell girls who are thinking about studying STEM subjects or pursuing STEM careers?
Response from Sue Ellen Hamilton - Information Technology - Global Primary Products US Regional Information and Process Systems Leader

So you’re going to study science, technology, engineering or math?
Many girls ask if they can be successful and the answer is really pretty simple. You can be the next great engineer, scientist, or technologist, all you have to do is take that first big step and challenge yourself to do new things! You will do fabulously:
•If you are interested in the world around you
•If you enjoy learning
•If you get a kick out finding out how things work
•If you get a thrill out of making something work
•If you like being creative
•If you want to celebrate big when you build something cool
•If you want to make a difference in people's lives
So set your sights on the goal and realize that you have a great deal of talents to share with the world!

Thank you, Alcoa and the Alcoa Foundation!

Posted in Girlstart

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