On October 24th, 85 volunteers from all over Austin helped serve over 1000 kids and families at Spooky Extravaganza at the Bullock Texas State History Museum! Volunteers led booth activities such as boo bubbles, candy blood components, skeletons and more. Kids and families came in their costumes ready to enjoy some spooky STEM fun and a great night was had by all. Thank you, volunteers, for making the day possible and fun for the Austin community!
We are so grateful for all the volunteer groups that make Girlstart possible all year long!
Last Friday (October 17th), twenty volunteers from 3M gave their whole day to help us with some big projects. Thanks to their tireless work, Girlstart now has a new backyard shed (which they build from the ground up). Volunteers also helped get our centerpieces and Mystery Boxes ready for our Annual Game Changers Luncheon, as well as other projects around our building to help make it beautiful.
Girlstart kicked off another year of after school programming this fall! Each week Girlstart will serve close to 1000 girls per week in these after school clubs. That means we need a lot of help prepping materials for a successful year. The 2016 class of the Capital of Texas chapter of National Charity League volunteered several hours assembling STEM journals for each of our participants. Thank you ladies for volunteering your time and supporting Girlstart's mission!
This Fall, Girlstart will offer 12 after school programs outside the Central Texas area such as McAllen, San Antonio, Arlington and College Station. A group of 20 Google employees came together to assemble after school journals for each participant as well as prepping a circuit activity for girls. Thank you so much Google for your help and can't wait for the girls to use their new journals!
Summer camp at Girlstart has come to a wrap and our building was in need of a little TLC. Thanks to an amazing group of volunteers from Charity Dynamics, they were able to spruce up our computer lab and STEM room with a fresh coat of paint.
The past two weeks, Dr. Pamela Owen of the Texas Memorial Museum talked to the Girlstart campers about the evolutionary history of whales and their many adaptations to living in water. She explained how we can trace their developmental history by examining fossils – based on fossil evidence we know that ancient whales lived partially on land, had legs, and had nostrils at the end of their noses (rather than blowholes on top of their heads).
Girlstart is forever grateful for the wonderful community of volunteers that return to help year after year. Life Technologies, a brand of Thermo Fisher Scientific, is one of our groups that willingly donates their time each year. They joined us on May 16th to help address postcards that will be sent out to the Girlstart Alumnae Board- our program for past participants. Thank you for donating your time to help keep us connected with our alumnae!
This summer, Girlstart's Summer Camp 'To Go' will host 11 summer camps outside of Austin, serving over 300 girls in areas throughout Texas and across the country! Every activity is packed and shipped to its camp location ahead of time; that is a lot of supplies and materials to prepare! Thankfully, a group of eBay volunteers joined us on May 12th to help organize activity materials for all of these camps. From tracing glider templates to cutting plates for roller coaster tracks, this group made it possible to offer STEM programming to all of those girls. Thank you so much for your time and energy!
Charles Schwab Volunteer Week took place the week of June 19th and was a whirlwind of fun and productivity! On May 20th, a group of Schwab employees volunteered their time at their offices to make over 300 name tags for all of our Summer Camps "To Go" across Texas and the country. Name tags are key for getting girls connected every week at camp- they help break the ice and make girls feel comfortable making new friends. Thank you for laminating, cutting, hole punching and tying lots of ribbon!
The ninth annual Girls In STEM Conference took place on April 12th at Travis High School. The day was filled with fun hands-on workshops led by over 80 STEM professionals and 70 volunteers that ensured the day was a success.
We had volunteers and presenters join us from all walks of life: high school students, college students, past Girlstart participants, parents, teachers, engineers and even some that came all the way from Memphis, TN. Thank you all for inspiring and encouraging girls in STEM.
Over the month of December Girlstart was able to partner with 12 organizations throughout the country to participate in live Google+ hangouts and share videos. Viewers got to go on a virtual scuba dive, hang out with penguins, sloths, and parrots, to even learning about the science of fireworks. Thank you for your willingness and enthusiasm to participate in DeSTEMber.
If you missed any of these Google+ hangouts, they are still available to watch at www.destember.org.
30 Community Volunteers Made Game Changers Luncheon Amazing
A special thank you to our Game Changers Committee! 30 volunteers from all business sectors spent the majority of the year planning our Game Changers Annual Luncheon. Committee members assisted with the Women in STEM Honorees video, printed the 3D Girlstart centerpieces, created a multi-media power point presentation, donated and/or asked for donations for our silent auction and mystery boxes, assisted with marketing and PR for the event, provided event sponsorships and much more! We are so grateful for the hundreds of planning and volunteer hours our committee contributed this year. THANK YOU!
Girlstart’s last week of Summer Camp ‘to Go’ was hosted by the Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue, Washington during the first week of August. Several employees from the local AMD office volunteered their time during the week.
Yasuko Eckert, an MTS Design Engineer and part of AMD’s research team, was the guest speaker of the week. She spoke to the girls about how her education led her to a computer science class in college. Yasuko enjoyed her computer science class as she learned more about it and decided to pursue that in her career. She told the girls that what she loves about her job at AMD is knowing that her work helps people by making a difference in the technology of the future.
AMD’s Green Team also visited Girlstart’s camp to talk to the girls about recycling. They asked the girls about things they can do in their daily lives to conserve resources, such as turning the lights off when they leave a room or riding their bikes to school instead of driving. The girls also brainstormed ideas about upcycling items they have at home. For example, they can reuse the can from a canned food as a pencil holder at their desk. The Green Team helped prepare the campers for their lesson on pollution in the ocean. They engineered models of machines that could be used to remove the plastic in the ocean.
Several other AMD employees came to camp to have lunch with the girls and even stopped by to see their Showcase at the end of the week. The girls enjoyed the opportunity to share what they had learned all week with the AMD visitors.
During the month of July, Girlstart had 2 new themes and 4 more weeks of summer camp. Each week a group of high school volunteers come and help make camp a huge success. A few of our volunteers this summer were previous campers themselves and are now part of GAB.
These ladies do everything from entering surveys, taking pictures of campers, setting up for lunch and snack, to leading games with campers. Stay tuned this fall for Hands on Wednesday brought to you by our awesome volunteers this summer. Thank you ladies for all your hard work!