BOZEMAN — The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative is offering mini grants of $500 to $1,000 for youth organizations that use multimedia assets from a database that features women scientists and engineers. The collaborative is a statewide network housed within the Science Math Resource Center in the Department of Education at Montana State University and has a co-leader at the University of Montana.

Montana organizations can access a free database of imagery of women in STEM, such as this photo of Kris Inman, a fish and wildlife biologist from Ennis. (Image courtesy IF/THEN Collection.)

The database, called the IF/THEN Collection, was created by Lyda Hill Philanthropies to enhance the perception of women in science, technology, engineering and math careers. The collection features photos, videos, activities and other resources. All assets are free for non-commercial and educational use.

Examples of potential projects that could be awarded mini grants include, but are not limited to: redesigning a brochure, website or other promotional materials to showcase more women in STEM; creating, printing or distributing on-site signage or posters; using the IF/THEN gender representation toolkit to collect data on the representation of gender in physical and digital spaces; using activity sheets and educator lessons for camps or programs; and using videos as a lesson hook. Grant applications are due Wednesday, Sept. 15.

Preference will go to organizations that are reaching middle school girls, particularly those who are typically underrepresented in STEM. However, the collaborative envisions supporting a wide array of organizations, so all are encouraged to apply. To learn more, visit montana.edu/smrc/documents/Girls_STEM_Collaborative.html or contact smrc@montana.edu.

The Montana Girls STEM Collaborative is an outreach program of Montana’s National Science Foundation EPSCoR program with co-leaders in the Science Math Resource Center and UM’s spectrUM Discovery Area. The goal of the network is to build collaborations and share resources to support girls and other youth typically underrepresented in STEM. Opportunities like mini grants and events are advertised through the network’s quarterly e-newsletter; subscribe at http://bit.ly/mtgirlsstem-news.

- From MSU News Service -