Spotlight on STEM — Winter 2014

Spotlight on STEM is a quarterly newsletter featuring updates from AAUW headquarters; upcoming science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities for girls; and resources for women in the STEM fields.

Dear AAUW members and friends,

As you prepare for another year of great work in STEM, I am pleased to introduce the AAUW STEM Task Force, our role in AAUW, and how we can be a resource to you.

The AAUW STEM Task Force consists of eight members from across the country who serve as STEM education ambassadors to AAUW states and branches. We work to share the latest information about national AAUW STEM education programs, offer insight and best practices for STEM programs, and help connect states and branches with STEM networks in their area.

If your state or branch is interested in starting a STEM program, refining the STEM program you already offer, or learning more about AAUW’s STEM research and policy efforts, we are eager to help. You can find out more about the AAUW STEM Task Force and how to get in touch with us on the AAUW STEM Task Force web page. All of us on the task force hope that you will join us in bringing STEM programs to even more communities in the coming year.


Dot McLane
AAUW STEM Task Force Chair


AAUW is at the forefront of the effort to get more women and girls involved in STEM. Read the latest news from AAUW’s national office and find more information on the AAUW website.

Tech Trek Camps Are Expanding!

Congratulations to our three new Tech Trek pilot sites: the University of Alabama, Huntsville; New Mexico State University; and Tillamook Bay Community College, Oregon. Check out the exciting new Tech Trek video and learn how your support of Tech Trek inspires future scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and more.

Tech Savvy Is Coming to a Town Near You!

AAUW is proud to announce our first Tech Savvy national pilot sites. Ten AAUW branches and states across the country were selected to receive an $8,000 grant, thanks to a generous contribution from the Praxair Foundation. This national pilot program uses the AAUW Buffalo (NY) Branch’s highly successful model of a one-day STEM career conference for girls. Find out how you can support Tech Savvy in your community.

Women in STEM Webinar: Why It Matters and How YOU Can Help Them Get There

College administrators and career counselors: Learn about available resources, current research, and specific strategies you can use to help women open doors to careers in STEM fields in this webinar hosted by the U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau and co-sponsored by AAUW. Speakers include representatives from the Women’s Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Society of Women Engineers, as well as AAUW Senior Researcher Andresse St. Rose. The webinar will take place December 12 at 11 a.m. EST. Sign up today!

Marie Wolbach, Tech Trek Founder, Honored with Classic Woman Award

In September, Traditional Home magazine honored five women with the Classic Woman Award for exceptional volunteerism. One of those awardees was AAUW member and Tech Trek founder Marie Wolbach. We are proud to see Wolbach recognized, and we are truly grateful for the collaboration and support she and AAUW of California provided during the national Tech Trek expansion. Read more about Wolbach and watch her Classic Woman Award video.

The Hour of Code Is Here

AAUW is supporting an unprecedented movement to encourage 10 million students (and adults) to try computer science on December 9–15 — and we’re asking you to join us. The Hour of Code is an opportunity to help today’s students not just consume the technologies of tomorrow but also build them. will provide tutorials that work on any browser, tablet, or smartphone or with no computer at all. Share the tutorials with teachers or students in your life or learn to code yourself! No prep or experience needed. Find out how to get started.

Inspire Future Engineers: Enter AAUW’s Battle of the Plans

Did you know that only 13 percent of professional engineers are women? AAUW believes that introducing girls to engineering in grades K–12 will help change that statistic, and you can help. Submit an engineering lesson plan to AAUW’s second annual Battle of the Plans contest or encourage a teacher in your community to enter. Winners will receive a $300 gift card from AAUW and will be announced on Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day (February 20, 2014). Until then, use last year’s winning plan to get girls excited about engineering today!

Holiday Gift Guide for Girls: The 2013 Edition

The holidays are fast approaching, and it’s time to find that elusive perfect gift for the girl(s) in your life. When so many gifts marketed to girls are highly gendered and promote stereotyped and objectified images of girls, holiday shopping can be a frustrating experience. AAUW can help! Read our Holiday Gift Guide and learn about gifts that defy stereotypes and encourage girls (and boys, too) to explore a range of hobbies and careers, including science and engineering. Share this list with every parent you know!


The AAUW blog is a great source for stories from inspirational women in STEM, updates from our national headquarters, news about branch STEM events, and more. Check out the latest STEM blog posts and find more STEM-related stories online.

The Top-Secret, Female Computers of World War II

More than 70 years ago, “when computers were human and women were underestimated, a group of female mathematicians helped win a war and usher in the modern computer age.” Now, their history has finally been told. Meet the Top-Secret Rosies on the AAUW blog.

She’s Got an App for That

It is widely believed that women are shut out of the growing business of programs for smartphones, taking a backseat to the “brogrammers” who have a hold on the mobile field. But that’s simply not true. Check out seven apps from women and girls who have pushed past stereotypes and made names for themselves by coming up with the latest game or social-networking app.


Girls are discovering STEM programs right in their backyards! Every issue of Spotlight on STEM will preview upcoming events and programs run by AAUW branches across the nation. Attend or host an event in your area and follow AAUW STEM on Facebook for updates.

Meet Us in Chicago at AAAS

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is holding its 2014 annual meeting in Chicago on February 13–17. AAUW staff will be there to promote our STEM programs for girls, attend talks on education and gender diversity in the STEM fields, and meet with our members and college/university partners in the area. Chicagoland readers, be sure to stop by our table and say hello!

January 9 Math/Science Conference
AAUW Banning-Beaumont Pass Area (CA) GroupMath Science Conference
AAUW Fullerton (CA) Branch
February 1 STEM Olympics
AAUW Venice (FL) Branch
February 13–17 American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting
Chicago, Illinois
February 22 Expanding Your Horizons
AAUW Boulder (CO) BranchExpanding Your Horizons
AAUW Danville-Alamo (CA) BranchExpanding Your Horizons
AAUW Denton (TX) Branch

Expanding Your Horizons
AAUW West Harris County (TX) Branch

March 6 Math/Science Conference
AAUW Redlands (CA) Branch
March 8 Brighter Horizons
AAUW Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Camarillo, and Ventura County (CA) Branches

Want your branch program to appear in the next issue of Spotlight on STEM? Let us know! E-mail the name, date, and description of your STEM activities along with a link to where readers can find out more to


Take a look at upcoming educational resources, STEM conferences, and the latest research on diversity in STEM.

The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers

Einstein once said that the most joy in his life came to him from his violin. What other surprising things can we learn from the scientists and engineers of today? A fun series from PBS explores the answers and gives viewers the chance to submit questions for scientists and engineers through social media. Watch it now.

Looking for more? Follow @AAUWSTEM on Twitter for the latest STEM news.

Read past issues of Spotlight on STEM