Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education: Thinking SMART

May 10th, 2002 - April 30th, 2008 | PROJECT

Thinking SMART is a comprehensive five-year program that will encourage young women to pursue careers in science, mathematics and technology. The project focuses on girls ages 12-18, and will especially target those who are underserved and underrepresented in the sciences, including girls from diverse backgrounds and persons with disabilities. Key elements include four science/engineering module options, a two-tiered mentoring component, training, resource materials, online activities and an awards program. The modules (Material Girls, Eco Girls, Galactic Girls, Net Girls), focus on engineering, ecology, physics and computer science respectively, and will be aligned with national standards. The modules are implemented during the school year and include weekly programming, a summer camp and a spring "Women in Science and Engineering" conference organized by girls. Weekly meetings are augmented by online activities, in which girls interact with other participants and mentors, publish reports and obtain career information. Additionally, participants who complete all four modules are eligible to become paid mentors for younger participants. Five publications will be produced to support the program, including manuals for mentors (both adults and youth), module activities, a parent guide and a guide for implementation sites on community partnerships. Thinking SMART materials will be developed and piloted tested at eight sites in conjunction with Girls, Inc. affiliates in Nashua, NH, Worcester, MA, Oakridge, TN and Shelbyville, IN, with input from the Society of Women Engineers. Extensive training will also be provided for pilot programs and future dissemination. Finally the E3 Awards Program will motivate implementation sites to create high quality local programs. It is anticipated that more than 1,500 Girls, Inc. affiliates will adopt "Thinking SMART."

Project Website(s)

(no project website provided)

Team Members

Brenda Stegall, Principal Investigator, Girls Incorporated
Janet Stanton, Former Co-Principal Investigator, Girls Incorporated
Heather Johnston Nicholson, Co-Principal Investigator, Girls Incorporated
Shalonda Murray, Co-Principal Investigator, Girls Incorporated
Joe Martinez, Former Co-Principal Investigator, Girls Incorporated


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: ISE/AISL
Award Number: 0125765
Funding Amount: 2312418


Access and Inclusion: Women and Girls
Audience: Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Computing and information science | Ecology | forestry | agriculture | Engineering | Physics
Resource Type: Project Descriptions
Environment Type: Community Outreach Programs | Media and Technology | Public Programs | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media