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We’re one of six Afterschool Innovator Awardees! October 13, 2010

Posted by Connie Chow in Events, girls in science, STEM pipeline efforts.
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The MetLife Foundation and the Afterschool Alliance honored our Science Clubs and C.E.L.L.S. (Career Exploration, Leadership and Life Skills) program for middle school girls with an Afterschool Innovator Award! We were selected from over 300 nominations and are the only Massachusetts-based organization, as well as the only girl-focused organization, to receive the award.  The other awardees will be announced later this month. [Update: here they are].

The Afterschool Alliance’s Issue Brief identifies the benefits and barriers of introducing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in after school settings, and highlights our programs as one of several effective models.

Education Secretary Reville

This award affirms that engaging activities beyond the classroom play a key role in the overall strategy to get underrepresented youth and especially girls, interested in STEM, as my colleagues and I had argued in this op-ed.

Massachusetts Secretary of Education Paul Reville graced us with his presence and praise at the award ceremony held yesterday at the King Open School in Cambridge, Science Club for Girls’ birthplace.

“I congratulate the Science Club for Girls and C.E.L.L.S. for this great achievement. These programs have a deep impact on young women, helping to spark an interest that captures the imagination of students, providing them with the support and encouragement they need to reach higher and engage more deeply in the exciting fields of STEM education,” he said.

He spoke eloquently about the “inspiration gap” in youth, and argues for “hands-on learning through engaging, content-rich curricula“.

He expressed his disappointment that his young daughters do not have a Science Club for Girls to join where they live in Worcester. So while his purview falls squarely within schools, he certainly sees after school as an important complement to what happens in school. If YOU do, be sure to ask the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, your representative, child’s principal and superintendent to suppport funding for quality afterschool programs.

Left to right: Cambridge Public School District Deputy Superintendent Carolyn Turk; Susan Richards, Cambridge Agenda for Children; Anita Krishnamurthi, STEM Policy Director, Afterschool Alliance; Connie Chow, Science Club for Girls; Scott Batey, MetLife representative; (front) Aicha Bellabes, Candace Greaves, SCFG junior mentors; City of Cambridge Vice Mayor Henrietta Davis

Here are a few congratulatory messages we received.

Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray, Chair of the Governor’s STEM Advisory Council:

“This is a well-deserved recognition for a program that is working to strengthen STEM education in Massachusetts. We know that a sharp focus on STEM education is critical to our current and future economic success.  That is true for our young men as well as our young women, and the Science Club for Girls is helping to ensure that this is the case.”

Dr. Susan Windham-Bannister, President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and an Advisory Board Member for Science Club for Girls:

“This is an important program that seeks to address the gender and diversity gap in STEM education. It empowers young women to think about and prepare for careers in the sciences.  As we seek to further strengthen our life sciences workforce in Massachusetts, programs like this are playing an essential role.”

Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation:

“Middle school is a pivotal point in young people’s development. We are pleased to join the Afterschool Alliance in recognizing the Science Club for Girls and C.E.L.L.S. program model, which is addressing the needs of middle school students and putting them on the path to success.”

Add your comment below if you feel moved to do so!


1. Ursula Helminski - October 13, 2010

Congratulations, it’s been a pleasure to discover your excellent program!

2. 2010 Year-in-Review « Science Club for Girls - December 20, 2010

[…] we’re still giddy over the 2010 MetLife Afterschool Innovator Award we received in October for our STEM programs for middle school […]

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