Northern Illinois University

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News Release

Contact: Pati Sievert, NIU STEM Outreach
(815) 753-1201

March 25, 2009

NIU-Naperville conference will examine ways
to spark young women’s interest in science, technology

DeKalb, Ill. — Northern Illinois University will host an upcoming conference geared for educators and groups looking to find ways to increase girls’ interests in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The Midwest Girls Collaborative Project Kick-Off Conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, April 17, at NIU-Naperville, 1120 E. Diehl Road.

The Midwest Girls Collaborative Project (MWGCP) brings together organizations from throughout Illinois, Iowa and Missouri that are committed to informing and motivating girls to pursue STEM careers.

“This conference will be a wonderful opportunity for teachers, school administrators, librarians, Girl Scout leaders and other community members who already have programs or are interested in starting up efforts to get girls interested in the STEM fields,” said Pati Sievert, NIU STEM Outreach coordinator.

“We created the STEM Outreach program at NIU because we know it’s important to increase the total number of young people pursuing STEM fields,” she added. “One of the ways to get more young people involved is to target the underrepresented groups, and girls are underrepresented, especially in such areas as engineering and physics.”

Conference participants will receive assistance in finding resources and funding to create STEM activities for young women, network with others interested in promoting STEM careers to young women, learn how to apply for MWGCP Mini-Grants and experience a “hands-on nanotechnology” demonstration.

Conference participants will also learn about the National Girls Collaborative Project, a partnership between the Puget Sound Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology, the American Association of University Women and the National Science Foundation.

The registration deadline is April 13, and the fee is $25 per person. For more information and to register online, visit

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