Girls in STEM 2017

on Wednesday, 03 May 2017.

Girlstart hosted the 12th annual Girls in STEM Conference on Saturday, April 22nd at Travis High School in Austin, TX. Close to 600 girls registered to attend this one day conference from all over the state. It was a great day filled with amazing stories and smiles on girls faces. 

The day consisted of hands-on workshops led by over 160 STEM professionals in various STEM fields such as: engineering, programming, medical, chemistry and more. There were also 125 volunteers on hand to ensure the day was success.

Volunteers and presenters joined us from all walks of life: high school students, college students, past Girlstart participants, parents, teachers, engineers, etc. Thank you all for inspiring and encouraging girls in STEM.

Thank you Dell!

on Wednesday, 08 March 2017.

On February 17th, Girlstart welcomed several Dell volunteers from the MDP/MMDP Program to the Girlstart STEM Center in Austin, TX.

Volunteers prepped materials for our 'Under the Sea' summer camp, including creating masks for our layers of the ocean lesson, cutting materials for sea turtle habitats, sorting sand and gravel for dishpan tide pools, and more. Several team members also helped take down old shelves and built new cubbies to increase Girlstart's storage space for after school program materials.

It was a great day and we are so thankful for Dell's help and support!

Thank you Cisco!

on Wednesday, 08 March 2017.

In fall 2016, Girlstart was grateful for a significant in-kind contribution of much-needed Cisco networking equipment. In November, December, and January, a huge team of Cisco volunteers assessed our existing network, mapped out a plan for the new network, and over the Christmas holidays, transitioned us to a new network infrastructure. It's amazing--we can up and download files at the same time!--and Cisco volunteers also created a going-forward plan for Girlstart to be able to troubleshoot and maintain the network, as well. 

Thank you, Cisco volunteers, for helping Girlstart have a stronger infrastructure so we can sustain and expand our work to reach more girls in Central Texas and beyond!

Thank you Google!

on Tuesday, 07 March 2017.

A group of Google employees volunteered with Girlstart in January and helped put together prizes for Girlstart's After School participants. These volunteers assembled Valentine's Day goody bags for over 900 girls! We are so thankful for their help.


on Friday, 10 February 2017.

Girlstart partnered with the Bullock Museum and Spectrum News to host WeatherFest on February 5th. Families came out for the free event to explore how tornadoes form, try their hand at forecasting the news, build anemometers, learn about the upcoming solar eclipse in August, and more. 

The event was very successful with close to 2400 kids and families in attendance. A big thank you to all of the volunteers who helped at hands-on activity booths and made the day special for participants. It would not be possible to serve this many people without the help of dedicated volunteers, and for that we are thankful..

DeSTEMber Fest

on Thursday, 05 January 2017.

Girlstart hosted it's annual DeSTEMber Fest at the Girlstart STEM Center on December 3rd. Kids of all ages attended and participated in winter themed hands-on activities. There was liquid nitrogen ice cream, gingerbread tectonic plates, marshmallow shooters, robots, instant snow, and more. Thank you to all the volunteers that helped us kickoff the month of DeSTEMber and spread the STEM cheer!

To view pictures from the event, click HERE.

Game Changers Committee 2016

on Monday, 07 November 2016.

A huge thank you to this year's Game Changers Committee! Our committee members helped raise a record amount for Girlstart this year, and packed the house with a record number of attendees. Thank you for acquiring sponsorships, auction items, mystery boxes, and helping us assemble our centerpieces. 

Honorary Co-Chairs
Alissa Bayer and Shon Bayer
Junior Co-Chairs
Kiki Schwarz and Leila Patterson  

2016 Host Committee
Tricia Berry
Silvia Brunet-Jones
Valerie Cason
Cassie Crist
Runi Duvall
Virginia Fleck
Katelena Hernandez Cowles
Dena Holliday
Becky Jeanes
Katy Lindsay
Kimberly Mansour
Erin Morales
Lindsey Strobel
Suzanne Tobleman
Marisa Tom

Back to School STEM Saturday

on Thursday, 15 September 2016.

Girlstart hosted it's annual Back to School STEM Saturday on August 27th. Throughout the day close to 500 girls, boys, and families participated in hands-on STEM activities at Girlstart. Activities from the day included drone flying, slime making, straw rockets, water tables, technology showcases, star shows, and so much more.

A big thank you to all of the volunteers who helped set up and lead activities. It was a great day for all and it couldn't have been possible without our volunteers' help.

To view pictures from the day, click HERE.

Thank You July Volunteers!

on Thursday, 11 August 2016.

The last half of Summer Camp at Girlstart finished smoothly thanks to the help of our July volunteers. Each week, a group of high school girls assisted in preparing lesson materials, running our photo booth, setting up snacks, creating Hands-On Wednesday blogs and more! We had new volunteers as well as returning volunteers from the beginning of the summer. Thank you all for your help!

Hermione’s Mayhem of Mazes Week 3 Guest Speaker

on Thursday, 28 July 2016.

The last week of camp began with a virtual visit from Olivia Pavco-Giaccia, CEO and founder of LabCandy, a company that aims to encourage young girls in science. Olivia shared with the campers her story of how her love for science grew thanks to an amazing teacher, how to take risks that lead to opportunities, and how a pair of sparkly lab goggles launched a movement and changed her life.


Through colorful and unique lab coats and goggles, a storybook, and most recently, a YouTube channel, LabCandy is working to change the stereotype of scientists from a man in a white lab coat and goggles to someone more relatable and fun. An important message Olivia told the girls was that “grades definitely don’t define you, and if you really care about something, you should just go for it!”

Hermione’s Mayhem of Mazes Week 2 Guest Speaker

on Thursday, 21 July 2016.

Priya Ramachandran from National Instruments visited the 4th-5th graders this week. Priya is an electrical engineer and spoke to the girls about circuits and what they’ve learned from the Circuit Snitch Ring activity where they solder circuits. Priya shared that at her company, electrical, mechanical, and software engineers all work together to create their products.

Priya brought the inside of a computer to show the girls and they were able to examine a PCB, or printed circuit board. The campers expressed concern about the difficulty of Priya’s job, but she said that although it’s challenging, you don’t want to do the easy puzzle — you want to do the hard puzzle because it’s more fun! 

Hermione’s Mayhem of Mazes Week 1 Guest Speakers

on Thursday, 14 July 2016.

The week started out with Amy Griffin and Hilary Keenan of the Texas Department of Public Safety Crime Lab who visited campers to explain the world of forensic science. Amy and Hilary specialize in identifying latent prints and using the AFIS fingerprint processing system. They explained the jobs of the many departments within the DPS Crime Lab and how they all work together to solve a crime. Amy and Hilary also gave the campers their own Camp Hermione ID cards to place their finger prints on, and helped the girls determine whether their print was an arch, loop, or whorl. 

Thank You June Volunteers!

on Thursday, 07 July 2016.

With the start of Girlstart Summer Camps each week came a hardworking group of high school volunteers. 

These ladies help with everything from setting up snack and eating lunch with campers to prepping materials and assisting with activities.

Under the Sea Guest Speakers

on Wednesday, 06 July 2016.

Camp Under the Sea hosted two guest speakers this week. First, campers received a visit from Erin Keenan of Texas State’s Department of Anthropology. Erin spoke about archaeology, specifically zooarchaeology and marine archaeology. The campers learned about all the various things archaeologists can learn from bones, as well as how rising water levels have left many artifacts and remains to be found in the ocean and on shores. Erin even brought a variety of bones for the campers to examine. 
Texas State Department of Anthropology

World Tour Guest Speaker

on Tuesday, 05 July 2016.

Meha Jha of Emerson Process Management took World Tour campers on her own “Lady Jha Jha” World Tour that showed the girls her journey in engineering. A lot of the campers expressed their interest in becoming engineers as well. Meha said “engineers make the world a better place by solving a variety of problems related to everyday life. Engineers make life safer, easier, faster and better.”

Meha Jha from Emerson Electric Company
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