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Fredericksburg Parent and Family won an $8,000 grant this May from the Rappahannock Community Foundation's Women and Girls Fund. This grant will allow our Science Saturdays program to add fourth graders, fostering an interest in science among an even younger group of girls. A partnership with Germanna Community College will allow the program to implement a four-week "mini med-school" in which girls will tackle hands-on projects, including dissections. Two new teachers will also be hired to teach classes in chemistry and physics.

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Other grant winners were:

1.$4,000 – Healthy Families Rappahannock Area.

This grant will be used to expand the numbers of families to which the Healthy Families Rappahannock Area can offer its services, which include weekly visits from the time a child is born until he/she reaches the age of five. Healthy Families staff will connect families with helpful resources, improve parenting skills through in-home counseling and encourage an atmosphere of safety, health and self-sufficiency.

2.$2,600 – Thrive, for Thriving Financially.

This grant funds a rolling 10-week financial program for women and girls to improve their money management skills, learn about basic finance and become confident and effective in using banking services. Participants will be encouraged to protect themselves from identity theft, save for the future and make informed decisions about credit cards, mortgages and other major purchases. Financial empowerment provides a practical source of security and independence.

Philanthropic Opportunities

The Community Foundation is a non-profit organization that manages and distributes charitable giving in the Rappahannock River. For more information about participating in The Community Foundation, a non-profit organization that manages and distributes charitable giving in the Rappahannock River region, call 540-373-9292.

Five Tips for Encouraging Girls to Enter STEM Fields

74 percent of teen girls are interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) subjects, but less than 20 percent end up in STEM careers. What can you do as a parent to change that statistic?

Tip 1: Girls are interested in STEM! Talk to them like they are.

This is the obvious one. Encourage your girls to take part in science opportunities. Don't tell them that girls aren't good at math. Don't buy the Barbie that says "Math is tough."

Tip 2: Get girls involved in activities that encourage them to experiment and problem solve.

The Girl Scout Research Institute says that 85 percent of girls like to solve problems, 67 percent like to build things and put things together, and 83 percent like to do hands-on science projects. Adults should encourage these interests; help them grow a garden, look at things under a microscope, measure ingredients for a cake.

Tip 3: Educate girls about STEM careers

Girls say they don't know a lot about STEM careers. Many girls want to make the world a better place and help people, but they may not understand how STEM careers help people. 88 percent want to make a difference in the world, but only 13 percent name a first-choice career in STEM fields. They don't understand what engineering actually is, and many don't know the full range of career possibilities.

Tip 4: Expose girls to experts and mentors in STEM fields.

Exposing girls to people with careers in STEM is beneficial to them; they're able to observe first-hand what these careers are and what they offer. 66 percent of girls interested in STEM know someone in a STEM career, compared to 47 percent of girls not interested in STEM.

Tip 5: Develop girls' confidence and their inner resumes so they will have what it takes to become STEM experts.

Foster internal assets, such as confidence, self-esteem, initiative and work ethic. Girls do just as well in math and science as boys do, but their confidence in their math and science abilities is lower than boys. When girls feel capable and confident in their abilities, they're more likely to challenge themselves and overcome any obstacles along the way. Internal assets are just as important as experience, exposure, and education.

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Take Action:

1. If you are aware of a science education opportunity for girls in the area, be sure to contact Mary Garber at the Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber's STEM 16 Committee, a division of the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce's Technology and Innovation Council, is working hard to put together a complete list of science and technology education opportunities available to the Fredericksburg community.

The committee recently won the Virginia Department of Education's Creating Excellence 2012 State Business and Industry Award of Recognition. The award recognized last year's first annual STEM Summit, which showcased STEM projects prepared by students of Planning District 16. Capt. Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, USN, commander at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (Carderock Division), spoke about serving on two NASA space shuttle missions.

2. Sign up your 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th grade girl for a Science Saturdays class. Scroll down to register. This year, Forensic Biology, Advanced Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Electrical Engineering and a mini-med school will be offered in Germanna Community College's state-of-the-art laboratories at the Fredericksburg campus. Germanna offers an associate degree in engineering with the ability to transfer to Virginia Tech, as well as many science classes in the newly built Science and Engineering Building.

3.Check out Engineering for Kids at www.engineeringforkids.org. Engineering For Kids brings science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to kids ages 4 to 14 in a fun and challenging way through classes, camps, clubs and parties. We are proud to inspire children to build on their natural curiosity by teaching engineering concepts through hands-on learning. Engineering is, after all, one of the fastest growing industries in the world!

4. Tour Lighthouse Academy's new shop class featuring small engine repair and other technology skills. www.LAFkids.org

5. Take a look at Stafford County Schools Science and Technology Academies (STAT)

 

Science Saturdays classes

Mini-Med School (Absolutely no 4th graders) - NEW MORNING CLASSES!

Sign up for all 4 Mini-Med School classes (descriptions below), or for each class individually.

ALL FOUR CLASSES ($100)

CLASSES FULL


 

January 12th (5th,6th,7th) 9am-12pm
Introduction to the human body and its make up ($25)


February 9th (5th,6th,7th) 9am-12pm
Skin and bones ($25)


March 9th (5th,6th,7th) 9am-12pm
Nutrition, heart and blood ($25)


April 13th (5th, 6th, 7th) 9am-12pm
Nerves and senses ($25)

Welcome to our Mini-Med School, where we will get up close and personal with the most fundamental physical aspects of the human body. Each class will comprise of a guest speaker, familiarization with new vocabulary and concepts, and hands on activities, including dissection of different anatomy. Graduation will be held at the end of the fourth session, with parents invited to watch their daughters receive their diplomas.

Lectures will start at 9am and last about 30-45 minutes. Lecture is followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer session. Drink and a light snack are provided for 15 minutes in a commons area then students engage in one hour 45 minutes of hands-on science related to the topic of the day.

(Limited to 24 Participants)

"I am excited about offering the mini-med school program to local girls. A variety of sources indicate that there is an achievement gap for girls in math and science. In the September, Science and Children Journal, it was suggested that the gap is due to 'stereotype threat' not differences in instruction. In addition to teaching these girls solid science, my hope is to empower them and help them build confidence in their own abilities." ~ Melissa Csikari

 

 Please stay tuned to this page for dates for Chemistry and Physics.
You can also check our Facebook page for more info on those upcoming dates.



Mini-Med School (Absolutely no 4th graders) - AFTERNOON CLASSES ARE FULL

January 12th (5th,6th,7th) 1-4 PM
Introduction to the human body and its make up

February 9th (5th,6th,7th) 1-4 PM
Skin and bones

March 9th (5th,6th,7th) 1-4 PM
Nutrition, heart and blood

April 13th (5th, 6th, 7th) 1-4 PM
Nerves and senses

Welcome to our Mini-Med School, where we will get up close and personal with the most fundamental physical aspects of the human body. Each class will comprise of a guest speaker, familiarization with new vocabulary and concepts, and hands on activities, including dissection of different anatomy. Graduation will be held at the end of the fourth session, with parents invited to watch their daughters receive their diplomas.

Lectures will start at 1 p.m. and last about 30-45 minutes. Lecture is followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer session. Drink and a light snack are provided for 15 minutes in a commons area then students engage in one hour 45 minutes of hands-on science related to the topic of the day.

(Limited to 24 Participants) 

"I am excited about offering the mini-med school program to local girls. A variety of sources indicate that there is an achievement gap for girls in math and science. In the September, Science and Children Journal, it was suggested that the gap is due to 'stereotype threat' not differences in instruction. In addition to teaching these girls solid science, my hope is to empower them and help them build confidence in their own abilities." ~ Melissa Csikari

 



Chemistry and Physics classes will be held in spring

All classes will be held at the Massaponnax Germanna Community College Campus, Science and Techonolgy Building

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Pouches' Community Corner

Adoptive parents in Fredericksburg now have a new partner on their journey to a healthy family. In 2016, Children’s Home Society was awarded a $125,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Social Services to extend their Richmond area post-adoptive services to the Fredericksburg area.

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Now CHS is looking to find adoptive families in the area who need support before they hit a crisis point. “It doesn’t matter which agency they adopted from, or when that happened,” said Buckheit. “We want to offer a lifetime of support to adoptive families in the Fredericksburg area, especially those who haven’t been aware of our services in the past.”

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