Ellis Students Comprise Half of Region’s Winning All-Girls Robotics Team
In partnership with Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute, Ellis Upper School students are members of the Girls of Steel: 100% GirlsFIRST Robotics team. Ellis girls represent half of this 26 member team!
The team received the “Rookie All-Star” award at the Pittsburgh Regional Robotics Competition held in March 2011 at the Peterson Events Center, qualifying them to go on to the championship round in St. Louis in April. The girls competed with more than 800 other students from around the country with a robot of their own design. The program has allowed our students to learn engineering, design, and machine shop skills to which they may not otherwise be exposed. They have been trained in computer-aided drafting, machine shop tools, and robot chassis assembly.
Dubbed a “varsity sport for the mind,” the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of are challenged to design a team “brand,” hone teamwork skills, and build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors.
FIRST is a non-profit organization devoted to helping young people discover and develop a passion for science, engineering, technology, and math.
The Ellis School: Future City Winners!
The Ellis School’s team of seventh and eighth graders won first place honors in the Pittsburgh Regional Future City Competition, sponsored by Carnegie Science Center and the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania.
Each year, Future City presents themes that highlight a current issue and asks students to investigate and come up with solutions. Participants in this year's competition designed cities that seek to provide reliable health care that improves each patient's quality of life. They proposed, designed, and developed the supporting infrastructure, both virtual and physical, that would be integral to meet this goal.
Members of The Ellis School team are Christina Ambrosino, Katie Ashwood, Alma Bartnik, Isabel Brooke, Lauren Drake, Gigi Nieson, and Heather Harrington. Their city, Crescimus, is on a lake endowed with growth factor proteins, so that the city's major industry is tissue engineering and the RegenX process enabling people to regrow lost limbs. Cres Lake's waterfalls provide power for a hydroelectric plant, and the town has mandatory recycling. The city of 100,000 features an underwater park, a food synthesizer, hovercrafts for intercity travel, and a capsulated individual transport system. Advising the team were teacher Karen Compton and volunteer engineer mentor Frank Sidari.
The team won a trip to the 19th annual Future City National Finals in Washington, D.C., February 18-22, 2011 (during National Engineers Week--Feb. 20-26), where they will compete with the winners from 34 other regional competitions.
Women and Girls Foundation Regional Change AgentsIf we asked you to think big, to make some noise, to use your voice and talents to improve the lives of women and girls in your community - What would you do? How would you want your life and your community to be different? What big changes would you make?
Engage in a bold and daring mission - right in your own backyard - to change your community. The Women & Girls Foundation is now recruiting applicants for a new program called Regional Change Agents. IMAGINE what you could do if we gave you the tools and a team, to help you find - or create your own - solutions to make those big changes. Become a Change Agent - details and program application are available at www.wgfpa.org.
More about the program: Women & Girls Foundation Regional Change Agents is a new program serving Allegheny, Fayette, Greene and Washington counties. Our goal is to train local women and girls to engage in civic advocacy in their own county. Small teams of adult and teen women will design, lead, and implement social change projects that tackle issues related to women & girls equality in their own community, and the broader region. WGF provides the tools and support teams need to find solutions to make change. Teen participants will also become social change philanthropists, awarding grant dollars to girl-led projects in their own community, while adult participants will receive negation training and the tools to train other women in the art of negotiation.
We welcome applicants of all backgrounds; however, there are three application requirements:
- Teen applicants must be in 8th through 11th grade for the 2009-2010 school year.
- Adult applicants must be employed by, or serve on the board of, a nonprofit organization in their county.
- All participants must reside in one of the five counties served by the Change Agents program: Allegheny, Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland.
Please share this information with your networks and help us recruit a diverse and engaged group of women and teens for this exciting new program. If you have questions, please contact Tara Simmons, WGF Director of Community Initiatives, at 412-258-2568 or email@example.com.
Empowering Young Girls through Fairy Tales
Once upon a time, storytelling ruled. Families shared stories at bedtime, across the dinner table and around campfires. Today text messaging and social networking rule and respect for the art of storytelling has been cast aside. Until now...a new generation of strong girls in the Shaler Area School District has accepted the challenge to learn the art of storytelling. Thanks to the generosity of the FISA Foundation, the young ladies participated in the 10 week workshop entitled "Empowering Young Girls through Fairy Tales." This dynamic workshop was authored by Joan Wolf Schenker of the North Hills Youth Ministry Counseling Center . Joan's goals are to empower girls as they develop critical thinking skills in a fun, creative environment and to provide a vehicle to enhance their confidence and communication skills. The girls will learn the craft of storytelling proficient for two stage performances, one in their home school and another at their community library. To learn more about this program call Joan at 412-366-1300 Ext. 25. View flyer here.
A Study of the New HPV Vaccine
What: A multi-ethnic study of mothers and their daughters entitled MPDAC: Mothers Protecting Daughters Against Cancer
Why: To explore the knowledge, attitudes, and intentions of mothers with early teen daughters regarding the new HPV vaccine
Where: University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, 3500 Victoria Street and local churches
When: One 2-hour discussion session for moms and daughters and a one 90-minute information session for moms in spring 2009
Who: All mothers of girls ages 9-12, 15-16
Mothers will receive $10 for participating in the first session and $25 for participating in the second session. Daughters will receive $10 for their participation.
Click here for more information or call 412.624.3840.
Every Child, Inc. and the Pennsylvania Department of Health Announce a Health Literacy Grant to Help Pregnant Women and Teens with Special Needs
Every Child, Inc. was recently awarded a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health to complete a project that will create an understandable and relevant print resource (also available in audio) to support teens and women's mental and physical health during pregnancy and birth. The booklet includes a comprehensive overview of the maternal health services they will be receive; a list of local community resources; personal stories from mothers who or were in need of pregnancy support and received doula services; and health tips for a positive pregnancy, birth, and child rearing experience. Additionally, community organizations such as adoption agencies, Planned Parenthood, health centers, middle and high schools, colleges, and hospitals will receive the booklet to use as a resource with teens and women.
Every Child has provided health support for pregnant woman and teens with various disabilities and special healthcare needs and supported health literacy through the provision of doula services. These services provide pregnant teens and women with a certified doula who assists them with emotional support, comprehensible information regarding their pregnancy; elimination of poor health habits and/or addictions, attendance for prenatal visits, improved nutrition, home preparation for the infant, and birthing plans. To receive a copy of the booklet, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.everychildinc.org.