Workshop Leader Information

Register to be a Workshop Leader!

Many of the girls have requested to learn more about their workshop leaders' careers in STEM,  so we have provided a script. It is just a basic layout of what the girls would like to know about you. We would really like each workshop leader to have a copy of this script.

Goals of TGIS

  • Allow young women to investigate science & math careers
  • Offer the opportunity to talk with women role models in science and math careers
  • Have girls participate in hands-on activities related to science and/or math
  • Meet other young ladies interested in math and science
  • Promote math and science as possible career choices for girls!

Tips for Workshop Leaders

  • PRACTICE THE WORKSHOP. Be sure everything works as expected. Be sure you have enough time for your introduction, your activities, and questions. No one likes to be rushed.
  • Set up enough equipment, stations, or work area so that there are not more than two to four girls in any one group. If there are too many girls, you will find that some will just sit back and watch with a bored look on their faces.
  • Try to have the young women work in teams. Though too many girls results in detachment, one girl by herself may experience a problem but be hesitant to ask the leader for help.
  • There are two typical layouts for hands-on workshops. One where there are several different but related activities to do and the young women rotate through each station spending 10 to 15 minutes on each. The other has one activity with two or more phases and the young women stay working on that activity for the entire time. In both, be sure you stop periodically to explain now things that they have seen and to answer questions.
  • Don't give the girls the answers to all their questions right away. Let them work it out. Help them through logically. But don't over-do this, it can get frustrating.

Workshop Organization

  • To make sessions the BEST possible, we have put together some suggestions that may help you organize yourself and your workshop session.
  • Before you begin your workshop:
    * Meet the adult "mentors" escorting each group of girls
    *Ask them to keep you on schedule by providing a sign when you have 5 minutes or so left in your session.
  • As you begin:
    *Introduce yourself and explain why you chose your career
    *Describe how you pursued your career
    *Tell about your educational background and the most useful subjects in school
    *Describe your typical "day" at work

General Suggestions

  • Make it HANDS-ON & INTERACTIVE (call for suggestions on this, if necessary). Try to have some "lecture", some hands-on or investigative, and maybe even small group work on a cooperative question or problem. Some ways to do this are below:
  • Encourage students to be active- using pencil and paper or other materials.
    • *i.e. Have the girls do a short (15 questions or less) true/false "QUIZ". Have them take it before you begin, and they must find the answers within your "lecture" session OR
    • Do a "scavenger hunt" with questions/items that relate to your topic. Each girl can have a copy and they must talk to others and sign their name on the blank beside the question/item. They must know the answer to or meet the description of, in order to sign their name.
  • Group: Have girls divide into small groups and work cooperatively on a project (all related to your topic).
  • Or answer a problem
  • Or question
  • Role play
  • Do a simulation
  • A game of some type
  • Question students: become aware of a need or a problem, or accept a challenge
  • Invent: have girls plan and design alternative ways to address a challenge
  • Evaluate: girls test/modify their original design, or a design that you have given them OR they evaluate a product, design, etc. given to them

*Unclear on what "hands-on" or 'interactive' activities are*
Examples below:

A health care presenter might 1) introduce themselves 2) give background information on themselves 3) introduce a topic related to healthcare & give information 4) work with girls on how to do one or more of the following health care related activities in pairs/groups (this is in no way a complete list of activities that could be done!):

  • Take blood pressure
  • Listen to heart via stethoscope
  • Splint a broken limb or apply bandages
  • Measure lung capacity, relate to sports, health (asthma), etc.
  • Administer medication i.e. Give an orange a "shot"!
  • Practice steps for emergency medical procedures

Animals/ vet care presenter sample activities might include:

  • How to examine a pet (bring a dog)
  • How to train animals
  • Grooming techniques for horses, dogs, etc. let the girls give it a try

Suggestions to consider

  • Encourage student interactivity
  • Do a demonstration to emphasize your topic
  • Questions: use intentionally open-ended questions (not YES/NO questions)
  • Thinking: help students track their thinking steps as they solve problems
  • Encourage: guessing, questioning, and exploration especially to reduce girls" anxiety in a group context and build their confidence about science and math. Brainstorming with no "wrong" answers is one way to help this. Be sure to record their answers on a board or flip chart to validate them.
  • Use examples in your sessions that are relevant to their lives- teen stars, music groups, foods, fads

FYI Info on girls-science-and-math

  • Studies show that as girls progress through school their interest, achievement, and enrollment in science courses declines-relative to that of boys
  • At age 9, girls and boys perform about the same on science assessments, except in physical sciences.
  • By age 11, boys show a more positive view of science on interest surveys than do girls.
  • By age 13, an achievement gap materializes in most science content areas, AND
  • By age 17, girls achieve at a significantly lower level than boys, especially in physics. Girls at this age have developed more negative attitudes about science.
  • Girls tend to drop out of the science pipeline earlier than boys. This leaky pipeline means fewer females than males are adequately prepared for college science or for scientific and technical careers.
  • Girls learn best when they are interested in the topic being presented and if they can connect new experiences and information with what they already know about the world (How many breaths does Leonardo DeCaprio take a day??? Is much more interesting than how many breaths a typical person takes a day? HA!)
  • Girls learn more when they DO science and math, with ample opportunities to participate, ask questions, discuss, and reflect on findings.
  • Girls like to link new information to what they already know
  • Girls like to cooperate rather than compete in math activities
  • Girls are susceptible to peer pressure and social situations
  • Girls are developing a sense of "who they are", "how they want to be perceived", and "what they want to be".
  • In one survey, 21% girls cited teachers as why they liked science; on the flip side
  • 33% cited instruction- such as too much lecturing- as reasons they disliked science.

What we want most to happen is that, YOU will

  • Communicate an enthusiastic and intrinsic interest in your career/subject
  • Give the young women a thoughtful, scholarly role model to emulate
  • Describe the information, careers in a way that is otherwise available to them
  • Encourage questions, not only about your career but in the topic you are presenting
  • Inspire the girls to give serious consideration to careers in math and/or science

Questions to Expect from the Girls

Ask your conference workshop leaders these questions

Learning about careers can be fun and valuable. Selecting a career is some important that it deserves attention. Here are some questions to ask your workshop leaders and role models about their careers to help you make the best decision about your future career.

  1. Describe a typical day on your job?
  2. What is it like to be a woman on your job?
  3. What were you like in High School?
  4. Have you experienced any discrimination or bias (sex or ethnic background) in your job?
  5. What is your life away from work life?
  6. What were the most useful subjects you took in school?
  7. How do you use mathematics and computers in your job?
  8. What other jobs could you do with your experience and training?
  9. What is your salary? What is the range of salaries for people in this career? Is there overtime pay for extra hours?
  10. What kind of job security do you have? Is there a high turnover or stability in this career? Why? What are the fringe benefits? 
  11. How did you get into this line of work?

Workshop Leader Script

First 5 Minutes
My name is ____________________ and I am from ______________ (hometown).
I am a __________________________________ (chemist, engineer etc.).
I attended ___________________________ college or university.
I knew that I wanted to be a ________________________ when I was ____________________ (in high school/college).
I studied ________________________ (algebra, geometry, calculus etc.) for my job.
I studied ________________________ (biology, chemistry, genetics, physics etc.) also.
I studied ________________________ (programming, web design, computer analysis etc.).
My job involves ________________________ (give short description).
Any other personal information you would like to share ____________________________ (children, siblings, hobbies, where you grew up etc.).
This workshop is called _____________________________.
You are going to be learning about __________________________.

Next 5 Minutes
Teach your workshop.

Next 25 - 30 Minutes
Hands on activity.

Next 10 Minutes
Does anyone have any questions?
Clean up and prepare to move to next workshop.


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(615) 494-7763

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TN Girls in STEM is open to all without a preference or restriction based on sex.