WEEA Equity Resource Center
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1998--WEEA Program Implementation Grants

Project Descriptions

Project Eagles: Equity and Gender Learning Experience
Washington Elementary School
Phoenix, AZ
Project Dates: 19982002

Housed in the Washington Elementary School district in Phoenix, Arizona, the Project for Equity and Gender Learning Experiences (EAGLES) is designed to help female middle school students develop competence and confidence in their abilities to learn, particularly in math and science. The four-year project (1998-2002) is being implemented for seventh and eighth grade girls at Palo Verde Middle School and its six elementary feeder schools. Palo Verde is an urban school with a large number of girls and boys of color who lack role models and family support to help them. Additional targeted populations for the project include other students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Project activities include gender equity training for principals and teachers; career-related experiences such as mentoring, tours, and shadow days for students; and math and science enrichment activities for students and parents. Many of the latter present ways for parents to support their daughters’ interest in math and science and increase their own knowledge of changing workforce needs.

The project is a partnership of educators, practicing scientists and engineers, business executives, members of professional associations, and education advocates who support this goal. The key partners include the Society of Women Engineers (Phoenix section) and New Frontiers/Center for Educational Development, an educational organization specializing in gender equity. Ancillary partners include the American Association of University Women (Arizona Chapter), Arizona State University, Glendale Union High School District, and numerous scientific and engineering businesses such as Intel and Motorola.

Approximately 800 girls at Palo Verde and the six feeder schools have participated in or been exposed to program activities. Additionally, over 200 parents, 82 mentors, and 300 teachers and administrators have also been involved with the project.


Girls Leadership Project Cambridge School System
Cambridge, MA
Project Dates: 19982002

This project is developing a model for promoting gender equity that places girls center stage in assessing and improving their schools. This collaborative effort between the Cambridge Public School System and the Cambridge Women’s Commission has established a program at five of the system’s fifteen elementary schools. At these schools, 60 girls in grades 5 to 8 participate in weekly workshops designed to help them find their personal and academic strengths and to more fully understand gender equity issues. These girls have been inducted as commissioners of the City of Cambridge’s Young Women’s Commission, a subcommittee of the Commission on the Status of Women. In that role they formulate an annual gender equity report of their own design, serve as advisors to the Superintendent of Schools and to the School Committee, and ensure that their recommendations are implemented.

This four-year project (1998-2002) asks girls to define leadership for themselves and provides leadership training based on their ideas; supports and cultivates the cultural and social strengths that girls already have; and uses girls’ personal and private writings as a foundation for learning skills for a public audience. Parental involvement is a critical component of the project’s design.


Try a Trade, Try a Technology Program
Green River Community College
Auburn, WA
Project Dates: 19982002

The project is working to increase the number of women enrolled in trades and technology-related postsecondary programs and apprenticeships, areas where women continue to be underrepresented. In 1999, for example, women were awarded only 7 percent (31,208) of the 432,000 registered apprenticeship training positions in the U.S. Established by the South King County Tech Prep Consortium and Green River Community College, this four-year project (1998-2002) addresses three critical needs: limited exposure in K-12 to trades, technology, and other nontraditional career information for young women; teachers’, counselors’, and parents’ lack of information about trades and technology career options; and lack of community involvement in providing realistic career exploration opportunities in the schools.

The project uses hands-on events, like Camp Try a Trade, to expose young women and girls to different job opportunities. At these events, student ambassadors promote awareness of nontraditional career options. The project also offers ongoing professional development opportunities including refresher courses and adult mentors. Additionally, the program is developing workshops for high school and postsecondary counselors, career specialists, teachers/instructors, and parents in order to educate them about the trades and technology-related career pathways and how young women can successfully access these careers.


Access for Young Women
Forest Hills Community House
Forest Hills, NY
Project Dates: 19982002

A gender equity program for girls that addresses gender equity in education, especially for girls who suffer from multiple forms of discrimination. Girls participate in programs to enhance leadership skills, self-confidence, and self-esteem; learn to enjoy math and computer technology, and take part in SAT and high school entrance exam preparation classes; learn about nontraditional careers that offer higher pay; and meet role models in business, trade, and nontraditional academic programs. Primary audience: low- to moderate-income young women who are largely members of minority groups or new immigrants.


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