Greenwich Academy - GAINS Network

In 2011, Greenwich Academy founded the Girls Advancing IN STEM (GAINS) Scholar Network to bring together girls and women with a passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to support, encourage and inspire one another.

Greenwich Academy, through this dynamic network, cultivates and maintains a virtual community for girls and women in all phases of STEM-related learning and work, providing mentors, virtual learning experiences, and networking opportunities. With an active online community (http://gainsnetwork.org/), students and mentors share groundbreaking articles, blog posts, internship experiences, and more. Moving forward from its inception, GAINS has grown from a successful campus-wide effort to a national network of leading girls’ schools and professionals. In 2013, GA expanded its outreach to invite other schools with the shared goal of advancing girls in STEM. To date, nine of the nation’s leading girls’ schools have joined GA as member schools in the GAINS Network. In 2014, Greenwich Academy received a grant from the Edward E. Ford Foundation to take the growing GAINS Network to the next level by establishing the first annual conference for these motivated girls and their mentors, and to support an expansion of the GAINS Network to additional schools and communities, including those with financial need, that seek meaningful opportunities in STEM.

In April 2015, in partnership with the Edward E. Ford Foundation, AOL, and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, the inaugural GAINS Conference was held on MIT’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts and was attended by 96 girls from 18 different public and independent schools.

During the three-day conference, students had ample opportunity to learn, connect, and be inspired. A distinguished slate of speakers participated in the conference, including keynote speaker and Whitehead Institute member Dr. Susan Lindquist, Google software engineer Michele Moorelock, Cambridge Consultants engineer Leslie Johnston, NASA Astronaut Cody Coleman, and Greenwich Academy alumna and Harvard Medical School professor Dr. Elizabeth Frates. Many world-renowned STEM-focused organizations including, MIT’s Media Lab, Genzyme, Lab Central, MAKERS, Google, MassBioEd, and the Broad Institute, also showed their support by offering tours, workshops and services for conference attendees. Finally, the career mixer, which included a “Selfie-With-A-Scientist” photo booth, offered a chance for more informal one-on-one discussions.

Building on this terrific success, Greenwich Academy proudly announced that the second Annual GAINS Conference will be held April 3-5, 2016, and co-hosted by Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This year’s event will once again bring together high school girls interested in STEM with women working in STEM-related fields. Highlights of the 2016 conference will include keynote addresses by Dr. Valerie Ashby, the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Duke and a renowned chemist, and Dr. Carol Folt, the chancellor for UNC Chapel Hill and an environmental scientist.

Head of School Molly King said, “At GA we want to even the playing field for girls and young women interested in STEM fields, and we know that connecting girls with role models is absolutely critical in making these career paths accessible. First through the GAINS online social network, and now through the GAINS Conference, we have been able to create these connections for GA girls and for high school girls across the country.” Following up on our achievements so far, in the second phase of the grant from the Edward E. Ford Foundation, Greenwich Academy will turn its focus to expanding the GAINS Network and conference to increase accessibility and to ensure sustainability.

Please see the following video which is a recap of the 2015 inaugural GAINS Conference

For more information on the GAINS Network, please visit:

http://gainsnetwork.org/

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