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Zoey's Room Press Kit 2007

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A model online education program developed by Platform Shoes Forum to teach young girls about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

A model online education program developed by Platform Shoes Forum to teach young girls about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

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  • 1. ©2007 www.zoeysroom.com P: 207-594-1842 F: 207-594-5445 staff@zoeysroom.com Zoey's Room A p r o g r a m p r o v i d e d b y P l a t f o r m S h o e s F o r u m What is Zoey’s Room? Zoey’s Room (www.zoeysroom.com) is a model online education program developed by Platform Shoes Forum to teach 10- to 14-year-old girls about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Hailed nationwide as the leader in safe, collaborative learning communities for kids, Zoey’s Room takes a proactive approach to ensuring the safety of our members. Program Features Fewer than a dozen Science, Technology, Math, Engineering (STEM) websites are currently available online for middle school girls right now. Of them all, Zoey’s Room is the only STEM website that features a multicultural character “Zoey” who appeals to both rural and urban girls. Hip cyber-hostess “Zoey” hosts her own chat room for girls every day after school. She encourages girls to explore STEM topics through fun challenges called Tec-Treks, which expand their knowledge on a range of 21st century skills, including Internet research, databases, word processing, science, business math, digital and video proficiency, robotics, engineering and website design. The more challenges girls complete, the more points they earn toward big prizes such as wireless mice from Logitech, a Fremont, CA-based device manufacturer. Additionally, each month, Zoey leads informative chats with “Fab Female” role models in STEM professions. This one-on-one connection, along with the collaborative community of the website, encourages girls to become more interested in STEM careers. Internet Safety #1 Priority How do we protect girls from encountering just anybody on our site? We’ve partnered with IDology, Inc. to ensure all adults who register a girl for an account are subject to an identity verification. Before confirming a girl’s membership to Zoey's Room, our process verifies the data collection of adult registrants to ensure they are who they say they are. Past the access point, Zoey's Room staff moderate and monitor the chat room and message boards every day for ongoing protection of its members. Additionally, Zoey’s Room staff provide live workshops for girls, parents and educators on a range of topics including Internet safety, cyberbullying prevention and eMentoring. Who’s Joining Across the Country? Zoey’s Room was launched in 2002 with the endorsement of former Maine Governor Angus King. In 2005, the website launched nationally, with the New England Regional YWCA as its pilot partner. Zoey’s Room continues to build and strengthen alliances with other youth-serving organizations to license, endorse and promote Zoey’s Room as a safe alternative for girls online. Currently there are 24 after-school Zoey’s Room clubs across the nation with more than 800 girls expected to be members by 2008. For more information go to www.zoeysroom.com and sign a girl up for a $20/year membership or $2.95/month. If you’d like to speak to the Zoey’s Room staff more about the program, please call (207) 594-1842 or email staff@zoeysroom.com
  • 2. Zoey's Room A p r o g r a m p r o v i d e d b y P l a t f o r m S h o e s F o r u m ICON FEATURE Zoey By clicking on Zoey, the girls have access to the ZR Lobby, a secure, moderated chat room for Zoey’s Room members only. Laptop Here, members can read the Weekly Letter from Z, which is Zoey’s blog to members about Zoey’s life and what’s happening in the world of STEM. An archive of past letters is available. Plasma Screen Above the dresser is the Member Profile where a girl has her own “room” within Zoey’s Room to keep track of her stuff—i.e., her ID name and password, her onscreen identity and her Tec-Trek points. Mirror The mirror leads to W3 Links, a page that provides current links to girl- friendly websites under such headings as “Girls’ Schtuff,” “Techie Chickies,” “Math n’ Science” and “E-Pals’ Showcase.” Keyhole Click on the key to access the Tec-Trek,™ the educational component of Zoey’s Room, which are fun challenges in STEM. Once a girl completes an online activity or off-line challenge, she is eligible to win points toward big tech prizes such as wireless mice and The Sims. Message Board This moderated message board for Zoey’s Room members only keeps girls all over the United States connected. Here, they can rant, rave and ask Zoey and other girls questions by posting messages on the Z-Board. Video Camera This leads to E-Pal’s Showcase, featuring the most creative and original digital STEM projects made by Zoey’s Room members who have completed Tec-Treks. The projects are divided into four categories: writing, digital images, video clips and websites. Pixel Pixel is Zoey’s furry little friend who brings cool science, tech, engineering and math toys and gadgets back to the Room for girls to evaluate. Most often, the gadgets are highlighted products of our sponsors. If a girl chooses, she can anonymously submit direct feedback about each gadget to make products more “girl-friendly.” ©2007 www.zoeysroom.com P: 207-594-1842 F: 207-594-5445 staff@zoeysroom.com
  • 3. Zoey's Room A p r o g r a m p r o v i d e d b y P l a t f o r m S h o e s F o r u m Tec-Treks™ are fun, customized challenges that adhere to national learning standards and focus on topics specific to that program's "Room". Each of our Tec-Treks™ has a theme, a story and a measurable goal. The Tec-Treks™ are comprised of beginner-to-advanced levels labeled: Tec-Newby, Tec-Traveler and Tec-Savvy. The Tec-Trek™ Learning Model Each Tec-Trek™ follows the same flow of information. Whaddya Know? Introduces kids to terms and concepts. Story Through metaphorical stories, kids learn about the inner workings of a particular topic. Activity Kids participate in online activities related to story. Challenge Kids step away from the computer to do an offline, hands-on challenge related to story. Here is a sample of Zoey’s Tec-Treks™ in science, technology, engineering and math. Zoey’s Room Tec Trek™ Description Of Story Description of Activity Description of Challenge Goal/Outcome Science The 3,000-Year- Old Queen The mystery surrounding Queen Nefertiti leads Zoey to explore archeology. On www.salariya.com, girls search for answers on archeology and mummification. Girls create a time capsule that will allow future archaeologists to discover clues about each girl’s life. To educate about mummies and archeology by creating “artifacts” for future generations to discover. Technology Freaky Fables Zoey teaches the girls how to create silly stories to keep that creative spark alive. Girls create a unique fictional story using an online Mad Lib- type story generator. Girls create a storyboard used in film and video based on the Mad Lib-type story in the activity To foster creative writing online by using storyboard techniques, and uploading digital images. Engineering Mavis the Mobot Mavis is a Mobile Robot who Zoey witnesses performing valuable human tasks even though she is an “outcast.” Girls find answers about robot sensors through website www.robotsandus.org Girls create a robot hand mockup out of cardboard and rubber bands. To learn about function and design of robotics by constructing a homemade robot hand. Math Gimme Some Credit! ( Déme un cierto crédito!) A Tec-Trek™ with a Latina focus. Maya helps her older sister get out of major credit card debt. Through www.channelone.com, girls do a credit card simulator to estimate their “debt.” Girls calculate how many years it would take to pay off credit card debt. To introduce fiscal responsibility by simulating debt, percentages, income, and expenses. ©2007 www.zoeysroom.com P: 207-594-1842 F: 207-594-5445 staff@zoeysroom.com
  • 4. Zoey's Room A p r o g r a m p r o v i d e d b y P l a t f o r m S h o e s F o r u m ©2007 www.zoeysroom.com P: 207-594-1842 F: 207-594-5445 staff@zoeysroom.com Zoey’s Room Members “Butterfly” “Butterfly,” 14, comes from a Zoey’s Room YWCA club in Springfield, MA. This is her second year in the Zoey’s Room club and she has moved beyond connecting and chatting, and more into Tec-Treks. “She has great potential,” says Club Leader, Marlene DeJesus. “She’s like a powerhouse on Treks—we can’t stop her. She’s got great strengths.” DeJesus notes that the public schools the girls go to are busy trying to meet academic standards and lack extracurricular activities. “The girls are doing Tec-Treks and engaging in activities that makes them think. They are beginning to perform in a setting that school isn’t bringing out in them,” says DeJesus. Zoey and her online friend “Maya” have been instrumental in “Butterfly’s” commitment to working hard in the club, says DeJesus. At home, most of the girls don’t have computers or online opportunities to talk to other girls. ZR’s moderated chatroom, plus the warmth and welcoming nature of Zoey and her Friends have “given them a healthy but safe place to express themselves.” The Gals Around The Globe feature highlighting Ghana girls made “a big impression” upon them, says DeJesus. “It was a cultural eye-opener.” Additionally, the Fab Females, particularly the online connection to women from Microsoft, “was powerful for them.” “Islandlover” “Islandlover,” 14 lives on Vinalhaven, a remote island off the coast of Maine—with a population of around 1,235. With little to do after school other than sports and occasional activities, island kids often find themselves socially isolated and yearning for interesting challenges. Beyond the delight of meeting other girls from other states through the safe, Zoey’s Room chat room—“Islandlover” is excited about Zoey’s Room because of her interest in math and science. “In fact, she’s gifted, I’d say,” said her club leader Pat Paquet. “She spends every summer at a science camp and I would think when she gets older, she will go into a career of the sciences.” Already she’s in 8th grade and poised to be taking 10th grade Algebra. She’s building her “robot hand” through the Mavis the Mobot Tec-Trek™ and has done about 11 Tec-Trek™ activities in all categories: science, technology, engineering and math. “She’s self-motivated,” says Paquet, who adds, “she would’ve been happy to just to do [parts of] Zoey’s Room herself, but she looks forward to coming to the club every week.” Two highlights for “Islandlover” and her club have been the chance to chat with the Fab Female Diane Cowen, a lobster scientist (and fellow islander) as well as the chance to meet their real-life ZR friends from the mainland this spring.
  • 5. Zoey's Room A p r o g r a m p r o v i d e d b y P l a t f o r m S h o e s F o r u m ©2007 www.zoeysroom.com P: 207-594-1842 F: 207-594-5445 programzr@zoeysroom.com Zoey’s Room Testimonials …via email and online posts From Girls’ Points of View, as Zoey’s Room Club Members: Zoey's Room is the best! I got a behind-the-scenes look at Zoey's Room at a camp and it changed me forever. I always felt so alone before, like I had nobody to talk or confide in. In Zoey's Room, I can let it all out and be completely ...ME." “Math is my favorite subject – I’m (now) interested in numbers and problem solving” We need more ideas like Zoey’s Room; being a girl is hard and we need all the support we can find since it's hard to discover that at home, with our friends, or our schools." "I think that Zoey's Room is the best idea in the whole entire world. Girls don't have an interactive website that targets what we want and need to know. My parents never talked with me much about growing up so I was often left in the dark. On Zoey's Room, a safe environment is provided where questions can be answered and girls actually have a voice." From Parents’ and Mentors’ Points of View: "My daughter enjoys participating in Zoey's Room, it gives her a chance to get together with friends, meet new ones, and discuss a variety of topics. I, as a parent feel secure knowing she's online but in a safe environment, now that's priceless.” “Zoey’s Room has been a wonderful experience for both my own daughter as well as 40 or more students I have mentored over the last three years as members of our school district's Zoey’s Room Club.” "It is indeed a pleasure for me to reiterate my support of Zoey's Room. This creative approach to reaching pre- teen girls is one of the most exciting that I have seen in my twenty-five plus years of education." One Club leader reports, “Now (the girls) have more confidence in themselves – when they come to my lab to do things, my Zoey’s girls are the leaders – they will be up and showing the other kids what to do.” Another Club leader: “I gotta tell you, our girls are loving this club. The first Tec-Trek they decided to do was “Girls Can’t Do Math?!” A couple of them were hesitant because they were more comfortable with English, but then they got into it as a group and helped each other solve the problem in the Z-Activity. Then they came up with their own businesses and experimented with fonts and did the budgets.” From Lyn Mikel Brown, Ph.D., Colby College: "As a developmental psychologist, educator, and scholar of girls’ and women's development, I highly commend the creators of Zoey's Room for their originality, their passionate commitment to the healthy development of girls, and the wonderfully creative way in which they have used technology to educate and encourage girls to expand their horizons." Mike Rancourt, parent and IBM employee: “I think this is a fantastic outlet for teenage girls. Raising a teenage girl in this millennium is very tough indeed. Because of the work I do for IBM I understand what's out there and so I do my best to keep on top of what my kids surf for on the internet. This takes a lot of the pressure off me knowing she's participating in this and it also allows me to encourage her to make progress on the site versus having to engage in negative conversations for browsing sites I don't approve of. Great job!”
  • 6. Zoey's Room A p r o g r a m p r o v i d e d b y P l a t f o r m S h o e s F o r u m ©2007 www.zoeysroom.com P: 207-594-1842 F: 207-594-5445 staff@zoeysroom.com ZR Evaluation Overview of 2006-2007 Benchmark and Final Survey (100 members sampled) GENERAL Average grade level of girls: Average age 5th grade (37.6%) 11-12 80.5 % of the girls have been members of Zoey’s Room since the 06-07 school year. Girls who participated in ZR via an after- school club (46%) and those who participated on their own at home. (54%). When asked the answers to very specific science, technology, engineering and math questions we put to them in the survey, the majority of girls got 12 out of 13 of the answers right—proving that they actually learned terms, concepts and principles of certain STEM topics by doing the various Tec-Treks. Science 60% knew the definition of a “nanosponge.” 58% knew the definition of “bunny suit” in terms of what scientists wear in lab rooms. 65% knew the difference between toxic and not toxic chemical household products to the environment. Technology 65% could identify a jpeg photo. 54% knew that DSL was the fastest mode of connection. 89% knew the correct definition of “www”. 71% knew the correct way to upload a digital image to a computer. Engineering 87% knew the definition of a mobot. 70% knew what function robot sensors carry out. 70% knew what kind of tasks mobots can perform that humans can’t. Math 89% knew the difference between short-term and long-term savings. 41% knew the correct formula for a person’s net worth (46% got it wrong). INTERNET SAFETY 95% said they felt “very safe” on ZR’s chat room 8% said they felt as safe on Zoey’s Room as other chat rooms. 0% said they felt “unsafe” at any time.