The New York Academy of Sciences reports that on December 10, the night the 2011 Nobel Prizes were presented in Sweden, as well as the centennial of Marie Curie's 2nd Nobel Prize, the New York Academy of Sciences hosted an event entitled Celebrating Women in Science at the Academy's New York headquarters. At the event, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced the creation of the NeXXt Scholars Initiative—an innovative education initiative designed to encourage women to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers—via video address. The Academy then announced a partnership with the Girl Scouts of the USA to expand its Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program to provide scientific mentorship to middle school-age Girl Scouts nationwide.
The NeXXt Scholars Initiative seeks to empower women in predominantly Muslim countries to obtain world-class STEM undergraduate education at more than 30 U.S. women's colleges. In addition to a high-quality STEM education, this U.S. government partnership initiative will provide mentorship, networking, support, and enrichment activities for these international NeXXt Scholars and an American student nominated to be her STEM-sister. The Academy will support these efforts by providing Academy memberships and mentorship to these women, connecting scholars with a large network of women in STEM fields through its Science Alliance program.
The Academy and the Girl Scouts of the USA announced a partnership to design and implement a STEM Mentoring Program for Girl Scouts, modeled on the Academy's Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program. The program will be adapted and scaled to the Girl Scouts' network of more than 100 councils across the country. The goal is to identify and train young women scientists to serve as role models and mentors, working in collaboration with Girl Scouts volunteers to bring high-quality, hands-on, informal science education opportunities to middle school-age Girl Scouts.