January 19, 2016

Innovative Collaboration of Community Partners for The Tech Challenge Learning How To Soar

By Nan Acharya, Co-Chair / Tech Challenge

Displaying IMG_4924.jpgOn November 17th, 2015, the Junior League of Palo Alto Mid-Peninsula, in cooperation with the Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose and two peninsula schools, Synapse School and Charter Connect, launched its signature Girls in STEM project with a training for girls and League volunteers on the Tech Challenge. The Tech Challenge Committee (co-chaired by Kate Thome and Nandini Acharya) was on hand to welcome 15 League women, representatives from the Tech Museum and girls in grades 3-5 from Synapse School and Charter Connect. The purpose of the event was two-fold, to introduce the girls to the Tech Challenge and to train the League and parent mentors on how to best guide and encourage the girls (without doing the work for them!).

Displaying IMG_4906.jpgFirst, Abby Longcor, Director of the Tech Challenge at the Tech Museum reviewed with the girls how the challenge works, the timeline, the theme (flight!) and core requirements. Ms. Longcor emphasized the importance of planning and the role of experimentation and trial and error (emphasis on having fun and not being afraid to try out innovative ideas). The Tech Museum even set up a mock version of the test course to help the girls visualize the event. After reviewing the guidelines for the Challenge and answering some great questions from the girls, the girls engaged in a hand- on mini challenge involving creating a flying object and shepherding "Ant-man"in it across a short course. It was fantastic to see the interest sparked in the girls and the enthusiasm with which they embarked on the mini-challenge. Afterwards, the girls were given the opportunity to form teams and sign up to participate.

Displaying IMG_4915.jpgThe second half of the evening involved an engaging session again led by Ms. Longcor designed to prepare the League and parent volunteers to take on the role of an effective Tech Challenge team mentor. Ms. Longcor reviewed techniques and strategies to engage the girls, spark innovation and creativity, help them organize and project-plan but let them do the creative and scientific work. All in all, it was a fantastic event and the League, the Tech Challenge Committee and the schools are poised to launch weekly mentoring sessions at Synapse School for the girls starting in January and running through the Tech Challenge Day on April 23, 2016 at the Tech Museum. The League will underwrite the entrance and participation costs and purchase supplies for the girls. We can't wait to take flight!

January 15, 2016

Feature Friday: Vicki Clark

Not only is Vicki Clark the guest speaker at next week's GMM but also today’s #jlpamp_FeatureFriday!!

Vicki Clark, Organization Development Consultant/Trainer will be speaking about Diversity and Social & Cultural Inclusion. As one of the 7 elements of civic and community leadership for women in Junior Leagues, it is important for League members to continue to develop their skills, attitudes and knowledge in this area and move toward individual and organizational cultural competence. 

Here is more about Vicki:

How long have you been a consultant/trainer: I have been an independent trainer and consultant since 2002.  I provide training, consulting, speaking and writing and work with nonprofit, business and government groups. Looking back, the majority of my work in the business and nonprofit sector involved training others and leadership development.

Favorite part of your job: Getting to meet passionate, amazing, thoughtful people who want to change lives and communities and make the world a better place.

How many years you have worked with Junior League: I began training with Junior Leagues in 2000 during AJLIs 100th Anniversary.

How many Leagues have you spoken to? Have no idea. Have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with a great many Leagues. Have provided training and consultation to Leagues in 47 states, in Canada and London League.

Any Non-Profit/ Foundation positions: Currently on the boards of two national non-profit organizations:  National Diaper Bank Network and Youth Volunteer Corps.

Hobbies: Movies/Theatre

Favorite vacation spot: HOME. I travel for work 300 days a year and home is my vacation spot.

Where is home? Memphis, TN.  Have also lived in St. Louis, Chicago, Washington, D.C. and Houston

Fun Fact: I was queen of my Kindergarten class.  I am an only child of an only child.