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Who are We?

My name is Kate Vinson and I'm a graduate of Wylie High School in the Wylie Independent School District.  I am currently a student at North Park University in Chicago.

 

When I was in 5th grade (I'm now in college), I came up with the idea of SMARTgirls Clubs and Camps as a way to keep girls interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Courses and Careers.  For some reason, girls lose interest and I wanted to make it fun, so that doesn't happen!  

 

I was a member of the Future Problem Solving Club and SMARTgirls was created as an individual community problem solving project.  It started as summer camp and expanded to after-school and Saturday clubs in all of WISD junior high and intermediate schools.  SMARTgirls won 1st place at the Future Problem Solvers International Conference in 2015 at Iowa State university.

 

Some of my guy friends were asking us to offer classes for them - so I decided to offer summer camps for boys.  They loved it and we called their group GEARSforGUYS.

 

Next, came club opportunities for elementary schools!  The science coordinator at our district thought it would be a great idea for our SMARTgirls and GEARSforGUYS to teach the elementary kids.  So we created SMARTkids to teach 3rd and 4th grade girls AND boys.

 

So collectively we just call the whole thing: SMARTWylie.

In Summer 2017, we offered residential camp in conjunction with Texas A&M University and a -Biology boot camp for entering 9th graders in high school.  We also for the first time partnered with TechTitans, because when will all work together - SMARTgirls become TechTitans!

SMARTWylie has continued to grow until taking a hiatus for the 2021-2022 school year.  Hopefully, more news to come soon!

 

I hope you will check out SMARTWylie and be sure and make some suggestions!

STAFF

KATE VINSON, founder

ANN DARBY, director

CRISTY VINSON, coordinator

CAMP STAFF

ANN DARBY, director

KAREN JORDAN

TRUDI KANE

CASSIE FULLER

LORI VINSON

DALE RAMIREZ

MICHAEL SLAUGHTER

ROSA HERRERA

JOANNA ROBERTSON

MARCI KNIGHT

STEPHANIE MOON

JAMIE BUSBY

MEGAN MILLER

ADAM JACOBSON

CLUB SPONSERS

ANN DARBY, director

                    , davis

LORI GRAY, harrison

BOBBIE GAMBILL, draper

ROSA HERRERA, burnett

JOANNA ROBERTSON, mcmillan

STEPHANIE MOON, cooper

TRACI HALLIGAN, elem science

CORI NICKLAUS, elem science

SMARTleaders (2016-2017)

KATE VINSON

MIKAILA FATHEREE

MIKAYLEE MORTON

EMILY SMYDER

ALEXIS STROUD

MIKENZIE FATHEREE

CAL VINSON

BLAINE WINN

ISABELLA OSPINA

KAITLYN CHAU

KATE VINSON

founder

My name is Kate (you can read about me above), but I LOVE science and I want to be an engineer when I grow up!  I attend as many SMARTWylie events as a I can.  If I'm not attending one, I am teaching or helping at one.  Sometimes I just help carry boxes and fill out forms.  But pretty much if there is a SMARTWylie event going on - you'll see me around.

ANN DARBY

director

My name is Ann Darby.  I volunteered the director of all of the district-wide SMART programs. I now teach Engineering at Midway High School in Midway ISD.  I was the coach for Future Problem Solvers, which is how Kate and I got involved in this project!  I've been with SMARTWylie since Spring 2014 when Kate came up with the idea.  I am passionate about students finding what they LOVE and being introduced to the careers and opportunities associated with that.

CRISTY VINSON

coordinator

I'm Cristy and yes - Kate's mom!  I sort of do whatever Kate and Ann need - so they gave me a title. I'm a computer programmer at Texas Tech University.  I saw right away that girls like Kate are turned away from science and math because it's "hard" or not "cool".  When she came up with this idea - there was no way I was going to pass up this opportunity!

Some of our Awesome friends!

LYMARI AMES

CISCO SYSTEMS,

friend and advocate of SMARTWylie