DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--IF/THEN®, a national initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies® which seeks to advance women in STEM, is launching the IF/THEN® Collection, the world’s first, free, digital resource library created to significantly contribute to the underrepresented supply of women in STEM imagery worldwide.
The IF/THEN® Collection is the largest, free resource of its kind with thousands of photos and videos of diverse and powerful images of contemporary women in STEM. The Collection is a critical component of IF/THEN®’s mission to inspire young girls to pursue STEM careers as well as create a culture shift in how the world perceives women in STEM.
The Collection features 125 female STEM innovators selected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Lyda Hill Philanthropies® to be AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassadors, all serving as high-profile role models for girls. The IF/THEN® Collection will serve as a resource for nonprofit organizations, museums, schools, teachers, camps, parents, media and others. Photos and videos are accessible for anyone to view and stream for non-commercial use on the online platform managed in partnership with the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP).
As part of the launch, IF/THEN® teamed up with the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) and its network of nearly 400 science and technology centers and museums across the United States. IF/THEN® is providing a $650,000 grant program for ASTC-member museums to showcase more women across their exhibits, displays, and materials, including by using assets from the IF/THEN® Collection. “The demand for real images of women and gender minorities in STEM is part of an increasing effort among museums to advance representation of the full diversity of humanity in their content,” said Cristin Dorgelo, ASTC’s president and CEO. ASTC awarded grants to 26 museums in the initial phase, and a second wave of grants will come later this year.
“The IF/THEN® Collection offers unlimited opportunity to influence the visual world around us, because we know, ‘IF she can see it, THEN she can be it,’” said Nicole Small, CEO of Lyda Hill Philanthropies® and co-founder of the IF/THEN® Initiative. “Our goal is for girls everywhere to see STEM as exciting, relevant, and cool, and seeding the visual landscape with images of relatable and diverse women is key to making this happen.”
IF/THEN® is also pleased to announce a partnership with educational crowdfunding site DonorsChoose to inspire teachers across the country to incorporate the IF/THEN® Collection imagery in teaching materials and lessons and then share the best ideas among a network of educators.
In time for the back-to-school season, the nonprofit DonorsChoose will run the IF/THEN® Collection Innovation Challenge to promote free access to the Collection and a dollar-for-dollar matching program for teachers who create classroom projects designed to leverage the IF/THEN® Collection. IF/THEN® is donating $1 million and calling on the public to join in their support. In addition to the competition channeling more funding towards classroom resources, the program will distribute 50,000 free classroom posters featuring images from the IF/THEN® Collection. Teachers are encouraged to enter the competition by posting one project. The 10 most innovative projects will receive $5,000 in DonorsChoose credits to use towards their next request. Winning teachers will share their project insights so that other teachers across the country can adapt these inspiring projects for their own classrooms.
“With back-to-school looking very different this year, image-based communication matters now more than ever,” said Charles Best, founder and CEO of DonorsChoose. “We are proud to partner with IF/THEN® to provide teachers across the country with a unique opportunity to participate in the IF/THEN® Collection Innovation Challenge. By being able to leverage and integrate this robust collection of authentic and diverse imagery of women in STEM into creative and exciting teaching materials and lessons, educators will be instrumental in promoting this new STEM narrative and culture shift.”
In addition to distributing posters and running grants for schools and museums, IF/THEN® is funding nearly $1.25 million for Coalition partners Girl Scouts of the USA and Teach For America to supplement content using the IF/THEN® Collection. For example, Girls Scouts of the USA will use the Collection in coordination with the organization’s STEM programming for girls, and Teach For America will integrate the Collection into teacher resources and new STEM curriculum.
For more information on the Collection and the IF/THEN® initiative, please visit https://www.IfThenCollection.org/.
IF/THEN® is part of Lyda Hill Philanthropies’ commitment to fund game-changing advancements in science and nature. IF/THEN® seeks to further advance women in STEM by empowering current innovators and inspiring the next generation of pioneers. Rooted in a firm belief that there is no better time to highlight positive and successful female professional role models, IF/THEN® is designed to activate a culture shift among young girls to open their eyes to STEM careers by: (1) funding and elevating women in STEM as role models, (2) convening cross-sector partners in entertainment, fashion, sports, business and academia to illuminate the importance of STEM everywhere, and (3) inspiring girls with better portrayals of women in STEM through media and learning experiences to pique their interest in STEM careers. To learn more, visit www.ifthenshecan.org or follow IF/THEN® on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
ABOUT LYDA HILL PHILANTHROPIES
Lyda Hill Philanthropies encompasses the charitable giving of founder Lyda Hill who believes that “science is the answer” to life’s most challenging issues and is committed to funding transformational advances in science and nature. To learn more, visit www.lydahillphilanthropies.org.