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Heidi Olinger is founder and CEO of Pretty Brainy, Inc., a Colorado-based company that creates educational content to support teachers in their mission. Pretty Brainy specializes in project-based STEAM/science-technology-engineering-art-math programming to help educators excite students about learning and prepare them — especially girls — to pursue the broadest of career options.
Olinger began her work as an educator in 1990, focusing on students provisionally admitted to the University of Colorado. With a devotion to experimental pedagogy, she developed practices in student-centered teaching and over the next 10 years received multiple awards for teaching excellence, including the Boettcher Foundation Award.
Drawn to social entrepreneurship, she became a communications strategist in 2000 and senior writer for Colorado’s leading magazine on women in business. Also in 2000, however, she developed a close relationship with a niece who inspired her to form Pretty Brainy.
To fulfill her own heroic mission, Olinger launched Pretty Brainy, Smart Goods for Smart Girls, in 2008, and in 2010 Pretty Brainy girls’ T-shirts won the highest honor from the Mom’s Choice Awards. In 2012 Olinger introduced FashionablyMashed, an interdisciplinary mash-up of fashion design and STEAM for schools and nonprofit organizations. Inside and outside of Pretty Brainy she speaks on the success of girls and women in math and science. Contact her at email@example.com.
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