SmartGirl

Website review by
Susan Yudt, Common Sense Media
SmartGirl Website Poster Image
Educational teen site lacks sophistication.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 8 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive Messages

The site takes a "girl power" approach that encourages girls to express themselves creatively and learn more about themselves. The site's overall goal is to attract more girls to science and technology -- fields in which women are traditionally underrepresented.

Violence

There's content on self-injury, suicide, and abusive relationships, including resources for getting help.

Sex

Some columns and stories discuss issues like resisting pressure to have sex and the importance of using condoms.

Language

A few curses in user-generated content, e.g., "Spiders scare the living s--t out of me."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The site addresses the dangers of drinking, smoking, and drug abuse.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that SmartGirl mixes educational, science-oriented content with first-person contributions from teens, who sometimes write about heavy subjects like self-injury and sex. The site doesn't review content before it's posted, but users generally keep it clean and positive. Parents of tweens will want to preview the large library of links, which includes resources about sexual health and substance abuse.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byadriana'smommy July 25, 2016

Help with my 12 yr. old, who acts like she's 16.

Heard great things, from another source. Just signed up today, so not sure yet.
Adult Written byAnnShalon April 9, 2008

Be careful

Parents need to be aware of the issues presented such as gay pride and sexual issues, horoscopes. If this is something you would rather cover with your child t... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byWinterFresh13 April 9, 2008

Really awesome!

This is an excellent website for 12 to 17 year old girls. Lots of advice plus reviews from girls. The surveys are interesting too. Also your basic girl site gam... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old November 9, 2009
I think that this site is kind of boring. It needs more color, and more topics for writing.

Is it any good?

Run by the Women in Science & Engineering Program at the University of Michigan, SMARTGIRL is a mix of educational info that encourages girls to get involved in the sciences and more typical teen fare, such as horoscopes and relationship advice. There's a lot of content on the site, but it's not organized -- or designed -- in a way that's very appealing. Graphics are minimal and there aren't any multimedia features, except for some games hosted on outside sites. SmartGirl clearly means well, but it may be too basic for tweens and teens who are used to more sophisticated experiences online.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about careers, and about the fact that women are underrepresented in technical fields such as engineering. Talk about some of the reasons girls may be less likely to choose careers in engineering. This can open a discussion about gender, stereotypes, and individuality.

  • Some users express concerns about sex and relationships on this site. Families can talk about media messages about sex. What TV shows and movies offer a realistic depiction of these issues?

Website details

For kids who love learning and sites just for girls

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