Linking Engineering to Life works to eliminate barriers of participation by recruiting diverse youth and training afterschool program leaders on how best to include youth from a spectrum of economic, geographic, racial, and gender identities. Middle school girls and non-binary students have access to an exciting hands-on curriculum, including all materials and activities, as well as college-aged mentors who are currently studying a STEM topic.
Our Linking Engineering to Life Basics Engineering youth had a blast touring Beta Technologies’ Burlington airport facility and seeing firsthand the cool STEM opportunities that exist for them.
LEL is offered as a BASICS engineering course (electrical, civil, environmental) in the fall and a BIOMEDICAL engineering course in the spring.
As a mentor, you will:
- Guide youth in age-appropriate engineering challenges using the engineering design process
- Instill the practices of an engineering mindset
- Facilitate conversations about equity and inclusion for women in engineering
- Expand your communication and leadership skills
- Be virtual, in-person, or hybrid
- LEL Basics starts the week of September 18, 2023
- LEL Biomedical Engineering starts the week of January 22, 2024
- You can choose Basics and/or Biomedical
- Each program runs for 10 weeks, with 1.5-hour sessions per week
- Three hours/week time commitment
Sign up to become a STEM mentor!
Thanks to the support of STEM Next, Vermont Afterschool has developed Linking Engineering to Life aimed specifically at middle school girls and non-binary youth who have historically been underrepresented in STEM fields as part of the Million Girls Moonshot initiative.
LEL is offered as a BASICS engineering course in the fall and a BIOMEDICAL engineering course in the spring. Basics focuses on all different aspects of engineering (i.e., electrical, civil, environmental) and Biomedical focuses on biomedical engineering, with activities such as creating a prosthetic device for your leg. This application is for LEL BASICS this fall.
What Does Your Program Receive?
- Engineering program for middle school girls and non-binary youth
- Full guidebook
- Program materials kit
- 1-3 college student mentors from UVM, Norwich, or VTC to lead the program (most will be virtual with some being in person depending on the distance)
- Training for staff and mentors the week of September 18th, 2023
- Guest speakers (female engineering professionals) coming in to speak with the girls and bring in career exploration aspects
What Are the Requirements?
- Run a 10-week engineering program (90 minutes once per week) at your afterschool site(s) for girls and non-binary youth in grades 5-8 starting the week of September 25th and ending the week of December 4th.
- One (or more) staff running the program.
- Participate in a virtual training the week of September 18th.
- The LEL BIOMEDICAL program starts the week of January 30th, 2024.
- Support your college student mentors and communicate regularly.
- Collect photos of youth engaged in the program and share with Vermont Afterschool; ensuring that youth in any photos have a completed VA photo release form.
- Create a video of youth and participate in the end of the program showcase.
- Participate in program evaluation and outcomes reporting.
Who is Eligible?
Afterschool and out-of-school time programs serving youth in grades 5-8 are eligible to take part in LEL.
This application is due by 5:00 pm on September 8th, 2023 but there are limited spaces available.