Vermont Afterschool is proud to be part of the Million Girls Moonshot initiative, working to inspire and prepare the next generation of innovators by engaging one million more girls in STEM learning opportunities through OST programs over the next five years. The Million Girls Moonshot is an initiative of the STEM Next Opportunity Fund. The Million Girls Moonshot seeks to re-imagine who can engineer, who can build, who can make. See below for some information and resources that can help advance this goal!
Addressing STEM Stereotypes and Biases: Facilitating Challenging Conversations with Youth
September 15, 2021 – 4:00 PM EST
Stereotypes about who does STEM continue to be pervasive in current society. For girls, particularly girls of color, the cultural stereotypes of STEM disciplines as male dominated and white prevent them from seeing their current or possible future selves within these communities (Kang et al., 2019). How can adults and educators address these stereotypes and facilitate meaningful conversations with youth to break down STEM stereotypes, address biases, and build STEM identities? Join NGCP as we dig into this topic and hear from various perspectives on their experiences engaging in challenging conversations. Speakers will also share strategies and resources for addressing and discussing STEM stereotypes and bias with youth.
Curiosity Machine Design Challenges
September 16, 2021 – 11:00 AM EST
Presented by: Technovation
Looking for hands-on project-based STEM activities for your students? Technovation will guide you through our suite of free design challenges on our Curiosity Machine website. Educators around the world access Technovation resources to help their students become more adept at problem-solving in open-ended engineering situations. In this training, participants will practice some design challenges and test our understanding on the different ways we can facilitate these design challenges. Although each group of students is unique, the Curiosity Machine design challenges can be implemented in multiple ways. Looking for single day activities or multi-day projects? Come learn how you can modify the same activity to fit different needs like age groups, in-person or virtual learning, and more. Come ready to sample doing a part of a design challenge yourself.
Tour of the IF/THEN Collection: Million Girls Moonshot Portal with the National Girls Collaborative Project
September 21, 2021 – 2:00 PM EST
Are you looking for more resources to support STEM learning in your afterschool programs? Join us to learn more about the IF/THEN® Collection and resources specifically designed for afterschool and summer learning. In this webinar participants will tour the IF/THEN® Collection, explore the new afterschool portal, and learn about new activities designed for afterschool programs.
The M in STEM: Making Mathematics Meaningful with the National Girls Collaborative Project
October 5, 2021 – 11:00 AM EST
This webinar will focus on engaging and supporting girls and young women in mathematics. We will learn from an AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassador who uses mathematics to positively impact society and share best practices and resources to help make the M in STEM meaningful and accessible in afterschool.
Introducing Artificial Intelligence Using Curiosity Machine
October 14, 2021 – 11:00 AM EST
Presented by: Technovation
Artificial intelligence can be fun, hands-on, and connected to real life, even for kids. In this training for educators of upper elementary or middle school students, Technovation will showcase our Curiosity Machine artificial intelligence lessons. With these free lessons, help your students learn, play and create solutions to real-world problems with Al. Learn what Al is, how it works, and how your students can use it to solve a problem they care about through our 10-lesson challenge. This is a great program for educators with and without STEM backgrounds!
Exploration and Awareness of Careers that use an Engineering Mindset: The Possible Futures Curriculum – PART I
October 14, 2021 – 3:00 PM EST
Over two 75-minute sessions with Jobs for the Future (JFF), you’ll learn how to use JFF’s free Possible Futures (PF) Engineering and Design curriculum unit to introduce students to careers that require an engineering mindset. How? The interactive lessons for grades 6-10 have students assume the role of professionals in the engineering field as they learn to prototype, iterate, and innovate. Thinking as young professionals, students are introduced to the design process, develop problem-solving and research skills, and learn to foster an engineering and growth mindset. JFF, a national nonprofit aimed at promoting economic advancement for all, designed the Possible Futures curriculum with a focus on STEM to help rethink how youth start to explore college and career options and to prepare them to make meaningful decisions about their future.
Get ready for interactive sessions that are designed to be a supportive learning community. You will be introduced to the 20-lesson unit and do some deep dives into lessons that use the engineering and design process to solve real-world problems. Participants will walk away with the knowledge and strategies they need to make the PF Engineering and Design unit work for their program.
Exploration and Awareness of Careers that use an Engineering Mindset: The Possible Futures Curriculum – PART II
November 3, 2021 – 3:00 PM EST
Part 2 of how to use JFF’s free Possible Futures Engineering and Design curriculum unit to introduce students to careers that require an engineering mindset. How? The interactive lessons for grades 6-10 have students assume the role of professionals in the engineering field as they learn to prototype, iterate, and innovate. Thinking as young professionals, students are introduced to the design process, develop problem-solving and research skills, and learn to foster an engineering and growth mindset. JFF, a national nonprofit aimed at promoting economic advancement for all, designed the Possible Futures curriculum with a focus on STEM to help rethink how youth start to explore college and career options and to prepare them to make meaningful decisions about their future.
Going Deeper: From Curiosity Machine to Technovation Girls Challenge
November 4, 2021 – 11:00 AM EST
Presented by: Technovation
Calling all educators who are interested in teaching your students how to solve global problems with technology! While Technovation’s global program is tailored for girls, educators around the world are using this curriculum with all their students. Take your exploration of open-ended design challenges with your students to the next level by learning about this multi-week opportunity for students to dive deep into coding or AI and a passion project that could change the world and themselves. This program will prepare students not only to succeed as a STEM learner but as an entrepreneur as well.
Equity and Inclusion
- Toolkit: Broadening Perspectives in Broadening Participation in STEM Toolkit, Developed by CAISE – to help informal STEM education and science communication groups reflect on and strengthen their efforts to broaden participation in STEM, CAISE’s Broadening Participation in STEM Task Force has developed a suite of professional development tools. If you are a staff leader or trainer working on broadening participation, these resources can help support your work. You can use them to plan and lead reflective discussions about current practices, with an eye to developing goals, strategies, and priorities that can make your ISE and science communication work more inclusive.
- BP-Conversation-Guide.pdf (informalscience.org) – A guide for leading discussions in your organization or program focused on broadening participation.
- BP-4-Cultural-Norms.pdf (informalscience.org) – A practice brief to help organizations and programs reflect on the cultural norms of STEM they do/do not reinforce.
- Poster: Engineering Mindset Graphic – This printable graphic presents the 10 critical engineering practices and shows how they all contribute to the development of an engineering mindset.
- Article: What STEM Mindset Is … and Why Everyone Should Have One – This article describes how 21st century skills, growth mindset, and habits of mind all contribute to a STEM mindset
- Website: DiscoverE Engineering Activities, Resources, and More – Build a beverage holder that won’t hurt the environment, learn about the many careers in engineering, and meet an engineering role model in a short video.
Incorporating Role Models
- IF/THEN Collection: The IF/THEN Collection is the largest free resource of its kind dedicated to increasing access to authentic and relatable images of real women in STEM. In this library, you’ll find thousands of photos, videos, and other assets that authentically represent women in careers as diverse as shark tagging, fashion design, and training Olympic athletes, including videos that highlight women in STEM who work with top US Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
- Article: Educational Justice Starts with Equitable Family Engagement by Riddhi Divanji, Ella Shahn, and Sydney Parker – Designing surveys and sharing data with a wide range of stakeholders results in a deeper understanding of the data from multiple perspectives.
- Article: ‘I’m not just a mom’: Parents as creators, collaborators, and learners in creative computing by Ricarose Roque – Social support from parents can play an important role in engaging and sustaining young people’s participation in computing. The authors identified many supportive roles for parents, including collaborating with their children on projects, providing resources, and finding new opportunities.
- Webinar Recording: Listen, Learn, Lead Webinar by Flamboyan Foundation – Speakers discuss what they are hearing through their ongoing work with families, particularly their Black and Brown families facing the intersecting crises of racism and COVID-19.
ACTIVITIES FOR PROGRAMS
- Student Design Activity: Bouncy Ball Factory – Youth engineer bouncy balls that meet particular criteria. Using the engineering design process, they develop and test their creations.
- Student Design Activity: Paper Table – Youth engineer a table from a newspaper that is at least 8″ high and strong enough to hold a book.
- Student Design Activity: Take Flight – Using everyday materials, youth engineer a glider that can fly straight for 15 feet.
- Student Design Activity: Keep Your Cool! Design Your Own Cooler Challenge – Youth design a cooler that will keep a bottle of water cool using the engineering design process. They test their prototype and graph their results to determine the effectiveness of the solution.
- Student Design Activity: Design a Watercraft – Youth engineering a small boat out of straws and plastic wrap that can hold weight.
- Student Design Activity: Get it Write! – Youth engineering a writing device (pen) using everyday materials. They think about both the (water soluble) “ink” and the delivery mechanism.
- Free App: The Mizzen By Mott app delivers inspiring and engaging activities that spark learning in young people. Supported by the Mott Foundation, Mizzen is available at no cost to afterschool professionals! Download the Mizzen By Mott app to access high-quality, vetted STEM activities at your fingertips. You’ll find it in Mizzen here.