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The CT After School Network is proud to be a 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 afterschool and summer programs.

​The Million Girls Moonshot will not only allow girls to envision themselves as future innovators, but it will increase the quality of out-of-school STEM learning opportunities for all young people, particularly underserved and underrepresented youth.

About the Million Girls Moonshot

The Moonshot is designed to spur girls’ interest, understanding, and confidence in STEM and equip them to become problem solvers with an engineering mindset. Led nationally by the STEM Next Opportunity Fund and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in partnership with the Intel Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Million Girls Moonshot:

  • Leverages afterschool networks in all 50 states to help school-age girls access high-quality STEM education, support, and mentors.
  • Uses an equity and inclusion framework that is youth-centric and culturally responsive to increase gender, and racial and socio-economic diversity in STEM.
  • Provides resources, support, mentorship, and expert guidance to help educators deliver hands-on STEM experiences in afterschool, out-of-school time, and summer learning programs.

Supported by the Mott Foundation, Mizzen is available at no cost to afterschool professionals! Download the Mizzen By Mott app to access STEM  activities at your finger-touch!  You’ll find it in Mizzen here. 

Featured Activities & Playlists

  • Mizzen Activity: Beach Ball Math
  • Mizzen Playlist: STEM Activities for 9-12th Grades – Students engage in science and engineering activities that contain accessible materials.
  • Mizzen Playlist: STEM Activities for K-5th Grade in Small Groups – This playlist is a great mix of engineering and science activities that are easy and fun for small groups of kids K-5th.

ASSETS FROM THE IF/THEN® COLLECTION

These assets feature IF/THEN® Ambassadors Kim Swennen, Software Engineer and Sarah Wilson, Biomechanical Engineer, and can be used in marketing, presentations, social media, and conference presentations.

Organized by Code.org, the annual Hour of Code campaign is a global movement in 180+ countries that introduces young people to computer science through fun, age-appropriate learning activities. The Moonshot’s partnership with Code.org aims to expand that reach into afterschool. 

Learn more about the Hour of Code, download the Afterschool Guide for Hour of Code to explore activities and tutorials, and encourage programs to register as an official Hour of Code site to globally engage and take advantage of the full Hour of Code experience.

Projects & Activities

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

OTHER RESOURCES

Computational Thinking and Coding Activities

  • Home Activities: Girls Who Code – Code at Home Activities – These activities help girls and youth build computer science skills through interdisciplinary topics with real-world application, each featuring a pioneering woman in technology. Activities include unplugged and online options of varying levels of difficulty. 
  • Home or Program Activities: Hour of Code Activities – A collection of one-hour tutorials designed for all ages in over 45 languages. Join millions of students and teachers in over 180 countries starting with an Hour of Code!
  • Program Activities: PBS Kids: Teaching Coding Resources – A collection of PBS Kids support videos and a self-paced educator workshop to explore the why, what, and how of creative coding for children ages 5-8.
  • Program Activities: Common Sense Media’s list of Cool Coding Apps and Websites for Kids – This list offers ways to jump-start a coding adventure. It also encourages kids to become creators and not simply consumers of technology. Teaching everything from simple commands to complex programs, Common Sense Media’s favorite coding apps and websites come in a range of formats designed for different ages and abilities.

NASA Engineering Playlist Activities

Looking for a sequence of activities you can implement in your afterschool program today? Say goodbye to googling or searching on Pinterest. Use the following activities in sequence to support youth in building an engineering mindset with NASA activities.  

  1. Lesson 1: How Can the Little Moon Hide the Giant Sun? (Engineering Design Process Activity) – This activity targeted for grades 3-8th offers great hands-on exploration of how distance can affect the way we perceive the size of an object. It makes a good introduction to solar eclipse as well as Sun and Moon’s sizes and distances from Earth. The idea behind this activity is very simple and the activity itself is easy to do, making it accessible even for young kids.
  2. Lesson 2: Design a Crew Exploration Vehicle (Engineering Design Process Activity) – Using the engineering design process,  students will design, build, test and improve a crew exploration vehicle capable of carrying two 2-centimeter-tall “passengers” and floating in water for one minute without leaking.
  3. Lesson 3: Hubble Telescope and Careers (Career Connection) – Hubble careers are as diverse as the people who hold the jobs. Members of the Hubble team, both past and present, have come from small towns and big cities, worked in the military and in factories, knew from a young age what they wanted or slowly discovered their calling.  Meet the Hubble scientists and engineers! Great videos and activities on the Hubble site.
  4. Lesson 4: Women @ NASA (Role Models and Mentor Connection) – Meet Rachel Hsiong, an engineer at NASA. She is designing components of the upcoming Artemis mission to put a woman on the moon. She is proud and happy to be part of a larger team that will accomplish this great feat.
  5. Lesson 5: Women @ NASA (Role Models and Mentor Connection) – Meet Annette Moore,  an engineer at NASA  Meet Annette Moore and hear her inspirational story of success. Watch the video and have a discussion with the students about how they are the same/different from Ms. Moore and how they can use some of her strategies to be successful.

More from NASA.

  • ACRES Training Cohort: ACRES Taster Workshop Dates: 6:30 PM- 8:00 PM EST on Thursday December 8, 2022  Come together to experience a sampling of ACRES skills. This 1-hour virtual taster session will have you reflecting on when you give youth a voice, and thinking about how you can embed math into your daily routines and will showcase lots of virtual tools. Join this live, free, hands-on, and very engaging session and you’ll be sure to leave with lots of strategies to help you facilitate STEM in your afterschool programs. Register: Use the code AC290WS 
  • ACRES Training Cohort: Facilitating Engineering Practices Dates: 12:00 PM-2:00 PM EST on the following Tuesdays: 1/10/2023, 1/24/2023 & 2/7/2023 Engineering has become a staple of STEM programming for youth. How can we confidently bring engineering into our programming and support youth as they engage in problem-solving? In this module, you’ll  gain first-hand experience with engineering by solving a design problem. As a participant, you’ll examine the components of the engineering design process and discuss ways to model the process with youth. Asking Purposeful Questions is a prerequisite to this skill. Register: Use the code AC285EP
  • ACRES Training Cohort: Asking Purposeful Questions Dates: 10:00 AM-12:00 PM EST on the following Mondays: 2/13/2023, 2/27/2023 & 3/13/2023 Questions begin a path towards discovery, imagination, and STEM exploration. How can we help youth expand and clarify their thinking and develop their reasoning through the questions we ask them? This module is a great way to train staff on how to facilitate STEM learning. Experienced educators also love being part of a cohort as a way to connect with other educators across the country, to learn new lesson plans, and to reflect on practice.  This is our introductory module and a prerequisite to other opportunities. *The expectation is that you will be live at all three sessions and an active member of this coaching cohort. Register: Use the code AC227PQ
  • Quality STEM Webinar: Dimensions of Success Program Planning Tool January 23rd and 25th 10:30 – 12:-00 PM PT 1:30 – 3:00 PM ET (register by January 5, 2023)  The DoS-PPT is a free resource for facilitators of out-of-school and in-school STEM learning programs. The planning tool provides a brief introduction to each dimension of the DoS framework, sample videos, and examples to guide the use of DoS when preparing activity plans for youth. During this training, participants will:
    1. Develop high-level understanding of the DoS Framework, dimensions of quality
    2. Working with the PPT learn how to plan high quality STEM learning experiences using the DoS Program Planning Tool
    3. Work with the newly revised DoS Program Planning Tool to identify and plan for high-quality program and activity planning practices.
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  • Afterschool Math Plus Curriculum Training After-School Math PLUS is an evidence-based program that provides fun, real-world mathematics activities for students in grades 3 through 8. Each unit emphasizes identity development, careers, role models, strategies for family involvement and inclusion of students with disabilities. In this workshop series, will be trained on the implementation and activity guides designed around four thematic units that engage young people. The workshop series is best suited for program front-line staff, site leaders, and staff trainers. It is equally appropriate for those with prior math teaching experience and those who are new to it. Sessions will meet on December 13th 9:30-10:45 PST / 12:30-1:45 EST. Register Here

Teen Science Cafe – Teen Science Cafés are free, fun events where teens get to discuss cool science and technology with local scientists and engineers, try hands-on activities, and enjoy free food and awesome conversation.

  • K-12 Computer Science Framework — The Association for Computing Machinery, Code.org, Computer Science Teachers Association, Cyber Innovation Center, and National Math and Science Initiative have collaborated with states, districts, and the computer science education community to develop conceptual guidelines for computer science education.
  • Click2Science (click2sciencepd.org)
  • You For Youth // Computer Science for All — Computer Not Required  — This 21CCLC resources covers it all—activities, curricula, fact sheets.  There’s information for practitioners, parents, and families.  The ready-to-use resources for educators have links to everything including a variety of curricula for k-12 students and recommendations for best practice.
  • Scratch – The world’s largest coding community for children and free coding language designed for children ages 8+. With a simple visual interface, Scratch easily allows young people to create digital stories, games, and animations.
  • ScratchJr – A free application for young children (ages 5-7) to get their first introduction to coding. With ScratchJr, children code their own interactive stories and games. In the process, they learn to solve problems, design projects, and express themselves creatively on the computer.