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NEXT ISSUE: OCTOBER 2023
Our CLASP STEM Cohort allows out of school time professionals an excellent place to explore fun, unique STEM practices and opportunities for young people. The program connects realistic, relevant and hands-on learning and networking opportunities for you as an educator to add to your resources, practices and tools that will help you build opportunities for supporting the young learners in your programs to find the possibilities and skills that come from powerful learning experiences and thoughtful partnerships.
If you are interested in this special program, contact Khadija Bshara for more information.
See what our participants have to say about their experience in CLASP.
Welcome Back to (After) School!
To help youth see themselves with a future in STEM and to broaden understanding of science history, it is important for students to learn about a diverse range of scientists and engineers. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (SEP 15 – OCT 15), we highlight a few of the Hispanic and Latinx scientists and engineers who made (and are making) important contributions to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and share useful resources for program providers.
Projects & Activities
- First Woman Camp Guide and Set of Hands on Activities
As NASA prepares to put the first woman on the Moon in the next few years through the Artemis Missions, join us in an opportunity to imagine the possibilities of future lunar exploration with your upper elementary and middle school students. This set of hands-on activities accompanies NASA’s “First Woman” graphic novel series, which tells the story of Callie Rodriguez, the first woman to explore the Moon. While Callie is a fictional character, the first female astronaut and person of color will soon set foot on the Moon. Intended for uses in afterschool and summer settings, this First Woman Camp Experience Guide will bring the excitement of NASA’s science and technology. Read the fictional story of Callie, the first woman and person of color on the Moon. Download the interactive graphic novel and mobile apps.
- Access the Guide and Graphic Novel
- Register for Live Professional Development Webinar:
- Use the Materials with Your Students
- Register for a Live Q&A with Scientists and Engineers working on the Artemis Mission
- Surprisingly STEM Video Series
Surprisingly STEM is a video series that highlights exciting and unexpected careers at NASA. This series is designed to inform students about the broad range of career opportunities at NASA – outside of the typical associations of rocket scientists and astronauts – and to break down perceived barriers for working at the agency.
- Monthly Release of new pre recorded 5 minute career episode
- Associated STEAM Activities
- Monthly Live Session with NASA expert to answer Student Questions
- Build a Pizza Box Solar Oven – Use easily found materials to create an oven where students can cook s’mores. The activity answers the question “What has engineering got to do with me?” in a way that is fun.
- Hands-On Math: Fraction Math Trees – This fun hands-on, kinesthetic and visual approach to learning about fractions produces “math art”.
- Welcome to Space Math @ NASA – A collection of math videos, books, and activities that are sorted by grade level, science topic, NASA missions, and engineering topics. All activities are based on NASA Mission and projects.
- STEM Lessons From Space: Mathematics – A collection of math and engineering activities, videos, and resources with a focus on the International Space Station.
- The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers – A collection of fun and easy activities for ages 4-18 that cover a broad spectrum of activities—everything from designing devices to address climate change to coding.
- Elementary & Middle School Math Club Ideas And Activities: From Set Up To Running It If you have always wanted to set up a math club but aren’t quite sure how to do it or what kind of math club activities you could use, then this blog should set you on the right path. Packed with math club ideas, tips and tricks from a teacher with over 20 years experience, after reading this post you will be in good shape to start your own club in no time at all.
- Brokering Youth Pathways: A Toolkit for Connecting Youth to Future Opportunity from the Hive Research Network shares ways in which various out-of-school educators and professionals have approached the challenge of brokering. We provide a framework, practice briefs and reports that focus on a particular issue or challenge and provide concrete examples, as well as illustrate how our partners worked through designing new brokering routines in partnership with our research team.
- Engineering is Elementary’s NASA Partnership free units – A suite of free NASA-funded STEM resources for students in grades 3-8. All resources are research-based and classroom-tested. They are designed to support students’ understanding of space, while helping them see themselves as capable problem solvers.
- Environmental Science and Engineering:
- These 20+ free STEM lessons, projects, and activities have been grouped thematically to highlight environmental science challenges and potential STEM-based solutions: Energy, Ecological Footprint, Water, STEM Solution
- Celebrate spring with 26 free science and engineering lessons, projects, and activities for enriching hands-on STEM related to spring weather, flowers, plants, and more!
- A list of dozens of activities on climate change with descriptions, age level, everything you need to know.
- Role Models: List of 13 inspiring examples of young environmentalists making a difference
- Free hands-on activities for families and educators on environmental advocacy, role models, and environmentally friendly strategies.
- DNA & Genetics:
- As a part of Illumina’s The Future is Bright Campaign celebrating DNA Day, Million Girls Moonshot is partnering to provide a number of resources for programs to celebrate DNA day! Featured opportunities include a Virtual Lab Simulation; a Virtual Field trip; and DNA Decoded, ready to go, lessons and activities for educators!
- Investigate Alien Genetics – This activity uses an alien model to demonstrate how genes or physical traits are passed on from parents to their offspring. How similar will alien siblings look? OR Check out Baby Lab and use probability to predict genetic traits.
- Effects of Genetic Engineering – Farmers have been using “genetic engineering” for hundreds (maybe thousands!) of years. They use the seeds of the biggest, tastiest, etc. fruit to plant the next generation of that particular plant. Have a discussion about the advantages.
- Make String from Algae – The seaweed in the ocean (or even eaten as a snack) is inspiring innovators to imagine new materials. Large brown algae, like kelp, contains polymers—long chains of molecules—that are more environmentally friendly than the ones in most plastics. These natural polymers (alginates) coud eventually be used to create sustainable everyday objects. Try your hand at using a bit of chemistry to turn biodegradable polymers from algae into custom string!
- Innovation & Engineering
- Build the Best Paper Bridge – Bridges come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Use this simple activity to demonstrate civil engineering design.
- Alecia Boler Davis – Mrs. Davis is a civil engineer who is known for her skills in Operations and Engineering. In 2016 she became Executive Vice President of global manufacturing.
- My Mechanical Ear Can Hear! – Worn by young and old, hearing aids are electronic devices that amplify sound at different levels for different pitches. Students are introduced to the types of biomedical devices that engineers have designed to aid people with this physical disability.
- Lisa Goel – Mrs. Goel is a Vice President, Technology Operations & Business Innovations at Nanobiosym.
- Electrical Engineering
- Measure Static Electricity With An Electroscope! – Youth explore how well materials around the house produce static electricity by making a simple, homemade electroscope (an instrument that detects electric charges) and testing it out.
- Carlotta A. Berry, PhD – Dr Berry is an electrical engineer who also works in robotics at the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. She specializes in human-robot interaction, human-robot interfaces, robotics education, mobile robotics, diversity in STEM. She is part of the Black in Robotics Speakers Bureau
- Facilitating Science Practices Wednesdays: SEP 13 & 27, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm EST. How can we make sure that our ‘hands-on’ science experiences for youth are also ‘minds on?’ In this module, participants learn how to support youth as they engage in science practices to learn science ideas, including planning and conducting investigations around testable questions. They’ll talk about the similarities and differences between questioning in science versus questioning in engineering contexts. *The expectation is that you will be live at all three sessions and an active member of this coaching cohort. Recordings are not available if you are unable to attend. Completion of the Asking Purposeful Questions module is a prerequisite for this module. Register Here Code: AC251VC
Nurturing STEM Identity and Making Career Connections – Wednesdays: SEP 20, OCT 04 & 18, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm EST. How do you help youth recognize their role in STEM? How do you help youth learn about STEM careers? Participants experience several easy-to-implement strategies, including a photo-elicitation activity that can help youth form STEM identities, and then learn how to conduct related activities with youth. *The expectation is that you will be live at all three sessions and an active member of this coaching cohort. Recordings are not available if you are unable to attend. Completion of the Asking Purposeful Questions module is a prerequisite for this module. Register Here Code: AC360ID
- ACRES Training Cohort: Asking Purposeful Questions: Wednesdays; OCT 4, OCT 18, NOV 1m, 6:00 – 8:00 pm EST – Questions begin a path toward 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. Recordings are not available if you are unable to attend. Register Here Code: AC321PQ
Make Math Engaging
NOV 13, NOV 27 & DEC 11, 2:00 – 4:00 pm EST –
Are you looking for fun ways to help youth build number sense and problem-solving skills? Math can take on new meaning when it is integrated into daily routines in our afterschool programs. In this module, afterschool educators will explore and practice strategies for making math engaging and accessible.
*The expectation is that you will be live at all three sessions and an active member of this coaching cohort. Recordings are not available if you are unable to attend. Completion of the Asking Purposeful Questions module is a prerequisite for this module. Register Here Code: AC343MP
Click2Engineering: Engineering Mindset Fall Community of Practice
Thursdays SEP 14, SEP 28, OCT 12 & OCT 26, 2:30 – 3:30 PM EST –
The Click2Engineering community of practice (CoP) introduces out-of-school time educators to the basics of engineering and leading engineering activities with youth. The CoP is organized around the 10 Practices for an Engineering Mindset, and includes hands-on engineering activities, developing engineering experiences for youth, and learning skills to facilitate engineering practices. The CoP is 4 meetings over 6 weeks. Register Here.
You’re a Computational Thinker
Wednesday, SEP 20th, 12:00-1:00 PM EST – Learn what computational thinking means and reflect on the ways in which you are already a computational thinker. Learn how you can help youth develop as computational thinkers and leave with strategies you put into use right away. Register Here
- Afterschool Math Plus Curriculum Training – Tuesdays: SEP 19, OCT 17, and NOV 28 & DEC 12, 1:00 – 2:00 PM EST, Previous Training Recordings for April, click here. Register for each individual session here. Session topics include:
- Jump Rope Math
- Music Math
Each webinar will include strategies to support a positive Math Identity (e.g., role models, career connections, family connections, literacy connections).
Scientific Adventures for Girls Math Curriculum Training – Harnessing the Magic of Math Join us for a dynamic three-part virtual training series designed to breathe life into math through games, through meaningful, kid-friendly data analysis, and nature exploration. Our sessions focus on strategies that accommodate multiple grade levels and ability levels, helping you meet each student where they are. Prepare to turn your after-school program into a vibrant and engaging mathematical journey!
Session 1: Let’s Play – October 3rd 12:00-1:00PM EST. Delve into the world where play meets mathematics. In this session, we’ll explore how common game pieces, such as dominoes and dice, can be transformed into effective math teaching and exploration tools. You’ll learn strategies for presenting math concepts in a playful, engaging manner, catering to different grade levels and ability levels. We’ll discuss how games can enhance critical thinking, problem-solving, and cooperative learning among students.
Session 2: Data Detectives – October 10th 12:00-1:00PM EST. In our second session, we’ll focus on strategies to collect and analyze data in fun and meaningful ways. From measuring the bounce of different balls and exploring exponential decay by eating M&M’s, we’ll demonstrate how students can become active participants in the world of gathering and interpreting data.
Session 3: Nature’s Numbers – October 17th 12:00-1:00PM EST. In our final session, we will explore the geometric patterns and three-dimensional shapes that exist in the natural world, demonstrating how these can be used to enrich math learning. This session will equip you with strategies to engage all students, from the youngest to the oldest, and from beginner to advanced levels.
REGISTER FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL SESSION HERE
Techbridge Girls Equity and Inclusion Community of Practice: AUG 10th, SEP 14th, OCT 12th, NOV 9th, and DEC 14th – Techbridge Girls is excited to announce that applications are being accepted to join the Fall 2023 STEM Equity Learning Community. All out-of-school time (OST) supervisors and administrators for programs that serve Black, Indigenous, and Latina girls and gender-expansive youth are encouraged to apply. Participation in the CoP includes 5 sessions and stipends. Attend the information session on JUL 6th at 1pm ET/ 10am PT. Register Here.
Techbridge Girls Curriculum Program with Training and Kits – Join us at an upcoming Techbridge Girls Information Session to learn more about our program offering for this Fall! Each of our services equips educators with gender- and culturally-responsive teaching tools and full program kitting materials to support youth persistence in STEM and expose girls to BIPOC peers and role models from STEM fields. Participation includes educator training, all materials and a stipend.
Information Sessions: AUG 8th at 3pm ET/ noon PST. LEARN MORE AND REGISTER HERE
Teen Science Cafe Moonshot Fellows – Become a Teen Science Café Fellow! Teen Science Cafes are a free, fun way for teens to engage in lively conversations with STEM experts that explore the advances in science and technology that affect their lives. In these events, teens socialize over teen-friendly food and drink and have a lively conversation with local scientists and engineers about current cutting-edge developments in their fields, all in a relaxed and informal out-of-school setting. Teen Science Cafés are for teens, by teens. Teen Science Cafés are not just for the science geeks; they are for all curious teens. Along the way, teen organizers gain a host of leadership skills. Cafés are typically run about an hour and a half once per month during the school year. A $2,500 stipend is provided to selected participants to support the implementation of Teen Science Cafes. Apply to be a Teen Sciene Cafe Moonshot fellow here.
- NGCP Blog – Supporting Space STEM Education: Resources to Spark Curiosity and Inspire STEM Learning – This blog post shares a list of resources put together based on NGCP’s experience at the National Space Council’s Space STEM Forum along with the ongoing work of NGCP supporting gender equity in STEM.
- NGCP Blog – Picture Books to Break Stereotypes in STEM (and Beyond!) – Find a list (with links) to the best STEM picture books for young learners featuring diverse characters and girl-centered stories.
- Simply STEM – August
- Simply STEM – July
- Simply STEM – June
- Simply STEM – May
- Simply STEM – April
- DNA Day
- Building a Community for Indigenous Mathematicians – Easy to read article on identifying as an indigenous mathematician and how to become part of a community of mathematicians.
- Three Ways Educators Can Shift the Way They Talk About Science – Blog post with simple suggestions for educators based on research conducted by Amanda Cardarelli at NYU.
- Simply STEM – March
- Simply STEM – February
- Simply STEM – January
- ‘I’m not just a mom’: Parents as creators, collaborators, and learners in creative computing
- National STEM Day
Look Up – August
Look Up – July
Look Up – June
Look Up – May
Look Up – April
- Brokering Youth Pathways: A Toolkit for Connecting Youth to Future Opportunity from the Hive Research Network – This toolkit shares ways in which various out-of-school educators and professionals have approached the challenge of brokering. A framework, practice briefs and reports that focus on a particular issue or challenge and provide concrete examples.
- Build the capacity of program providers using the “Access to STEM” Framework as a guide to your webinars, professional development, community of practices, or one-on-one conversations. The Framework is packed with strategies and tactics to create inclusive programs and activities for all learners.
- 10 Engineering Mindset Practices
- STEMNext Framework – Partnering with the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) and national experts, we have developed an Access to STEM Framework — a guide for supporting program providers in this transformation.
- 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.
- Career Girls – A comprehensive video-based career exploration tool for girls featuring diverse women STEM role models. It’s free to use and contains 16,000 videos, as well as career quizzes and resources.
- FabFems – A collection of resources for role models, educators, and parents to inspire and educate girls about science, computer science, technology, engineering, and mathematics courses and careers. The website includes Resources for Role Models and Resources for Girls.
- Million Womens Mentors – MWM is the premier network dedicated to encouraging girls and women around the world to pursue, persists, and succeed in STEM careers.
- National Mentoring Resource Center – A collection of mentoring resources including handbooks, curricula, manuals, and other resources that practitioners can use to implement and further develop program practices.
- Techbridge Role Model Training and Resources – These resources are for adult or near-peer role models to develop skills for engaging girls and historically excluded youth in STEM through guides, videos, and questions.
- Click2Science (click2sciencepd.org)
- CT Million Women Mentors
- Earth Day Education – Browse resources to guide your environmental education lessons and stewardship activities on Earth Day and throughout the year. These resources can be adapted to a variety of ages and settings.
- Educator Guide: Educator Guide: STEM Activities for Families | NASA/JPL Edu Easy to implement engaging activities for families (as a follow up to after school activities.)
- Exploring Paleontology to Spark Science Engagement from a Young Age – Learn how to nurture your students’ interest in dinosaurs and increase science engagement beginning in elementary school in this webinar recording. Hear from Dr. Holly Woodward Ballard, an Associate Professor of Anatomy and Paleontology at the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, and PK-5th grade teacher Alyssa Barr who shares tips on how to use a book like Lily and Maia to fuel an integrated learning experience. This webinar also featured Audrey O’Connell, co-founder of HSG, who shared the process of developing the Lily and Maia characters and working with the young artist, Grace Hattrup, to ensure scientific accuracy of the paleo elements.
- Girls Rock in Science & Math
- Innovation Play
- KinderLab Robotics – If you’re looking to add coding, robotics, and STEAM to your afterschool or OST programs, chose KIBO!
- Museum of Science – Educator resources, activities and more!
- The National Center for Quality Afterschool – Math in Afterschool – The National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning developed professional development guides for four content areas of the toolkit: literacy, math, technology, and the arts.
- National Geographic – Bring National Geographic to your classroom through lesson plans, maps, and reference resources.
- PBS Kids Protecting Our Planet Resources – Earth day games, crafts, printables, and other resources for kids ages 2-5 from PBS Kids.
- Room to Read STEAM Powered Careers Collection – Room to Read’s STEAM-Powered Careers collection presents 10 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics-themed books to inspire first through third graders about the wide variety of groundbreaking and exciting STEAM careers that they can start exploring right now.
- 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.
- State of Girls and Women in STEM – This updated NGCP resource presents a high-level summary of the most compelling statistics and research on the state of girls and women in STEM, focused on K-12 Education, Higher Education, and the STEM Workforce. The report highlights the impacts of intersectional inequalities, as Latina, Black, and Indigenous women represent less than 10% of the STEM workforce. A toolkit with graphics of these statistics and research is available to use in social media and presentations.
- Tech Terra Education – STEM in a Box
- Teq.com – Explore the technology, tools, and instructional solutions that bring all of the dynamic moving parts of education together into the complete thought.
- 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.
Scientific Adventures for Girls Math Curriculum Training
OCT 3, 10, and 17th | 12:00 – 1:00 PM
A dynamic three-part virtual training series designed to breathe life into math through games, through meaningful, kid-friendly data analysis, and nature exploration. Our sessions focus on strategies that accommodate multiple grade levels and ability levels, helping you meet each student where they are. Prepare to turn your after-school program into a vibrant and engaging mathematical journey!
Register for each individual session separately.
The STEM Innovation Forum
OCT 19 – OCT 20 | Denver, CO
The Forum will engage stakeholders across the national and regional STEM education and workforce development ecosystems. Leaders from industry, government, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and STEM networks will have unmatched opportunities to collaborate to advance a diverse, robust and sustainable STEM workforce across the U.S.
Registration is now open!
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 here. Search for single STEM Activities or Collections.
Featured Activities & Playlists
This Playlist gives middle school aged students fun engineering and design activities that can be done at home or in small groups. Learn more.
This playlist is a great mix of engineering and science activities that are easy and fun for home or small groups of kids k-5. Learn more.
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.
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.