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STEM resources to support engineering mindsets from Million Girls Moonshot

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STEM resources to support engineering mindsets from Million Girls Moonshot

Every month we’ll be publishing a list of resources and activities for afterschool programs to better engage students in STEM. These monthly posts are developed with resources shared from our partners at the Million Girls Moonshot. If you are interested in becoming involved in the Million Girls Moonshot in your state, please connect with your statewide afterschool network

Webinars

Below are a number of webinars for programs and staff to address engineering practices in programs through an equitable lens. Follow the links below to view the full webinar descriptions, registration links, and resources. 

Engineering Mindset

Engineering Practices Support Equity Part I: Recording

Engineering Practices Support Equity Part II: Recording

Engineering Practices Support Equity Part III: Recording

Additionally, you can find activities for programs, including facilitation instructions and materials list here: Engineering Mindset Activities

Engineering Design Challenges

Engineering Design Challenges Session 1: Recording and Slides

Engineering Design Challenges Session 2: Recording and Slides

Technovation has hundreds of engineering design challenges for afterschool program to utilize on Curiosity Machine.

Best Practice and Professional Development
Share the following best practices and tools with partners or programs staff as professional development opportunities. The resources below align with the critical features of engineering experiences and encompass Engineering mindsets 7-10.

Engineering Mindset 7: Evaluating and Iterating Designs

Engineering Mindset 8: Persisting Through and Learning From Failure

Engineering Mindset 9: Working Effectively in Teams

  • Article: Boost Learning by Combining Teamwork and STEM - This article discusses the importance of helping young people develop teamwork skills in afterschool settings, and the unique contribution that STEM activities can make. From engineering challenges to group investigations, many hands-on STEM investigations are ready-made team activities, and can help foster an atmosphere of collaboration.
  • Article: Building Teamwork in STEM Classes - This article by Ann Jolly offers solid advice for teachers on how to increase the quality and effectiveness of collaborative group work. From setting clear goals and procedures to monitoring teamwork regularly, these tips will help teachers support students as they work together in teams and build their 21st Century skills.
  • Blog: Do my student engineers have to work in teams? - This blog highlights the importance of student collaboration while recognizing some of the difficulties young children might have working together. The blog outlines four simple tips to help incorporate collaboration in your engineering space.

Engineering Mindset 10: Identifying as Engineers

  • Online Educator Course: Click2Science - This self-directed online course provides examples and practical tips about developing STEM identity in youth. Through a series of videos and activities, participants learn about the importance of self-identity and how they can provide experiences that build confidence in science and engineering. Professional development hours are available upon completion.
  • Blog: The Importance of Developing a STEM Identity - This blog reports on research from CAISE outlining the advantages of developing a STEM identity in youth. Developing a science-related identity increases engagement and also increases the likelihood that students pursue a career in a science or STEM-related field.
  • Assessment: Engineering Identity Development Scale (EIDS) - The Engineering Identity Development Scale (EIDS) is a 20-item assessment that can be used to assess students’ interest and attitudes about engineering. Have students take this survey before and after engineering activities to see if their confidence and STEM self-identity grows.

Together at Home

Share the following activities with programs, families, and youth for additional engineering and STEM in afterschool or at home. 

Engineering Mindset 7: Evaluating and Iterating Designs

  • Activity: On Target - In this activity, students are given a model of a zipline delivery system and are asked to modify or improve the technology so that will release a marble from a paper cup and hit a target.
  • Webpage: Build, Test, Evaluate and Redesign - This webpage provides free materials for educators to improve their engineering teaching. This section provides questions to help youth evaluate their designs and determine how to improve them.
  • Video: Iterative Design: How to solve a 'lion problem' - In this Ted Talk, Richard Turere, a young student from Kenya, describes the process he used to develop a system to protect his cows from lions. He describes the ways he improved and modified his original idea until he found a successful solution.

Engineering Mindset 8: Persisting Through and Learning From Failure

Engineering Mindset 9: Working Effectively in Teams

  • Activities/Blog: 10 Team Building Activities for Students - This blog outlines 10 team building activities that can be implemented to help youth develop the skills necessary to collaborate among peers. By accomplishing group tasks, students learn to listen, trust and support each other, while developing life skills such as communication and collaboration.
  • Activity/Video: K-5 STEM Team Building Activity - In this video, students participate in a simple team building activity. Using one finger each, students must work together to lift and stack plastic cups. The task requires concentration and communication and serves as a fun and rewarding introduction to the value of teamwork.
  • Blog: How STEM Lessons Help Teach Kids Productive Teamwork - This blog is written for parents to help them understand why so many of their children's STEM lessons are designed to be tackled by small groups, rather than individually. It clearly presents the benefits of group work in terms of communication, creativity, and perseverance.

Engineering Mindset 10: Identifying as Engineers

  • Video: Who Can Be an Engineer? You Can! - This short video shows a conversation between a teacher and her students as they begin to see themselves as engineers. The realization that students can one day play a role in the STEM workforce opens new doors for them.
  • Blog: Children's Books for Budding Engineers - This blog provides an engineering book list for middle school youth. It includes inspirational biographies of engineers, stories of women inventors, and fictional literature highlighting engineers.

Youth Voice Strategies for Practitioners

  • Best Practices: Techbridge Essential Elements: - Techbridge Girls’ Essential elements are guiding principles for high-quality, equitable STEM programs for girls. These essential elements are based on Techbridge Girls’ 18 years of experience, their evaluation and research, and research from the field.

New Education Innovation and Research competition prioritizes STEM and computer science in latest call for proposals

On July 29, The United States Department of Education released the call for proposals for the FY2020 round of early and mid-phase EIR grants. The EIR competition provides funding to “create, develop, implement, replicate, or take to scale entrepreneurial, evidence-based, field-initiated...

BY: Chris Neitzey      08/11/20

New report shows severe loss of capacity for outdoor and environmental science education

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders have stressed the opportunity for families to get outside and learn more about their natural surroundings. The opportunities to observe migratory patterns of birds, grow fruits and vegetables at home or in community gardens, and simply learn more about the...

BY: Chris Neitzey      06/12/20

Bringing STEM learning home during social distancing

These are difficult times for so many of our young people and their families. With school closures impacting families across the country, and extracurricular activities put on hold, finding ways for students to stay busy and engaged is likely at the top of mind for parents and guardians....

BY: Chris Neitzey      03/19/20

FY21 budget request looks familiar when it comes to STEM education

It’s been over a year since the Trump administration released their five-year STEM Education strategy, and in that time, appropriations for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education programs at the U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation, NASA, and other...

BY: Chris Neitzey      02/27/20

State of STEM learning in Congress and the White House

Rural STEM Education Act introduced in House   A new bill, H.R. 4979 - Rural STEM Education Act, was introduced in the House on November 5 to address the lack of STEM education opportunities for students in rural areas. The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Rep. Lucas (R-Okla.) and...

BY: Chris Neitzey      11/15/19

An exciting, rewarding experience for our youth

By Afterschool Ambassador Gwynette Williams, director of Collective for Youth, Omaha. When teens are struggling with issues they find difficult to talk about, how can they ask for help? Recently, my middle school students identified that question as a social issue they wanted to...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/16/19

Promoting access to computer science for girls

Earlier this month, CBS’s 60 Minutes highlighted the work of Code.org in expanding access to computer science opportunities for girls. The 60 Minutes piece drew public attention to the growing number of tech-related jobs across the country and the lack of women currently filling these...

BY: Leah Silverberg      03/26/19

STEM learning in the president’s FY2020 budget proposal

It’s often said that a budget is a statement of priorities and last week a majority of President Trump’s priorities were laid out through his FY2020 budget proposal. Due to the partial government shutdown earlier this year, it was a full week before all of the details, specifically...

BY: Chris Neitzey      03/25/19

Free STEM resources for afterschool programs from Science Buddies

By Amy Cowen, online community manager at Science Buddies. Science Buddies, a non-profit organization providing free K-12 STEM education resources, strives to build STEM literacy by delivering fun and engaging STEM activities to all students, whether it is in school, out of school, or at home....

BY: Guest Blogger      03/08/19

National Leap Into Science Week celebrates science & literacy learning in OST

The week of February 25 to March 3, 2019 is National Leap Into Science Week, the annual celebration of Leap Into Science, a national program with a mission to integrate open-ended science activities with children’s books and literacy efforts in libraries, museums, and out-of-school time...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      02/22/19

Structuring for scale-up success: Adaptive program model

By Meeta Sharma-Holt, vice president of programs and strategic partnerships at Techbridge Girls. This is the fourth in a four-blog series: read the previous blog, Structuring for scale-up success: Organizational structure for sustainability & scales, or head to the first...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/16/20

Structuring for scale-up success: Organizational structure for sustainability & scale

By Meeta Sharma-Holt, vice president of programs and strategic partnerships at Techbridge Girls. This is the third in a four-blog series: read the first blog, Structuring for scale-up success: Techbridge Girls shares lessons from its 5-year scale-up of STEM programs, and the second blog,...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/09/20

Structuring for scale-up success: Partnerships first

By Meeta Sharma-Holt, vice president of programs and strategic partnerships at Techbridge Girls. This is the second in a four-blog series: read the first blog, Structuring for scale-up success: Techbridge Girls shares lessons from its 5-year scale-up of STEM programs. During the last...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/12/19

Structuring for scale-up success: Techbridge Girls shares lessons from its 5-year scale-up of STEM programs

By Meeta Sharma-Holt, vice president of programs and strategic partnerships at Techbridge Girls. This is the first in a four-blog series: read the second blog, Structuring for scale-up success: Partnerships first. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that STEM jobs are...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/06/19

Promoting access to computer science for girls

Earlier this month, CBS’s 60 Minutes highlighted the work of Code.org in expanding access to computer science opportunities for girls. The 60 Minutes piece drew public attention to the growing number of tech-related jobs across the country and the lack of women currently filling these...

BY: Leah Silverberg      03/26/19

Applications open for free summer immersion program from Girls Who Code

The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program is a free seven-week experience for 10th- and 11th-grade girls interested in gaining exposure to coding and jobs in technology. Program participants will use computer science to create art, tell stories, make video games, program robots, build...

BY: Leah Silverberg      01/28/19

Structuring for scale-up success: Adaptive program model

By Meeta Sharma-Holt, vice president of programs and strategic partnerships at Techbridge Girls. This is the fourth in a four-blog series: read the previous blog, Structuring for scale-up success: Organizational structure for sustainability & scales, or head to the first...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/16/20

Applications open for free summer immersion program from Girls Who Code

The Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program is a free seven-week experience for 10th- and 11th-grade girls interested in gaining exposure to coding and jobs in technology. Program participants will use computer science to create art, tell stories, make video games, program robots, build...

BY: Leah Silverberg      01/28/19

Education Innovation and Research grant provides opportunities for student apprenticeships

Eighteen new grantees were recently awarded Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grants from the Department of Education. Developed under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), EIR grants, which are inspired by the Investing in...

BY: Leah Silverberg      11/05/18

Renewed commitments to computer science at CSforAll Summit

On October 8, computer science (CS) educators and advocates descended on Detroit, Michigan for the 2018 CSforALL Summit. As part of this year’s summit, a special one-day working session, entitled Mo’ Time for CS Education, was held to bring practitioners, advocates, researchers, and...

BY: Chris Neitzey      10/29/18

New California “Kids Code” program to expand computer coding in afterschool

The Kids Code Pilot Program, which passed the California Legislature earlier this year and was championed by Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, will provide $15 million in funding over three years to expand access to coding in afterschool programs across the state. The pilot program will allow existing...

BY: Chris Neitzey      09/21/18