Million Girls Moonshot

The Texas Partnership for Out of School Time is 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 over the next five years. The Million Girls Moonshot is an initiative of the STEM Next Opportunity Fund.

VIRTUAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Best Practices and tools for Networks, Partners, and Programs to create professional development for programs.

Engineering Mindsets

Video: What is Engineering? - This video highlights real engineers, the work that they do, and what it takes to be an engineer.

Video: What is Engineering Mindset? - A recorded webinar providing an overview of the engineering mindset.

Video: Engineering Practices Part 1 - A recorded webinar with a deep dive into each engineering mindset practice.

Video: Engineering Practices Part 2 - A recorded webinar with a deep dive into each engineering mindset practice.

Video: Engineering Practices Part 3 - A recorded webinar with a deep dive into each engineering mindset practice.

Webpage: What is Engineering? - This webpage describes what engineering is and provides an overview of some important habits of minds of engineers.

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.

Blog: Teacher Responses that Foster a STEM Mindset - This blog highlights the important role that teachers play in developing an engineering mindset in their students. How teachers respond to student questions can impact the way the students value themselves as learners.

Engineering Mindset 1: Using a Systematic Problem-Solving Process

Webpage: What is Engineering Design - This website shares basic information about the engineering design process: it is made up of a series of steps, its goal is to solve problems, and anyone can use it.

Article: Engineering Encounters: How to Develop an Engineering Design Task - This article from Science and Children provides background information on engineering design and provides step-by-step advice on how teachers can develop high quality engineering challenges for their students.

Posters: The Engineering Design Process - These posters include the seven steps of the engineering process on a chalkboard background. Each poster describes the step in kid friendly language.

Engineering Mindset 2: Exploring the Properties and Uses of Materials

Webpage: Materials - This short webpage provides a brief and clear explanation of the importance of knowledge of material properties in engineering.

Blog: Investigating Materials Properties is an Engineering Habit of Mind - This blog describes and showcases video examples of students exploring properties of materials. By investigating materials, students make more informed decisions in their engineering design.

Video: Primary Science Lesson Idea: Properties of Materials - This video from Twig Education provides a quick review of materials properties such as hard, flexible, transparent, waterproof, and absorbent. The information is presented in the context of why certain materials are used to make everyday objects.

Posters: Properties of Materials - These posters are a visual aid for children as they learn about the different properties of materials. Along with common properties, this set also includes definitions and pictures of properties like dull, squishy, bumpy, and brittle. 

Engineering Mindset 3: Considering Real-World Problems

Article: The Search for Real-World STEM Problems - This article describes the importance of providing real-world STEM challenges to students and explains that through real-world problems, students develop empathy. It outlines criteria for selecting authentic problems and provides tips for how to engage students in the process of developing their own challenges.

Article: STEM Projects That Tackle Real-World Problems - This article describes how the solving of authentic engineering challenges helps students see the genuine impact of their learning. The article also gives examples of nine real-world problems, such as cleaning up an oil spill or improving the lives of people with disabilities, that have been been shown to engage and challenge students from elementary through high school.

Article: Engineers: problem-Solving in Society - This article by Dena McMartin describes how she, as a young woman, chose to study environmental engineering based on her interests in biology and her desire to make a difference in people's lives and the natural environment.

Engineering Mindset 4: Criteria and Constraints 

Article: Students Should Generate Criteria and Constraints  - This article describes how students should generate criteria and constraints for engineering design problems - not just be provided with them - because it allows for a more equitable and student driven experience.

Article: Examining Young Students’ Problem Scoping in Engineering Design - This article describes how elementary school students define and express the criteria and constraints of engineering problems (problem-scoping). The authors show how children are able to think in complex ways to balance and consider multiple considerations when designing. 

Video: Meet the Criteria - This classroom video shows students working through a design challenge and balancing trade offs around what materials would be best given their criteria and constraints. They discover that some of the materials that would "work best" may be too costly.

Engineering Mindset 5: Science and Math

Brief: How can students' everyday experiences support science learning through engineering design? - This brief describes how science learning can emerge through the engineering design process without direct instruction teams.

Blog and Video Clips: Math Lessons Go Better With Engineering - This blog describes how math is an integral part of engineering. An engineering parachutes design challenge offers examples of how students practice math as they measure various aspects of their design and calculate their final evaluation scores.

Video: STEM Integration in K-12 Education - This 3.5 minute video explores the value of teaching the four STEM subjects in an integrated way. All four of these disciplines are closely intertwined in the real world, and when students are taught in ways that highlight these connections, their education becomes more relevant and opens the doors to future careers.

Engineering Mindset 6: Multiple Solutions

Blog: Cultivate Creativity in Your STEM Classroom - This blog gives an overview of the many ways you can create a learning environment that fosters creativity. When students begin to understand that there is no right answer to a design challenge, that multiple solutions are encouraged, they are given a freedom of thought and agency over their learning.

Blog: Embracing Multiple Solutions is an Engineering Habit of Mind - This blog explains how the ability to generate multiple solutions to a problem is a skill that can help students succeed in every academic field, not just science and engineering. The ability to think flexibly and consider multiple solutions is a valuable, if not essential skill.

Video: Priceless! - This video highlights one teacher's reflection on how rewarding it was to see all of her students come up with different solutions to the engineering problem.

Engineering Mindset 7: Evaluating and Iterating Designs

Article: The Most Overlooked Step of the Engineering Design Process - In this article, an experienced STEM teacher shares her ideas about why the “Improve Step” of the Engineering Design Process is so important. She provides examples from her students who are designing ramps for model cars.

Brief: How to Integrate the Argumentation from Evidence Practice into Engineering Design - This brief shares the importance of supporting students as they collect and use data to help them decide what improvements to make as they redesign and iterate throughout the engineering design process.

Video: What's one thing you might want to change? - In this video, a fourth grade teacher guides her students by asking them to name one thing they could improve about their own parachute designs.

Engineering Mindset 8: Persisting Through and Learning From Failure

Article: Scaffolding for Failure Helping Students Navigate Engineering Design Failure - In this article, the authors offer suggestions about preparing students for design failure and helping them respond to it when it occurs. Before starting engineering, they suggest having explicit discussions with students about fail words and their meanings.

Brief: Failing Forward: Managing Student Frustration During Engineering Design Projects - In this brief, the authors acknowledge that engineering design failures can lead to significant student frustration and discouragement. They provide advice to help educators manage and redirect students' frustration, so that students can "fail forward" and learn from their mistakes.

Blog: The Importance of Failure - This blog presents a list of ways you can teach kids the importance of and even how to celebrate the opportunity to learn from failure in engineering design.

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.

Equity and Inclusion

Toolkit: Broadening Perspectives on Broadening Participation in STEM - This Toolkit was produced by CAISE, the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education, and provides strategies and tools for trainers and educators who are looking for ways to strengthen efforts to broaden participation.

Book: SciGirls Strategies: How to Engage Girls in STEM - These strategies create a more gender equitable and culturally responsive learning environment that inspires, engages, and helps girls thrive in engineering and STEM more broadly. This book outlines the educational approach, rooted in what research has revealed engages girls in STEM. These strategies have also been proven to work with all learners. 

Toolkit: STEM Teaching Tools - The STEM Teaching Tools site has tools to help providers teach STEM. Each tool is focused on a specific issue and leverages the best knowledge from research and practice. Under the News section, you can learn a bit more about how you might use them. Review more resources in the Tools area and check out the online short courses.

Toolkit: Access Computing Online Learning Strategies for Students with Disabilities - Students with disabilities may want to adopt specific strategies for learning as they transition to online courses. Many students with disabilities have shared their experiences and recommendations for online learning; the DO-IT Center has compiled the advice into easy digestible resources including technological resources.

Cultural Relevance

Article: Building Culturally Competent Organizations - Learn how you can build a culturally competent organization. A resource developed by the University of Kansas.

Article: Are you culturally competent? Responding to Kids' Diverse Backgrounds and Experiences - Find out what it means to be culturally competent in afterschool and learn specific strategies you can apply in your setting.

Article: Do I belong? Gender, Peer Groups, and STEM Achievement - This paper reviews how peer groups can hinder or help girls’ and women’s sense of belongingness in STEM.

Article: Tackling Implicit Bias - Description of implicit bias, its impact and how to challenge it.

Personal Reflection: Test Yourself for Hidden Bias - Information about stereotypes and prejudices and the impact they have on students. It includes a link to "Project Implicit", a test to identify your implicit biases.

Podcast: Seeing White - A 14-episode series about race from Duke University for anyone invested in increasing STEM equity.

Research: Focusing on Cultural Competency in STEM Education - White paper that provides an overview of cultural competency in STEM education. It describes: a) stages and steps of cultural competency, b) culturally responsive teaching practices, and c) strategies for developing a culturally responsive out-of-school STEM program.

Toolkit: A Guide to Equity and Antiracism for Educators - A toolkit with links to additional resources related to current events and a guide for educators on how to fight racism in their communities. 

Video: Gloria Ladson-Billings Reframes the Racial Achievement Gap - G. Ladson-Billings gave a talk at the 2007 Urban Sites Network Conference in Washington D.C. where she discusses the term "racial achievement gap" as a construct that considers students as defective and lacking. Instead, she says to approach the achievement gap with a "debt-mindset" instead of a "deficit-mindset" that emphasizes that the achievement gap is complex and systemic.

Videos: Culturally Responsive: Educator Mindset and Action - Short videos of educators that describe what it means to have a culturally responsive mindset with examples of specific culturally responsive practices in action. 

Broadening Participation - Recruitment and Retention of Staff

Article: Planning Considerations for Afterschool Professional Development - A short article by Daniele Bradshaw (2015) that describes guidelines for effective professional development for afterschool staff.

Article: Beyond the Webinar: Dynamic Online STEM Professional Development - An article by Brasili and Allen (2019) on strategies for engineering online professional development for staff. 

Broadening Participation - Youth Voice

Book: Youth Development in Out-of-School Time Setting (2018) - Comprehensive book on youth development in out-of-school time settings. It includes a chapter on 10 principles of effective youth development. 

Paper: Why Now? Why Us?: Inclusive 21st Century Learning - Paper from the National Center for Learning Disabilities identifying key strategies, case studies and actions for impact.

Developing and Expanding Partnerships

Rubric: Are We A Partnership Yet? - This rubric allows partners to assess the maturity of a partnership and provides some direction for growth.

Diverse Role Models and Mentors

Podcast: STEM Role Models - In this podcast, educators, CEOs, and students discuss why STEM role models from all walks of life are essential for young peoples’ persistence and success in STEM.

Webpage: Role Models Matter and Mentoring Works! - The National Alliance for Partnerships in Equity believes that one of the most effective ways to encourage students to consider nontraditional careers is to introduce them to diverse role models. This webpage serves as a resource for educators seeking STEM role models and mentors for their students.

Videos: Role Model Profiles Video Archives SciGirls CONNECT - Incorporating videos from diverse STEM role models into your afterschool program is a quick way to expose students to role models. Pair your engineering activity with a video from Rachel Gitajn, a bicycle engineer, or Tejal Desai, a biomedical engineer, so students can begin making connections between afterschool, the real world, and career.

Posters: STEM Role Models Posters — In 8 Additional Languages - Download inspirational, diverse STEM Role Models posters for your school or afterschool program — now in 8 additional languages including Chinese, Spanish, and French.

Stories: She Can STEM. So Can You. - Meet the women and girls of STEM. They build robots, find new sources of energy, study animals, play with slime, and invent apps. They help make the world a better (and cooler) place to be. Each story will give a sneak peek into how these women got their start in STEM and help your students begin their journey too!

Website: The Afterschool STEM Hub - Includes communication tools related to making the case for STEM afterschool and equity and inclusion.

Website/Toolkit: IF/THEN Collection - A digital asset library (photos, videos, posters, activities, and more!) of women STEM innovators, for educational use.

Toolkit: Creating Connections with Role Models: The Power of Collaboration - This guide is designed to help recruit and prepare role models to inspire girls in science, technology, and engineering. Techbridge Girls outlines our “recipe for success” for role models and provides tips for training. While this guide has been designed with input from partners in the National Girls Collaborative Project, we encourage you to tailor our suggestions to meet the needs of your role models and the interests of your girls.

Article: Incorporating the Stories of Women, People of Color, and LGBTQ+ Scientists Into the Physics Classroom - Short article from NSTA about the contributions of women, people of color, and other diverse scientists to the field of Physics. Includes a link to lesson plans that could be adapted for grades 9-12.

Article: Becoming Visible: STEM Role Models & Mentors for Disabled Students - An interesting post about the importance of having STEM role models for disabled students.

Role Model Profile: STEM is for Everyone! - Profile of scientists with disabilities.

Podcast: Modern Figures Podcast - Highlights black women in computing.

Video: Role Models Matter - webinar recording of Techbridge Girls Inc. training for STEM volunteers.

TOGETHER AT HOME

Activities for programs, families, and youth for additional engineering and STEM at home.

Engineering Mindsets

Activity: Think Like an Engineer - This activity book of engineering challenges provides an introduction to the skills and process used by engineers. Activities are coded to indicate which of four features of engineering they focus on: Logic, creativity, math, experiment.

Reflection: Thinking Like an Engineer - Completing this short survey is a simple way for students to reflect on their own engineering mindset development.

Activity: TGR Foundation DIY Design Challenges - This series of five DIY, family-friendly projects in English and Spanish use ordinary household items to keep kids engaged and still learning. 

Acivity: EngineerGirl Try This! Design Challenge - These are hands-on activities using common household items. Challenges include: design a mini catapult, paper airplane, and sorting machine.

Website: Girlstart STEM at Home - created by Girlstart to empower families and communities in STEM. Find free Girlstart curriculum, STEM resources, effective messaging tips, collaboration opportunities. Join the Girlstart newsletter and receive updated information on other online resources.

Activity: Engineering Design Activities on Curiosity Machine - Sign up for hundreds of FREE Technovation Engineering Design Activities with facilitation instructions and videos featuring STEM professionals and mentors.

Engineering Mindset 1: Using a Systematic Problem-Solving Process 

Video: Kid Engineer - The Design Process - In this Design Squad video, a group of young engineers use the engineering design process to design a bike trailer for groceries.

Video: The Engineering Design Process: A Taco Party - This witty video describes the steps of the engineering design process by likening it to throwing an impromptu taco party. It uses a fun example to describe the problem solving process engineers use.

Activity: Time for Design - In this lesson, students are introduced to the engineering design process, focusing on the concept of brainstorming design alternatives. Students come to realize that they can be engineers and use the design process themselves to create tomorrow's innovations.

Activity: Introduction to the Engineering Design Process - This activity is an introductory lesson that asks students to design a marshmallow tower. Students are introduced to the engineering design process and compare it to the process they used to create their marshmallow tower.

Activity Worksheets: Engineering Design Process - This set of worksheets can be used with any engineering challenge. They walk students through the design process by providing space for recording data and consideration of each step. 

Activity: Building Bridges 4-H STEM Lab Activity | 4-H (4-h.org) - In this activity, youth will apply STEM to community issues through the engineering design process and the basic mechanics behind building bridges while designing their own bridge. This is a spin on an activity frequently seen in afterschool programs but with a serious focus on the design process.  Kids re-visit the hands-on experience with new meaning. 

Activity: Educator Guide: Robotic Arm Challenge | NASA/JPL Edu - This activity is part of NASA’s Engineering in the Classroom tool for educators! In this challenge, students will use a model robotic arm to move items from one location to another as they engage in the engineering design process to design, build, and operate the arm.

Engineering Mindset 2: Exploring the Properties and Uses of Materials 

Activity: Materials and Manufacturing - In this activity based on the story of the three little pigs, students examine the properties, limitations, and durability of a variety of materials, then evaluate which of the materials would be best for building a model house.

Activity: The Property of Materials and Their Everyday Uses - This resource provides a number of simple tests that educators can perform with young learners to investigate material properties.

Engineering Mindset 3: Considering Real-World Problems

Activity: Engineering Solutions to Freshwater Problems - In this activity, students are introduced to six freshwater supply problems in various locations around the world. Students brainstorm their own ideas for solving each problem and then learn about the specific solutions that engineers have proposed.

Activity: Community Engineering - This website provides engineering challenges that are community-based and includes learning modules on topics like school gardening, classroom renovation, and designing an accessible playground.

Activity: EiE Storybooks - Every Engineering is Elementary (EiE) unit starts with a storybook that sets the context for the hands-on engineering design challenge. This set includes 20 engaging storybooks about a child who solves a real-world problem through engineering. EiE storybooks integrate literacy and social studies with your engineering and science lessons—and help students understand how STEM subjects are relevant to their lives.

Activity: Race for the Planet: Spring ’21 Edition | Project Green Schools - Project Green Schools has selected a sampling of activities from their larger program to give your students a way to apply environmental education to community issues. Join the coastal cleanup challenge, the upcycle challenge, the scavenger hunt, or other activities as a group or individually. 

Engineering Mindset 4: Criteria and Constraints 

Activity: Defining Problems, Criteria and Constraints - This activity is designed to help students understand how criteria and constraints limit potential solutions to problems. It includes a practice worksheet to help students identify criteria and constraints in 4 simple scenarios.

Activity: Criteria and Constraints Practice - This worksheet requires students to identify criteria and constraints embedded in rules for entering a gingerbread house contest.

Video: NGSS Engineering at Jet Propulsion Laboratory - This video highlights what real NASA engineers need to consider when designing spacecraft and the kinds of trade offs they often have to make. Working collaboratively in teams to prioritize limited resources is a big part of working as a NASA engineer.

Engineering Mindset 5: Science and Math

Activity: Dance Pad Mania - A basic understanding of the science (electric circuits) is the first step in this fun challenge. Youth review and build their knowledge of electricity as they plan and design a dance pad that has lights and buzzer.

Activity: How High Can a Super Ball Bounce? - In this activity youth explore how engineers might use elasticity of material to help them design products. Working in pairs, they drop bouncy balls from a meter height and determine how high they bounce. Youth measure, record, and repeat the process to gather data to calculate average bounce heights and coefficients of elasticity.

Book: The Girl With a Mind For Math: The Story of Raye Montague - This NSTA outstanding science trade book from 2019 tells the story of how Raye Montegue, a girl with a mind for math, became a Navy engineer and how she fought sexism and racial inequality to achieve her goals.

Engineering Mindset 6: Multiple Solutions

Game: Teaching Kids to Think Outside the Box - This activity promotes creative brainstorming by challenging students to come up with as many uses as they can for common, household objects. Items include a paper towel roll, a ruler, and an elastic band.

Activity: Brainstorming Possible Solutions - This lesson can be applied to any engineering design challenge and provides a structure for eliciting many ideas from a group of students. This plan offers techniques to help students to keep open minds and encourage all ideas during brainstorming.

Activity: Brainstorming - This simple PPT slide outlines guidelines for brainstorming. Recording all ideas and creating an environment where all ideas are accepted are examples of the guidelines that can support students in their ability to generate multiple solutions to engineering problems.

Workshop: Brainstorm - This webpage is part of an online resource for parents and teachers who work with students on engineering projects. It provides tips and prompts that they can use with students to help structure a productive brainstorming session.

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

Activity: Flip That Flop! Turning Mistakes Into Opportunities - In this activity, students use a flip-flop template to write a description of a time they failed or made a mistake (the flop) and how they flipped that flop into an opportunity. 

Poster: "Stick It Out - Even When It Gets Prickly" - A cactus-themed set of posters and classroom decorations that promote perseverance and a growth mindset.

Video: How to Succeed by Failing - Crash Course Kids - Engineers need things to fail so they can understand how to make things better. In this episode of Crash Course Kids, the host talks about failure points and how they can lead to better solutions to problems.

Engineering Mindset 9: Working Effectively in Teams

Activity: 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.

Equity and Inclusion

Website: TryEngineering COVID-19 Response eLearning - TryEngineering has curated free resources available to support teachers and parents for learning at home.

Website: DiscoveryE at Home Engineering  - Tips and advice for engaging youth in the engineering design process and how this youth-centered learning strategy can work for afterschool professionals and families at home. 

Broadening Participation - Youth Centric Strategies for Practitioners

Framework: Engagement Practices - This framework from NCWIT that emphasized “well-structured collaborative learning” and the importance of peer led instruction.

Guide: SciGirls Family Guide for Engaging Girls - If you are looking for some fun, family friendly, yet educational STEM activities, SciGirls is here for you! Have fun designing a parachute or with a light bulb challenge at home. 

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.

Diverse Role Models and Mentors

Student Activities: Girlstart STEM at Home - These activities were created by Girlstart to empower families and communities in STEM. Find free Girlstart curriculum, STEM resources, effective messaging tips, and collaboration opportunities. Join the Girlstart newsletter and receive updated information on other online resources.

Student Activities: EngineerGirl Try This! Design Challenge - These are hands-on activities using common household items. Challenges include: design a mini catapult, paper airplane, and sorting machine.

Student Activity: Design a Space Capsule - This activity amplifies four engineering mindset habits of practice: evaluate and iterate, persist and learn from failure, work in teams, and identify as engineers as students work through their engineering journal.

Student Activity: Engineer a Stringed Instrument - This activity amplifies three engineering mindset habits of practice: balancing criteria and constraints, apply science and math, and envisioning multiple solutions as students work through their engineering journal.

Student Activity: Toxic Popcorn Design Challenge - This lesson introduces youth to the engineering design process as youth work in teams to design both a product and process to safely remove “toxic” popcorn and save the city.

Student Activity: Engineering a Flotation Device - Youth use the engineering design process to design a device that uses simple chemical reactions to create a floatable device for a cell phone.

Student Activity: Design Your Own Snazzy Sneaker - Youth use the engineering design process to design an environmentally sustainable shoe that meets design requirements they specify.

Group Activity: Team Building for STEM Challenges - In this team building activity, youth work together to lift an object by using a set of strings attached to a center ring. Each student grabs a few strings and must work together to raise the item in the center. The task requires concentration and communication and introduces the value of teamwork.

Summer

Student Activity: 4 Great Outdoor Activities to Do With Kids This Summer | 4-H - These easy activities are designed to be suitable in a COVID conscious environment.  Young children play outdoor games, plant a garden, make ice cream, and participate in a scavenger hunt.

Student Activity: Art Infused with STEM Learning Activities Makes for a Colorful Time (kindercare.com) - This very simple approach to STEM uses outdoor experiences and art to engage young children in math and science discussions. The activities build on curiosity in young children and are very easy to facilitate.

Guide: Hear Here: A 'Pi in the Sky' Math Challenge | NASA/JPL Edu - The "Pi in the Sky" math challenge gives students in grades 10-12 a chance to find solutions to real-world problems all while using math and pi just like NASA scientists and engineers.  This structured activity includes hands-on, minds-on extensions. 

Posters: Free Printable Summer Math Games (123homeschool4me.com) - Get a free month of activities, videos, and fun experiences.  Appropriate for grades 1-8. Kids “build” a Math Monster who leads them through the activities.  The website adapts to the child’s capacity—gently, but constantly increasing the difficulty of the activities. 

Student Activities: Top 10 Summer Math Activities | Developing Our MathMINDs | Week 8 - Bing video - This is a series of discussions with math experts for parents.  Good ideas about how to adapt to the current situation, take advantage of informal situations, and move forward during the summer.  Ideas and tips like “The Top 10 Ways to Experience Math this Summer.”

ADDITIONAL VIRTUAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Webinars for partners and programs looking for additional professional development opportunities to build their understanding of equity and inclusion, engineering, and STEM. 

National Girls Collaborative Project and SciGirls - The SciGirls approach empowers educators to create a more gender equitable and culturally responsive learning environment. Learn about helpful research and the associated practices that are the foundation of the SciGirls Strategies.

The Intercultural Development Research Association is an independent, non-profit organization. whose mission is to achieve equal educational opportunity for every young person.

  • Equitable Practices for Teaching Online - Recorded webinar helps educators rethink their lesson plans for an online platform, including resources like educator-created YouTube channels and explainer videos, tools for sharing resources with partners and peers.
  • Teaching Middle School Science in Virtual Learning Environment - Recorded webinar explores how to leverage online platforms (including Educreations, Explain Everything, Quizlet and Padlet) to make high-quality science learning interactive and hands-on from home.