MILLION GIRLS MOONSHOT
MILLION GIRLS MOONSHOT: A NATIONWIDE EFFORT TO CLOSE THE GENDER GAP IN STEM
Just as the original moonshots of the 1960s and ’70s united the nation behind a common goal and dramatically advanced scientific achievement, the Million Girls Moonshot aims to create a national movement to change the trajectory of women and girls in STEM. The STEM Next Opportunity Fund provided a multi-year grant to the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance as part of the Million Girls Moonshot in September 2020.
The Intel Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation have joined STEM Next Opportunity Fund and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation to launch the Million Girls Moonshot. The effort is designed to engage 1 million school-age girls in the United States in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning opportunities over the next five years. The organizations will provide grant funding and in-kind resources to Mott-funded afterschool networks in all 50 states to increase access to hands-on, immersive STEM learning experiences.
The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance is using the funds to help afterschool programs in the state provide STEM education. Partners include the University of Wyoming Coe Center for Innovation, 4-H, Wyoming Women’s Foundation, and the John P. Ellbogen Foundation. Projects include the MakeHER Scholar Program, the UW Science Initiative, COWGIRLS in STEM, and Leap into Science.
MILLION GIRLS MOONSHOT AND A PATHWAY TO SELF-SUFFICIENCY
The Million Girls Moonshot supports the efforts of the Wyoming Women’s Foundation, inspiring the next generation of innovators and helping girls gain skills that unlock pathways to self-sufficiency.
Wyoming Science Initiative
Karagh Brummond, an Assistant Instructional Professor in the Honors College, hosts the Wyoming Science Initiative. One of their programs is the Science Roadshow where they travel to schools and afterschool programs to engage young people in STEM activities. For example, they traveled to Riverton and explored the science behind phytoremediation proposed for the old Riverton landfill site
According to the Million Girl Moonshot, one of the most effective ways to encourage youth to persist in STEAM learning is to introduce them to diverse role models and mentors. Exposure to role models to whom they are able to relate, by gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status and location can broaden youth — and especially girls’ — perceptions of STEAM careers. These mentors can also dispel stereotypes about who “belongs” in STEAM fields.
Spring 2022: Teen Science Café
Check out the Teen Science Café series coming to Laramie this spring! Teens are invited to learn about computer science, salamanders, astronomy, neuroscience, and athletic training.
April 2 features Computer Science with Ashleigh Pilkerton, April 9 is Salamander Saturday with the Berry Center, April 16 is Neuroscience with Karagh Brummond, and May 21 is Athletic Training with Jennifer Knerr. The meeting place is at the University of Wyoming Union, East (Parking Lot) Entrance with field trips around campus. For more information, contact Karagh, email@example.com.
Teen Science Café out-of-school programs are a free, fun way for teens to explore the big advances in science and technology affecting their lives. Teens and STEM experts engage in lively conversations and activities to explore a topic deeply.
COWGIRLS in STEM
Ashleigh Pilkerton, a doctoral student in the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in the Department of Zoology and Physiology, is leading COWGIRLS in STEM (Computational Outreach for Wyoming Girls in Science Technology and Math). The innovative computer science experience is for afterschool programs serving young people in early middle school across the state. It will work to revolutionize how women experience STEM by facilitating interactive learning in female-led environments and bridging the STEM gap through relationships. The multifaceted, modular program features three active learning curriculum bundles: computational thinking, programming, and robotics. Video lessons will be paired with complimentary lesson plans and associated activity equipment. Near-peer female mentors will facilitate the lesson plans and allow students to interact with female role models both in the virtual lessons and during hands on activities.
Leap into Science
Leap into Science is 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 programs. LiS was developed by The Franklin Institute Science Museum with the National Girls Collaborative Project.
Wyoming’s Leap into Science leadership team includes WYAA Director Michelle Sullivan, along with Wyoming State Library School Library Consultant Paige Bredenkamp and Wyoming Alliance for Environmental Education Executive Director Susan McGuire.
Mission: The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance is a statewide network working to create the conditions for young people to reach their full potential. We are a priority fund of the Wyoming Community Foundation.
WYOMING AFTERSCHOOL ALLIANCE
1472 N. 5th Street, Suite 201
Laramie, WY 82072
AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS IN WYOMING ARE HIGH-QUALITY, EDUCATION-FOCUSED, SAFE PLACES FOR ALL OF WYOMING’S YOUTH. QUALITY PRACTICES HELP MAKE THIS POSSIBLE!
WYOMING PROGRAM QUALITY PRACTICES
(PQPs) are research-based guidelines that provide a common understanding of the essential components of quality practice in afterschool and youth development programs.
The PQPs provide programs, communities and stakeholders with a way to voluntarily examine the quality of programs and to engage in important discussions about program quality. They set the stage for development of a comprehensive and coordinated system of services that will best serve Wyoming’s children and youth. Most of all, they send the message that we believe quality is important, and we hold ourselves accountable for improving quality.
WYOMING PROGRAM QUALITY PRACTICES WEBINAR
The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance with assistance from National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST – http://www.niost.org/) produced an informative 20-minute webinar to walk through the PQPs and information about how to put them into practice in your afterschool program!
- Section 1: Introduction to the Wyoming Program Quality Practice
- Section 2: Putting the PQPs into Practice
- Section 3: Connecting Quality
The webinar was produced in partnership with Wyoming afterschool professionals: Tamera Allen – Program Director of Double AAces in Weston County SD #1, Karen Bierhaus – Education Consultant with 21st CCLC at the Wyoming Department of Education, Shannon Christian – Executive Director of the Worland Youth Learning Center, Kei Owen – former Grant Assistant with the Natrona County Prevention Coalition, Tamra Petersen – Program Coordinator with the Uinta County BOES Education Center, and Christine Turner – former Program Director with Lincoln County School District #1.
WYOMING PROGRAM QUALITY PRACTICES USER GUIDE
This user guide describes how the PQPs fit into WYAA’s quality improvement efforts and offers concrete ways to use the PQPs. All school age, afterschool, and youth development programs in Wyoming can use this guide to improve their programming. This guide may also be a resource for families, community members, funders, and advocates who partner with program providers to improve outcomes for children and youth.
The user guide provides context for the eight domains of the PQPs:
- Physical Environment, Curriculum, and Program Activities
- Assessment, Planning, and Improvement
- Child and Youth Engagement
- Families and Communities
- Safety, Health, and Wellness
- Leadership and Administration
- Professional Development
WYOMING PROGRAM QUALITY PRACTICES SELF ASSESSMENT
This tool was designed to help afterschool and youth development professionals develop high-quality out-of-school time programs. It may also be a useful checklist for families. This self-assessment is a companion to the PQPs, which are based on research on best practices in programs for afterschool and youth development.
The National Afterschool Alliance’s Core Knowledge and Competencies enable afterschool and youth development practitioners to demonstrate expertise and gain a higher level of recognition within their communities–particularly from school officials–that has long been sought after.
THE STATE OF AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMMING IN WYOMING: AN ASSESSMENT OF NEEDS AND PERCEPTIONSS
In 2010, the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance, a C.S. Mott Foundation Statewide Afterschool Network and an initiative of the Wyoming Community Foundation, launched a research project to survey the capacity of public and private afterschool systems and to assess their effectiveness across Wyoming.
APAS – AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAM ASSESSMENT SYSTEM
Program assessment is invaluable to creating the highest quality afterschool programs. WYAA, with support from National Institute of Out of School Time (NIOST) implemented the initiative.
Outcomes from APAS include:
- An upward trend in attitudes, skills and behaviors of youth
- Peer networking and relationship building between programs
- A statewide shared vision and understanding of high quality afterschool and OST programming
WYOMING CAREER DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM REPORT
The Wyoming Career Development System Report identifies six components of a comprehensive career development system and makes recommendations for advancing each component in Wyoming. A cross-sector, continuum approach (one that supports those who serve a broad range of ages) is the most cost-effective way to provide quality programming for children and youth. With this in mind, these recommendations build on current systems and initiatives established in the early childhood field.