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.

MAKEHER Scholar PROGRAM

WYAA, the Coe Student Innovation Center, and Wyoming 4-H launched the MakeHER Scholar program in the autumn of 2020 to support participants interested in growing skills in real world STEM through making experiences, equitable practices, and family engagement. Scholars from across the state answered the call. 

The MakeHER Program is currently recruiting the 2nd Cohort of participants to begin in the fall of 2021. Learn more! 

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.

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
Phone: 307-721-8300