STEAM Newsletter – Environmental Literacy and Revving up for Fall
August 17, 2021
As schools and OST programs return and welcome students, educators, families, and communities to the 2021-2022 school year, we recognize the unique times we continue to work through. While we continue to experience the COVID pandemic and its layers of challenges, unfortunately, regions of Northern California are also currently experiencing destructive wildfires. These fires are damaging homes, schools, communities, and ultimately impacting the environment. Our hearts, thoughts, and support are extended to our OST family and communities affected by these fires. Below are a few resources to help.
How to Help Those Affected by California Wildfires:
- Volunteer with the Red Cross
- Donate to the California Association of Food Banks to help provide meals to communities affected
The current state of the world emphasizes the importance of environmental literacy. Explore these resources on how to incorporate environmental literacy into the classroom:
- Environmental Literacy Teachers Guide from National Geographic
- California Environmental Literacy Initiative: Thinking Through Environmental Justice in K-12 Education
- Resources for California Educators from the California Coastal Commission
In addition to bringing awareness to the California Wildfires, this month we highlight resources from Million Girls Moonshot, who are focusing on tools and resources for Networks, programs, and partners for capacity building events in their community.
As programs head back to in-person programming, this is an excellent opportunity to reintroduce the four transformative practices:
- Equity and Inclusion
- Engineering Mindset
- Role models, Mentors and Families
- STEM Transitions and Pathways
We hope you take into consideration these resources as you rev up for the upcoming fall.
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To help informal STEM education and science communication groups reflect on and strengthen their efforts to broaden participation in STEM, CAISE’s Broadening Participation in STEM Task Force has developed a suite of professional development tools. Use these resources, including the toolkit, to plan and lead reflective discussions about current practices, with an eye to developing goals, strategies, and priorities that can make your ISE and science communication work more inclusive.
This printable graphic presents the 10 critical engineering practices and shows how they all contribute to the development of an engineering mindset.
This article describes how 21st century skills, growth mindset, and habits of mind all contribute to a STEM mindset
Celebrating National Aviation Day (August 19, 2021)!
The below assets are free profile videos of IF/THEN Ambassadors. These can be used in marketing, presentations, social media, embedded on websites, during conferences, and so much more.
Role Model Profile Videos and Photos
The following assets can be used in your programs as you celebrate National Aviation Day (August 19, 2021).
Toolkit: Brokering Youth Pathways: A Toolkit for Connecting Youth to Future Opportunity from the Hive Research Network
Brokering Youth Pathways was created to share tools and techniques around the youth development practice of “brokering” or connecting youth to future learning opportunities and resources. This toolkit 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.
The California AfterSchool Network (CAN) invites California educators and educational leaders of all sectors, especially STEAM Educators, to participate in a free virtual convening to learn more about the Expanded Learning Teacher Apprenticeship Pathway Project that CAN has been working on for the past several months in partnership with the National Center for Teacher Residencies, LA’s Best, California Teaching Fellows Foundation, and the Glen Price Group.
Looking for hands-on project-based STEM activities for your students? Technovation will guide you through their suite of free design challenges on our Curiosity Machine website.
In this training participants will practice some design challenges and test their understanding on the different ways they can facilitate these design challenges. Although each group of students is unique, the Curiosity Machine design challenges can be implemented in multiple ways.
Teen Science Café programs 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.
Check out these activities that you can utilize in your program to encourage STEAM learning!
Youth engineer bouncy balls that meet particular criteria. Using the engineering design process, they develop and test their creations.
Youth engineer a table from a newspaper that is at least 8″ high and strong enough to hold a book.
The Mizzen By Mott app delivers inspiring and engaging activities that spark learning in young people. Supported by the Mott Foundation, Mizzen is available at no cost to afterschool professionals! Encourage partners to download the Mizzen By Mott app to access STEM activities at your finger-touch!
Featured Activities & Playlists
- Playlist: STEM Activities for K-5th Grade
- Playlist: STEAM Activities for Middle School
- Helicopter Engineering for 6-8th Grade- Students work in team to engineer an optimal paper helicopter design