STEAM Newsletter – Environmental Literacy and Revving up for Fall
August 17, 2021

CAN Newsletter
Girl in Garden

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:

The current state of the world emphasizes the importance of environmental literacy. Explore these resources on how to incorporate environmental literacy into the classroom:

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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Related Content

Toolkit cover

Transformative Practices: Equity and Inclusion

Broadening Perspectives in Broadening Participation in STEM toolkit, developed by CAISE

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.

Adele Luta in an airplane

Incorporating Role Models: Celebrate #NationalAviationDay!

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).

Connected Learning network graphic

STEM Transitions, Handoffs, and Coordination

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.


Register Today for the Paving the Way Virtual Convening!
August 23, 2021, 10:00 AM- 12:30 PM PST

Paving the Way Convening Invitation

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 ResidenciesLA’s BestCalifornia Teaching Fellows Foundation, and the Glen Price Group

Three girls huddled around a laptop working on a project

Curiosity Machine Design Challenge
Thursday, September 16, 2021; 8:00 AM PST

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 Cafe network logo - beaker with a coffeecup

Teen Science Café for Rural Programs
Interest Form Deadline: September 30, 2021

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.

Girl with drawn on space suit

Mizzen by Mott

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