STEAM Newsletter – Applying Engineering Mindsets through Math and Science
December 21, 2021
With this in mind, Million Girls Moonshot is highlighting STEM learning with an engineering mindset this December! Utilizing this mindset allows us to explore the unknown while applying skills and knowledge we already have – like math and science. Activating an engineering mindset pulls directly from these skills and allows us to solve real-work and relevant challenges.
Explore these resources on how you can help cultivate an engineering mindset in the classroom:
- Resources from Computer Science Week (December 6-11) via CSEdWeek
- Designing Engineering Experiences to Engage All Students via Educational Designer
- Engineering Lesson Plans for Engagement via TRYEngineering
While we are particularly highlighting engineering mindsets this month, don’t forget about MGM’s other transformative practices:
- Equity and Inclusion
- Role Models, Mentors, and Families
- STEM Transitions and Pathways
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MGM shares these two resources that coincide with the transformative practice of Equity and Inclusion:
- Infrastructures to Support Equitable STEM Learning Across Settings — STEM learning is a process that unfolds through dynamic interactions over time and across settings. Learn about design principles to support equitable learning across settings, especially opportunities that occur in out-of-school time.
- You For Youth // Computer Science for All — Computer Not Required — This 21CCLC resources covers it all—activities, curricula, fact sheets. There’s information for practitioners, parents, and families. The ready-to-use resources for educators have links to everything including a variety of curricula for k-12 students and recommendations for best practice.
To cultivate and encourage engineering mindsets in the classroom, MGM shares a multitude of resources:
- Activity Toolkit: STEM Educators Academy Activity Toolkit from ExpandED Schools — This Activity Toolkit offers hybrid learning engineering design challenges, STEM facilitation skill builder videos, and engineering design activities categorized by content areas.
- Guide for Educators: 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.
Explore this resource from MGM’s transformative practice of STEM transitions, handoffs, and coordination:
Designing Learning Pathways: A research-practice partnership focused on parent brokering – Learn about an design-led research project to align youth-centered, interest-driven learning pathways with the needs and interests of a local community-based creative arts and technology organization. This case study provides one example of a design-led learning innovation to deepen interest-driven learning pathways for youth.
NASA’s “You’ve Got Perseverance” awards opportunity invites U.S. teachers, educators, and community members to nominate students in grades 6-8 who have demonstrated that they have the right stuff to move past obstacles and reach their academic goals. The program will reward that dedication with recognition all the way from Mars.
ACRES January Cohort: Asking Purposeful Questions
January 19th, February 9th, March 2nd, 9th, and 16th; 3:30-5:00 PM PST
Afterschool Coaching for Reflective Educators in STEM (ACRES) is a nationally acclaimed coaching program that builds knowledge and skills so after school educators, librarians and anyone who works with youth in out-of-school settings can confidently facilitate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) experiences for youth.
Questions are the beginning of a path towards discovery, imagination, and STEM exploration. How can we help youth expand and clarify their thinking and develop their reasoning through the questions we ask them? This module is designed for educators who have some experience facilitating STEM learning and would like to grow in their practice within a supportive group of other educators.
- Article: ‘I’m not just a mom’: Parents as creators, collaborators, and learners in creative computing by Ricarose Roque – Social support from parents can play an important role in engaging and sustaining young people’s participation in computing. The authors identified many supportive roles for parents, including collaborating with their children on projects, providing resources and finding new opportunities.
- Article: 10X: Using Technology to Engage Families — From gathering information to modeling appropriate tech use to emphasizing the importance of conversation with children, learn 10 tips on using technology to engage families.
Incorporate these activities into your program:
- NASA’s Favorite House Plants for Space Stations and You – The Grow Network : The Grow Network – Select a plant to grow and keep a record of its change over time. Design a flowerpot for space—what shape works best? How deep does it need to be? What do scientists need to consider to grow plants in space?
- Design A Crew Module - Use materials that are easy to find at home to build a crew capsule for spaceflight. Practice engineering design process to improve on the original design. Grades 4-8.
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