STEAM Newsletter – Get Ready for a Summer of Computer Science!
May 28, 2024

STEAM Newsletter
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Summer is right around the corner and you know what that means - the start of Summer of CS, a part of California’s Year-Round Computer Science (CS) Professional Learning Program! With schools on break, afterschool programs can step in to offer enriching, hands-on experiences that go beyond the traditional classroom. Whether it’s through coding boot camps, robotics clubs, or app development workshops, these initiatives can inspire the next generation of tech innovators. Let’s seize the summer to spark curiosity, develop new skills, and offer our youth the chance to explore the boundless possibilities of computer science.

Get a head start on incorporating CS into your programs by exploring these activities: 

May is also Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! This month commemorates the first Japanese immigrants who arrived in the United States in 1843 as well as to remember the hardworking Chinese immigrants who worked vigorously to create the first US Transcontinental railroad from May 1843 to May 1869. Join us in celebrating the AAPI community not just this month, but for all they have contributed and continue to contribute to STEAM, education, and society. 

Explore these resources you can share in your programs to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month!

In This Newsletter:

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FREE STEM Basics Professional Learning Course
Free through December 31, 2024

Pitsco Education is offering a FREE STEM Basics Professional Learning Course to help cultivate self-efficacy in our educators! The course outlines important STEM activity elements, provides hands-on learning tips and tricks, and summarizes successful learning facilitation. This is a great opportunity to easily build STEM self-efficacy for both you and your learners.

Use the PDF below or click this link to learn how to access the free e-learning course!

Discover Engineering's Chat with Change Makers flyer

Chats with Change Makers
Thursday, May 30, 2024; 10:00 AM PST

Discover Engineering’s “Chats with Change Makers” invites students to meet engineering role models who are working hard to change the world.

Join DiscoverE’s upcoming session to meet Fredy Barrera Aguilar, Product Development Engineer at TE Connectivity! Students will hear his stories, ask questions, and learn more about his engineering career. This session will be hosted by Kavya, a high school senior and SWENext participant.

Teens lead in computer science flyer

Teens Lead In Computer Science
Tuesday, June 4, 2024; 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM PST

Teens can develop a wide variety of interests and skills, including leadership by working or volunteering in out-of-school time computer science programs. Join the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for their upcoming webinar to learn about the 4-H Experiential Learning Model and how teen leaders use their skills to lead computer science experiences, build meaningful relationships, and help young people see themselves as computer scientists. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM PST

Register today!

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A Summary of Effective Gender Equitable Teaching Practices in Informal STEM Education Spaces
Equity and Inclusion

There is a disconnect between research and practice in creating gender-equitable practices for middle schools girls in STEM according to an article for the Journal of STEM Research, The article focuses on ways to connect STEM experiences to girls’ lives, emphasizing the ways that STEM is collaborative and community-oriented, and providing opportunities for girls to interact with and learn from diverse role models.

The Million Girls Moonshot’s Access to STEM Framework is an example of how to start incorporating these strategies into your own program.

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Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA Resources
Engineering Mindsets

The Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA program, part of NASA’s Universe of Learning, provides resources and experiences that enable girls, families, and lifelong learners to explore fundamental questions in astrophysics and discover the universe for themselves.

Explore the new resources they have including the GSAWN Program Cookbook, stages of a Star’s Life Flipbook, a Stellar Life Cycle Bookmark and Bracelet, and Stellar Evolution Scavenger Hunt.

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Continuous STEM Learning Pathways

  • Possible Futures — Career Exploration Curriculum: Open source curriculum that complements and enriches both school and afterschool settings 1) expanding career awareness through authentic experiential learning opportunities; 2) encouraging students to explore their diverse interests, talents, and options; 3) enlivening STEM subjects by bringing in real-world and career contexts; 4) empowering students to develop vital employability skills; and 5) engaging students in making informed choices.

Below are some adaptations of the Possible Futures Career Exploration Curriculum specifically for afterschool and summer programs:

  • Career Literacy: Three units that combine the units Skills for Success and Lenses on the Future (from Possible Futures Career Exploration Curriculum). The units also provide a model for aligning Possible Futures with state Career Literacy Standards and the development of required individual student postsecondary plans. 
  • Growing Myself: Twelve lessons that combine the Self unit from Lenses on the Future and the Growth Mindset unit from Skills for Success from the Possible Futures Career Exploration Curriculum. 
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Activities for May 2024

  • How Does a Wind Meter Work? | Science Project ( On a windy day it is hard to keep your hat on! The power of the wind can even be strong enough to power large wind turbines to make electricity! In this experiment, find out how you can make your own instrument to measure the speed and power of the wind. How does it work?
  •   Tallest Paper Tower Challenge | Science Project ( In this engineering challenge, you will use limited materials to build a paper tower as tall as possible, but there’s a twist! Your tower must also support a heavy weight at the top without collapsing. Looking for inspiration? You can see how other students have tackled this and other annual Science Buddies Engineering Challenges.
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iLuminate Ticket Discounts for Educators!
Las Vegas, NV

iLuminate is one of Vegas’s most fascinating new shows, and is the winner of The Best New Show in Vegas. Miral Kotb, a dancer and software engineer, founded iLuminate and was a keynote speaker at 2024 CA STEAM Symposium in Long Beach.

She is offering a Buy One Get One Free Discount for California’s STEAM Community to experience their Residency at The Strat in Las Vegas.

Use the STEAMCA code when you buy tickets!