Million Girls Moonshot
The Iowa Million Girls Moonshot Minute
December 2021
Welcome to the Iowa Million Girls Moonshot Minute! This monthly publication from the Iowa Afterschool Alliance provides dozens of STEM out-of-school time professional development opportunities and activities to strengthen the quality of programs across the state. We hope that you find these resources valuable! Learn more about the national Million Girls Moonshot movement here.
Million Girls Moonshot Resources
STEM Transforming Communities
Featured Webinars
Quality Trainings
January Cohort: Asking Purposeful Questions
Upcoming Dates: Jan. 19; Feb. 9; March 2, 9, and 16 from 5:30-7 p.m. CST
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.
Transformative Practices
Equity & Inclusion
Article: 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.

Website: 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.

Engineering Mindsets
Activity Toolkit: The 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 Edcuators: 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.

Posters and Printables For Educators: DiscoverE | Free Printable Summer Math Games ( - Get a free month of activities, videos, and fun experiences. Appropriate for grades 1-8. Kids “build” a Math Monster who leads them through the activities. The website adapts to the child’s capacity—gently, but constantly increasing the difficulty of the activities.

Framework: K-12 Computer Science Framework - The Association for Computing Machinery,, Computer Science Teachers Association, Cyber Innovation Center, and National Math and Science Initiative have collaborated with states, districts, and the computer science education community to develop conceptual guidelines for computer science education.

PowerPoint: Best Practices in Computer Science Classes - Easy to follow, friendly PowerPoint with best practices in a computer science classroom.

Incorporating Role Models
Focused on Computer Science Education for All (Dec. 2021)
The below assets are free profile videos and photos of IF/THEN Ambassadors. These can be used in marketing, presentations, social media, embedded on websites, during conferences, and so much more.

For Families
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.

STEM Transitions, Handoffs, and Coordination
Research to Practice: Designing Learning Pathways: A research-practice partnership focused on parent brokering - Learn about a 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 deepening interest-driven learning pathways for youth.
Activities for Programs
  • Student Design Activities: NASA's Favorite House Plants for Space Stations and You by 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? 
  • Student Design Activities: 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.
  • Student Design Activities: Straw Towers to the Moon - Let your kids’ imaginations run wild. Build the biggest tower, or the best balanced, or the most attractive…change the criteria to change the design. Grades K-8.
  • Student Design Activities: Team Building for STEM Challenges - In this team building activity, youth work together to lift an object by using a set of strings attached to a center ring. Each student grabs a few strings and must work together to raise the item in the center. The task requires concentration and communication and introduces the value of teamwork.
Mizzen by Mott Moonshot Connection
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! You’ll find it in Mizzen here.

Featured Activities & Playlists
  • Playlist: Habitat Planning by NASA
  • Playlist: STEM Activities for Grades K-5
  • Activity: Balloon Rockets Challenge
This work of the Iowa Afterschool Alliance is made possible by funding from STEM Next and the Million Girls Moonshot Innovator Grant. The mission of MGM is to expand STEM opportunities, specifically in the field of Engineering, for girls across the United States, which is made possible through state partnerships.
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