News & updates for young women interested in STEM

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This week's STEMinist celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day with some fun virtual activities

While most events are still canceled, we all know that nature isn't, so thankfully we can still celebrate Earth Day next week on April 22nd ! Read on to learn some interesting history that makes the 50th anniversary of Earth Day special, along with fun ways you can help the environment safely while still keeping your social distances.
How did Earth Day get its start?
As we all now know, protecting our environment and planet is a major priority around the world. But, how did it all begin? The very first Earth Day occurred on April 22, 1970 as a result of a movement led by 20 million Americans (10% of the population at the time) calling for protection of the planet. For decades before this time, Americans were consuming large amounts of leaded gas through inefficient automobiles and general industry operations output excessive amounts of smoke and pollution. People remained oblivious to the effects of what a polluted environment did to the Earth and human health.

A pivotal moment happened in 1969 when Gaylord Nelson (a U.S. senator in Wisconsin at the time) witnessed the destruction caused by a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, CA. He then came up with the idea for a national day to focus on the environment, eventually becoming the founder of Earth Day. Continue reading for more interesting events that led to that historic movement in 1970, eventually leading to our modern Earth Day that we continue to celebrate each year. Text Link
Earth Day at 50 - celebrations and activities you can do
around home
Every year the Earth Day Network selects a theme for Earth Day. This year's theme for 2020 is an especially resonant way to commemorate the 50th anniversary on April 22 - Climate Action. There are several ways the Network is calling on communities and individuals (like you!) to help with the calling of climate action, including the Great Global Cleanup, Earth Challenge 2020, and participating in Earth Day Live 2020, where you can find digital Earth Day events by your location. L

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has some fun resources to participate in Earth Day. Check out how you can make your home festive while showing support for Earth Day to your neighbors with window art work!

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) also has some cool online conservation activities that will connect you to the planet and each other. Plant a tree, reduce your use, create pollinating habitats, and more!

Here are some fun daily Earth Day Challenges and activities you can do leading up to April 22. Compost Creatively, Read- Don't Stream, and Skype a Scientist are just a few of the activities from which to choose. Get creative and ask your friends to join you (from afar, of course)!
We'd love to hear from you!

Send us a note and photo of any Earth Day activities you do this next week and on April 22! You may receive a special shout-out as a thank you for your efforts!

Send your notes and photos to .
Catch these special shows and livestreams that
celebrate Earth Day
Be sure to check out some really awesome specials the BBC America, Discovery Channel, National Geographic and Disney Channel networks are holding on TV in celebration of Earth Day. A marathon of BBC's Planet Earth and Dynasties series, a new   National Geographic  special titled  Born Wild : The Next Generation, and more will be broadcast for you to enjoy.

You can also check-out a full celebrity line-up in Rolling Stone's Earth Day Live, a three-day livestream organized by youth climate activists. Celebrity guests include Joaquin Phoenix, Moby and many others, along with musical performances and DJ sets   by Jason Mraz, Angélique Kidjo , Talib Kweli , and more.
Also on April 22nd: 2020 STEM Innovation Leadership Academy Applications are DUE! Tell your friends!
Please spread the word with your friends and classmates that  applications for this summer's STEM Innovation Leadership Academies are still open.  The STEM Academy is available to young women currently in 10th or 11th grade and interested in STEM, sustainability, and energy in the Exelon service territories of Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Washington D.C. See the links on the left for how to apply. Applications are due on April 22nd.  ( Please note  - past Academy participants are not eligible to apply, but are always welcome at our STEM Days.) Text Link