About the Million Girls Moonshot
ALACN is proud to be a part of the Million Girls Moonshot initiative, working to inspire and prepare the next generation of innovators by engaging one million more girls in STEM learning opportunities through afterschool and summer programs over the next five years. The Million Girls Moonshot is an initiative of the STEM Next Opportunity Fund.
The Million Girls Moonshot will not only allow girls to envision themselves as future innovators, but it will increase the quality of out-of-school STEM learning opportunities for all young people, particularly underserved and underrepresented youth.
We’re going to transform the pathways into engineering, the sciences, and advanced manufacturing. Together.
Learn More about the Million Girls Moonshot!
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The Million Girls Moonshot is dedicated to providing inclusive content and professional development opportunities focused on developing an engineering mindset and creating career pathways.
View past training and resources:
“On behalf of the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama, we are proud to be a partner with the ALACN and their continued efforts to provide STEM education across the great State of Alabama. STEM jobs are mission critical to our future. Innovative-reasoning, problem-solving, and critical-thinking are vital to Alabama’s workforce needs and requirements. Engineers in Alabama helped put the first man on the moon and The Million Girls Moonshot will further our efforts to put the first woman on Mars!”
— Jeremy L. Arthur, President & CEO Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama
Resources and Activities
Building an Engineering Mindset
Engineers solve problems using systematic, iterative processes. The technologies (objects, systems, or processes) they design address the needs and desires of people, animals, society, and the environment. One of the primary goals of engineering education is to promote development of an engineering mindset., which refers to the values, attitudes, and thinking skills associated with engineering.
Cultural responsiveness is a powerful approach that allows educators to improve STEM engagement and equity, while bridging the cultural divide. From exploring the stages and steps of cultural competency, to establishing culturally responsive teaching practices, focusing on developing a culturally responsive out-of-school program can strengthen STEM learning .
Equity and Inclusion in STEM
Creating an equity focused mindset is the beginning step in creating a more inclusive and empowering STEM learning environment. Let's take a look at how equity and inclusion can be embraced to create stronger STEM learning environments.
Engineering Mindsets Support Equity
As youth engage in engineering challenges using authentic practices, they develop an engineering mindset. This mindset can nurture competency and confidence, help youth envision their potential as engineers and problem-solvers, and spark interest, affiliation, and identities. Such opportunities invite broader and more equitable participation in engineering.
Impact of STEM Programs in Alabama
Jobs in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields power our global economy and are growing most rapidly across our state and the country.
In Alabama, STEM jobs are expected to grow by 9% between 2017 and 2027, compared with 5% for other jobs. Afterschool STEM programs can almost double the amount of time some students have to question, tinker, learn and explore STEM topics and careers. More than 83% of Alabama parents report their kids have STEM learning opportunities in their afterschool program.
A study of afterschool STEM programs found that among participating students:
gained a deeper understanding of science careers
increased their interest in STEM
developed a “STEM identity,” a personal belief that she/he can do well and succeed at science
developed perseverance and critical thinking skills