Million Girls Moonshot

What is Million Girls Moonshot?

Million Girls Moonshot is a STEM initiative that seeks to re-imagine who can engineer, who can build and who can make.  In Utah, we are doing this by reaching girls from a young age, using near-peer mentors, and involving families.  In 2021, we launched our Million Girls Moonshot program in seven pilot sites.  These sites were recipients of our MGM innovation stations, STEM curriculum, and a wide array of professional development.  This Mott-funded initiative aims to engage one million more girls in STEM learning opportunities and we are pleased to announce that we are ready to expand to an additional ten sites.    

MGM website

Current Million Girls Moonshot Sites in Utah

  • Entheos (Kearns) 
  • Entheos (Magna) 
  • Juab (Red Cliffs) 
  • Pacific Heritage 
  • Escalante 
  • Panguitch
  • Iron County

If you would like to learn more about how your program can become a Million Girls Moonshot site please complete the Million Girls Moonshot Interest Form.


Monthly MGM Resources

Each month the Million Girls Moonshot resources will be updated with webinars, trainings, curriculums, and more that will help bolster any STEM program.  


Genomics Career Awareness - DNA Day April 25th

Celebrate DNA Day (April 25th) throughout April by peaking student interest in careers in genomics with Illumina. Looking for an activity to celebrate? Get your supply list, demo videos and instructions at

Share your celebrations on social media using the hashtag #Genomics4All for a chance to win prizes!

Find more free resources at


NASA (On-Going)

NASA Calls Educators to Apply as Astronauts

Are you an educator who is looking for an opportunity that is out of this world? Check out this inspiring story of former educator turned current Chief Astronaut, Joe Acaba. NASA is inviting educators who meet the qualification requirements to apply for the next class of astronauts by April 2, 2024. Find details at

We’re launching STEM Engagement to new heights with learning resources that connect teachers, students, parents and caregivers to the inspiring work at NASA. Join us as we apply science, technology, engineering and mathematics to explore space, improve aeronautics, examine Earth and strive to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon with the Artemis program. 

NASA STEM resources:

Earthrise - NASA’s Monthly Collection of Earth and Climate Science Resources 

Earthrise will leverage NASA’s digital community of practice for educators, and a broad network of learners associated with NASA’s federal partners, to provide K-12 educators and learners with a focused, monthly collection of Earth and climate science resources from across the federal enterprise. Educators are now invited to register for this monthly engagement, with the first monthly collection of resources to be delivered in January and then monthly throughout the remainder of 2024. The primary focus is centered around access to Earth and climate resources for the K-12 community, with a regular working group to inform plans for carrying this through the summer and beyond as well.

This initiative began with intent to move the needle on educating our nation’s children and increasing their understanding of Earth and climate science, and the importance of protecting our home planet. The first issue will be released to educators in January 2024.

Register now to receive Earthrise monthly collections of resources.

2024 Solar Eclipse

Are you ready for the 2024 Solar Eclipse that will be visible across the U.S. on April 8, 2024?   Connect with NASA to engage students and families:

  • Ensure Safe viewing

Everyone MUST wear solar eclipse glasses or use an alternate viewing method to look at any eclipse. Read more about eye safety during an annular eclipse on our web page and on this safety flier.

Solar Science with Lockheed Martin 

Planning to watch the April 8th Solar Eclipse? Before the midday event happens, learn more about solar science directly from a Solar Researcher working at leading global security and aerospace company, Lockheed Martin.  

Prepare for the Solar Eclipse on April 8th at 9:00 AM PT and learn invaluable information about the incredible Solar Eclipse with Lockheed Martin. Register here.


Project Brainy

Project Brainy is a six-session neuroscience-based curriculum designed for out of school time (OST) programs. The curriculum enables middle-school students to build social-emotional skills, engage in interactive STEM learning and increase literacy. Summer and fall 2024 OST programs are invited to apply to participate in a research project to study the implementation of the curriculum. Selected programs will receive training and ongoing support on the curriculum and a $1,500 participation stipend. 

Learn more and apply here by May 17th to engage in summer programming!




ACRES Coaching: Asking Purposeful Questions 

Tuesdays: 4/16, 4/30, and 5/14/2024 11:00 am- 1:00 pm EST / 8:00 - 10:00 am PST

Questions begin a path toward 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 a great way to train staff on how to facilitate STEM learning. Experienced educators also love being part of a cohort as a way to connect with other educators across the country, to learn new lesson plans, and to reflect on practice.  This is our introductory module and a prerequisite to other opportunities. *The expectation is that you will be live at all three sessions and an active member of this coaching cohort. Recordings are not available if you are unable to attend. REGISTER HERE Code: AC330PQ (Coach Emma C)


ACRES Coaching: Elevating Youth Voice and Choice (For OST professionals who have completed Asking Purposeful Questions)

Thursdays: 4/11, 4/25, 5/9/24 11am - 1pm EST / 8am - 10am PST

How often do youth in your program get to choose what they’re investigating or designing, the materials they might use and/or how they engage with the work? In this module, participants try out strategies for elevating youth voice and choice and apply the ideas as they redesign a STEM activity to incorporate a greater variety of youth input. *The expectation is that you will be live at all three sessions and an active member of this coaching cohort. Recordings are not available if you are unable to attend. REGISTER HERE Code: AC351VC (Coach Becky T)


ACRES Coaching: Facilitating Engineering Practices (For OST professionals who have completed Asking Purposeful Questions)

Wednesdays: 4/10, 4/24, 5/8/2024 1pm - 3pm EST /10am - 12pm PST

Engineering has become a staple of STEM programming for youth. How can we confidently bring engineering into our programming and support youth as they engage in problem solving? In this module, participants gain first-hand experience with engineering by solving a design problem. They examine the components of the engineering design process and discuss ways to model the process with youth.

*The expectation is that you will be live at all three sessions and an active member of this coaching cohort. Recordings are not available if you are unable to attend. REGISTER HERE Code: AC329EP (Coach Emma C)


Click2Engineering’s Including All Learners in Engineering

Wednesday, April 24th, 2024 Noon-1:00 pm ET; 9:00 am-10:00 am PST

In a highly competitive world, how do we create program spaces that help young people feel like engineering is a discipline in which they can succeed and thrive? Join this virtual workshop to develop strategies for creating engineering experiences that are engaging for all youth. Dive into what makes an engineering activity open and inclusive. Experience hands-on engineering and come away with ideas you can put into practice.





The Million Girls Moonshot aims to raise awareness of the following four research-based practices — Equity and Inclusion, Engineering Mindsets, Role Model, Mentors, and Families, and STEM Pathways and Transition — proven to remove barriers to access and quality STEM learning experiences. Resources, toolkits, blogs, and activities that elevate these four Transformative Practices can be found below and on the Million Girls Moonshot Toolkit

Equity and Inclusion

    • Access to STEM Framework: To improve the overall quality of out-of-school STEM programs, we need to address how program providers design and implement programming to increase access in STEM for youth who have been underrepresented in the STEM fields. Partnering with the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) and national experts, we have developed an Access to STEM Framework — a guide for supporting program providers in this transformation. Download the Framework.
    • Elevating Youth Voice in STEM Programming Webinar: One way to ensure your program is youth-centric is to elevate youth voice and empower youth to take charge of their own STEM experiences. In this webinar recording, presenters share their knowledge and first-hand experiences promoting or using their voices and developing leadership skills to support and promote STEM learning in their communities.
    Cultural Competence in Afterschool Programs: A chapter on how programs address the increasing and cultural diversity in the United States. Program leaders need to consider how to adapt their program to make it culturally relevant to the youth and families they serve. This chapter explores the meaning of cultural relevance, how to design cultural competence afterschool programs, and how to tailor cultural competence to meet local needs.

Engineering Mindsets

  • Engineering Mindset Overview: An engineering mindset refers to the attitudes and thinking skills associated with engineering — using a systematic engineering design process, considering real-world problems, applying math and science, and working in teams. The Moonshot focuses on 10 engineering practices. An overview of each practice follows and subsequent briefs will explore each one individually.
  • Engineering Design Process: This resource helps educators understand design process and how to facilitate engineering activities with kids

Role Models, Mentors, and Families

Role models, mentors, and family engagement in a young person’s STEM education leads to increased interest, greater self-confidence, and ultimately a stronger STEM identity. Developing a science-related identity increases the likelihood that students will work toward developing science literacy, or even pursue a career in a science or STEM-related field.

Continuous STEM Learning Pathways

Research tells us that continuous engagement and exposure rather than limited one-time opportunities are needed to nurture the interest and motivation necessary for children to pursue STEM pathways long term. The Moonshot aims to understand and support transitions and handoffs that remove barriers for youth by connecting STEM learning across ages and settings, ensuring youth interest and motivation persists.

  • 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 Foundations Adaptation: A collection of 14 lessons, a streamlined combination of the Lenses on the Future and Skills for Success units of Possible Futures curriculum.
  • College and Career Readiness Toolkit: Maryland Out of School Time (MOST) embedded the Career Foundations Unit of Possible Futures into this toolkit that serves as a guide for OST providers.


Activities for April 2024

Video: dna activities for kids - Yahoo Search Results Video Search Results This video designed for kids is a fun/exciting way to introduce DNA to children. In this video kids will learn facts all about DNA, what it is made of, chromosomes, traits and much more. There are additional DNA teaching resources, including a free lesson plan found here: ...

Student Activity: PLT_GreenJobs_MonitoringForestHealth.pdf Through a variety of health indicators, learners assess the health of a forested area and see how soil scientists, wildlife biologists, arborists, and other forest professionals monitor forests. This activity supports STEM identity by relati through role model and career connections.

Student Activity: How To Make Seed Bombs - Little Bins for Little Hands Kick off your spring science with a fun Earth Day activity and make seed bombs with your kids! Super easy and fun to make, help youth connect to their impact on the environment start a new tradition to celebrate Earth Day and learn how to make seed bombs or seed balls. This website also features other STEM activities for kids in environmental education. 

Student Activity: Do-It-Yourself DNA | STEM Activity (  In this activity, you will make your own DNA extraction kit from household chemicals and use it to extract DNA from strawberries.

Student Activity: Investigate Alien Genetics | Lesson Plan ( Students model how traits are passed on from parents to their offspring by creating baby aliens based on the alien parents' traits. As students compare the physical features of their alien families, they will be able to make the connection between an organism's genotype and phenotype. Students will also learn the difference between dominant and recessive traits.

Student Activity: Extracting Onion DNA | Science Project ( this project, you'll learn how to isolate DNA from onion cells, separating it from other cellular components in a manner that still preserves its structure and sequence. In the end, you'll have enough DNA to see with the unaided eye, and you'll be able to spool it to demonstrate its strand-like structure.

Mizzen by Mott

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

  • Mizzen Playlist: STEM Activities for K-5th Grade in Small Groups - This playlist is a great mix of engineering and science activities that are easy and fun for small groups of students.
  • Mizzen Playlist: Science Notebooks for 3rd - 12th Grade - Keeping a notebook can help your students think and act like scientists and engineers. Sample these easy-to-implement strategies and lessons to bring science notebooking into your program.
  • Mizzen Module: S.INQ Up Earth and Space for 6-8th Grade - Earth and Space is an inquiry and exploration-based curriculum that uses hands-on activities focused on the relationships between the earth, the solar system, and human impacts on our global environment.
  • Curriculum: After-School Science PLUS - Download Building with Wonderful Junk and take the challenge!  Build a bridge or a platform that meets a set of requirements and test it. Challenge the kids to add to the activity (For example build a bridge that will hold a student up 6 inches from the floor). 
  • 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. 
  • Activity Toolkit: Engineering is Elementary's NASA Partnership free units - A suite of free NASA-funded STEM resources for students in grades 3-8. All resources are research-based and classroom-tested. They are designed to support students’ understanding of space, while helping them see themselves as capable problem solvers.
  • Student Activities: 30 Active Math and Activities for Kids Who Love to Move - When kids think of math, they usually picture worksheets and flashcards. But math doesn’t have to be dull! These active math games get kids up and moving, using their whole bodies to learn facts and skills. Lots of these ideas can be adapted to suit a variety of math concepts, so choose a few to try out with your math students soon.
  • Student Activity: Try Engineering Lesson Plan: Take Flight! - This lesson for ages 8-12 explores how flight is possible and how engineers have improved glider designs and materials to improve flight accuracy and distance.



If you are looking for more STEM resources be sure to check out our Resource Library, Young Utahpreneur Grant and the Pitch Challenge