The Million Girls Moonshot Catalyst Grant
Catalyzing Local and Regional Networks to Engage Girls and Underserved
Youth in STEM Learning that Cultivates an Engineering Mindset
September 14, 2023
Contact: Angela Oechslie, Director, Project>Login, Educate Maine
Educate Maine Awarded Moonshot Catalyst Grant to Engage Underserved Youth and Girls in STEM Learning Outside the Classroom
Educate Maine will join the national Million Girls Moonshot movement of like-minded organizations and partners with the shared goal to change the trajectory of girls and non-binary youth in STEM.
Portland, ME - Educate Maine has been selected as a Moonshot Catalyst Awardee to engage more girls and underserved youth in deeper STEM learning. As an awardee, we’ll lead a project with The Maine Discovery Museum to connect regional afterschool and summer programs and educators to key training, resources and professional development that will shift practices to create more access and more inclusive STEM learning opportunities for students historically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
STEM fields continue to be the fastest growing and highest paying careers in the United States, yet women and people of color continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields. Currently, women make up half of the total U.S. college-educated workforce of 58.9 million workers but represent only 30 percent of the professionals in science and engineering jobs. Black and Hispanic women each make up only two percent and Indigenous women only one percent.
Launched in 2020, the Million Girls Moonshot is a transformative nationwide initiative that is inspiring and preparing the next generation of innovators by engaging millions more girls in STEM learning opportunities through afterschool and summer programs over five years. The Million Girls Moonshot is the premier initiative of the STEM Next Opportunity Fund, an organization committed to expanding exceptional STEM learning opportunities outside of the classroom for all children everywhere.
“The Catalyst Award is another important effort for the Million Girls Moonshot to expand the capacity of communities to support underserved young people with robust STEM learning opportunities in afterschool and summer,” said Teresa Drew, deputy director of STEM Next and director of the Million Girls Moonshot initiative. “STEM Next leans heavily into maximizing the time in afterschool and summer because the research shows us that is where kids spend 80% of their time and it’s a critical space to build a child’s confidence and interest in STEM. We are thrilled to welcome a new cohort of partners who are developing meaningful ways to combat the persistent gender gap and lack of racial diversity in STEM fields.”
“We are grateful for this award because it will allow us to support deeper engagement for youth through afterschool and summer experiences as well as raising aspirations and expanding CS education opportunities.” said Angela Oechslie, Project Login Program Director at Educate Maine. “Being connected to a national network of out-of-school STEM leaders gives us the opportunity to learn from peers and make an impact in rural Maine.”
The 2023 Moonshot Catalyst Awardees include:
Catalyst Awardees will join a professional network of 50 statewide afterschool networks, including thousands of afterschool and summer programs and hundreds of thousands of informal educators.
Each grantee will focus on building an engineering mindset - 10 values and thinking skills associated with engineering that include skills like critical thinking, teamwork, persistence, and iterative thinking - with young people in their region. Awardees will also focus on expanding the visibility of role models and mentors for young people, the role of families as champions, as well as raising awareness to other partners to connect opportunities for youth as they progress in their STEM learning.
To learn more about the Million Girls Moonshot, visit www.milliongirlsmoonshot.org
About Educate Maine
A program of Educate Maine, Project>Login is the state's leading resource for anyone interested in the computing and IT field. We empower Maine educators and learners to prepare for the expanding career opportunities related to computer science and information technology.
Learn more online at www.educatemaine.org
About STEM Next Opportunity Fund
STEM Next Opportunity Fund - STEM Next is playing a critical role in expanding exceptional STEM learning opportunities outside the classroom for ALL children everywhere. In September 2020, STEM Next launched The Million Girls Moonshot, which seeks to re-imagine who can engineer, who can build, who can make. It will 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 5 years. It is joined by over 50 partners that have quickly turned Moonshot into a powerful movement for STEM equity.