Million Girls Moonshot Toolkit

The Million Girls Moonshot Toolkit is a collection of resources and tools for all 50 Mott Afterschool States Networks, their partners and programs, to utilize for the Million Girls Moonshot Initiative. 

All transformative practice resources have been vetted using a culturally responsive and equity lens to foster inclusive STEM learning spaces for all youth, particularly girls. We will continue to add and modify resources to meet the needs of the Networks.

Transformative Practices

While the Initiative’s goal is focused on increasing the number of girls with an engineering mindset and a STEM identity— the Initiative will benefit all students, improving the overall quality of all afterschool STEM opportunities and lifting up both boys and girls as they become future innovators. As STEM system builders we work to increase access to STEM learning opportunities in afterschool and summer learning programs.  Additionally,  we need to explore how to support programs to engage and nurture all young people’s interest in STEM learning.  We need to address how programs are designing and implementing programming to broaden participation in STEM for learners in poverty, learners of color, learners in rural areas, and girls in STEM. Working with national experts, we have developed an Equity and Inclusion Framework that we hope will be a useful guide for supporting programs in this transformation. A framework is a way to illustrate the particular concepts and variables that are connected to a specific issue (e.g. Equity and Inclusion). It can serve as a map, illustrating connections, and a way of identifying strategies and actions for addressing the specific issue(s).

Download the Equity & Inclusion Framework

Pathways to an Engineering Mindset

Activity Progression Categories

STEM and Engineering programs, activities, and curriculua fall into a into a set of categories that represent an education pathway for students to use as they build their engineering skills and mindset.

This sequence does not reflect a linear progression of knowledge and skills. Our intent is not to recommend that students do engineering activities before participating in an engineering club or competition. This is more of a framework to think about how students might develop their skills and provide “hand-off” points between categories.

These categories are:

1.  Engineering activities are short, hands-on experiences conducted at home or included as part of an afterschool program. They introduce kids to the creative nature of engineering and build confidence in their ability to come up with novel solutions and construct technologies. Examples include Teach Engineering.

2.  Engineering units are conducted as part of afterschool programs. These extended, project-based units devote more time to developing engineering mindset. They set a meaningful context for the problem, and present engineering as a multi step process that includes various phases, such as conducting background research, brainstorming ideas, building technologies, and testing/evaluating solutions. Examples include Engineering Adventures, Design It!

3.  Afterschool engineering clubs. Devoted exclusively to engineering, these clubs allow kids to form a community and encourage the engineering mindset by working in teams, persisting through failure and creating a culture of innovation. Examples include Girls Who Code Clubs, Future Engineers.

4.  Club-based engineering competition teams. These engineering clubs meet regularly under the supervision of a leader or instructor who helps prepare the club for some kind of team competition. In the club meetings, kids work together to complete a specific project that will be submitted for judging.

5.  Summer engineering camps. Multi-day immersion allows for powerful opportunities for kids to build relationships with peers and mentors and to develop science and engineering practices and habits of mind. Students see their own skills developing and begin to self-identify as engineers. Examples include Girls Who Code Summer Immersion, TryEngineering Summer institute.

6.  Engineering competitions. Many companies, governmental agencies, and nonprofits have created competitions to drive engagement in STEM. Some of these initiatives are national in scale, with substantial prizes for students. Although students may work in groups to complete their projects, membership in a club is not required.

7.  Mentoring opportunities connect kids with role models through work with local engineering professionals. Students build their engineering mindset through experience in academic, industrial, or governmental workplaces. In addition, students receive guidance on their career and personal development. Examples include Girls Who Code Camps.

Download the Pathways Progression

  Engineering Mindset Activities

As part of the Million Girls Moonshot Engineering Practice Support Equity webinar series, the Design a Space Capsule amplifies four engineering mindset habits of practice.

  1. Evaluate and Iterate,

  2. Persist and Learn from Failure,

  3. Work in Teams, and
  4. Identify as Engineers.

The  following  materials support the activity:

  1. Splashdown Activity guide
  2. Spalshdown Engineering Journal, and
  3. Space Capsule PowerPoint.


As part of the Million Girls Moonshot Engineering Practice Support Equity webinar series, the Stringed Instrument Package amplifies three engineering mindset habits of practice.

  1. Balancing Criteria and Constraints,

  2. Apply Science and Math, and

  3. Envisioning Multiple Solutions.

The  following  materials support the activity:

  1. Stringed Instruments PPT,
  2. Music Activity Journal, and
  3. Music Activity Guide.


As part of the Million Girls Moonshot Engineering Practice Support Equity webinar series, the Coronavirus Mask Package amplifies three engineering mindset habits of practice.

  1. Using a systematic problem-solving process,

  2. Exploring the properties and uses of materials, and

  3. Considering real-world problems.

The  following  materials support the activity:

  1. Mask pack activity guide for educators,
  2. Mask pack engineering journal for students, and
  3. Mask pack PowerPoint for educators to use while facilitating.


Booster Packs

Booster Packs are direct support to Networks working with programs to go deeper in Moonshot transformative practices and programming: (1) equity and inclusion (2) engineering mindsets (3) Role models, mentors, and families (4) STEM Transitions and Handoffs. Boosters will provide capacity built through training and development or STEM programming through training and curriculum. 

Explore the Booster Packs and submit an interest form for open opportunities. 

Maker-Centered Learning Community of Practice with the Makers + Mentors Network

Makers + Mentors Network, a STEM initiative of Citizen Schools, partners with communities and organizations to uplift STEM mentoring and maker-centered learning as essential tools to build a stronger, more diverse workforce. Recognizing that unlike talent, opportunity and access are not equally distributed, we focus on underserved and underrepresented students, including girls, students of color and youth from low-income communities. Makers + Mentors Network advances its mission through three primary models: a National Community of Practice, Make For All, and Maker Fellows. Learn more about the Makers + Mentors Network here.

Opportunities are closed.

Learn more and submit an interest form here.

Family Engagement Community of Practice with Bunmi Esho and Linda Kekelis

Dr. Linda Kekelis is an advisor for STEM Next Opportunity Fund with a lifelong passion for ensuring that all youth, particularly girls and underrepresented youth, have access to opportunities in STEM. Linda advises STEM organizations on empowering families and shares research and resources with them.

Bunmi Esho was raised in the United States and Nigeria before graduating with a degree in engineering. As a child, she developed a passion for community and education, eventually leading her to a career in educational nonprofits. Bunmi currently leads outreach initiatives for Endless OS Foundation.

Opportunities are closed.

Learn more and submit an interest form here.

Teen Science Café

Teen Science Café programs are a free, fun way for teens to engage in lively conversations with STEM experts that explore the advances in science and technology that affect their lives. In these events, teens socialize over teen-friendly food and drink and have a lively conversation with local scientists and engineers about current cutting-edge developments in their fields, all in a relaxed and informal out-of-school setting. Teen Science Cafés are for teens, by teens. A core group of Teen Leaders, with the committed mentorship of an Adult Leader, plan and run the café programs. They welcome as diverse of a teen crowd as possible—diverse in ethnicity, culture, gender, and motivations for learning about science. Teen Science Cafés are not just for the science geeks; they are for all curious teens. Along the way, teen organizers gain a host of leadership skills. Cafés are typically run about an hour and a half once per month during the school year.

Opportunities are closed.

Learn more and submit an interest form here.

Click2Engineering Community of Practice

Click2SciencePD, developed by Nebraska Extension with funding from the Noyce Foundation, provides online STEM professional development resources for out-of-school time trainers and coaches supporting frontline staff or volunteers working directly with youth. The Click2Science blended professional development model uses a variety of ongoing professional development experiences to improve the instructional skills of OST professionals while facilitating STEM learning experiences. Click2Science offers resources including staff development guides webinars, and self-directed web lessons approved for professional development requirements in 42 states.

Opportunities are closed.

Learn more and submit an interest form here.

Engineering Mindset with Techbridge Girls @Home

Leveraging their 20- year history and expertise, Techbridge Girls enables girls from low-income communities to navigate the many roadblocks and inequitable systems that prevent them from persisting and excelling in STEM. They are experts at equipping educators (in-school teachers, nonprofit youth leaders, or volunteers) to create more access for girls to high-quality STEM enrichment experiences.

Opportunities are Open.

Learn more and submit an interest form here.

Equity and Inclusion Community of Practice with National Girls Collaborative Project and Special Guests

The vision of the National Girls Collaborative Project (NGCP) is to bring together organizations throughout the United States that are committed to informing and encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

Opportunities are closed.

Learn more and submit an interest form here.

STEM Transitions and Handoffs with Jobs for the Future

JFF is a national nonprofit that drives transformation in the American workforce and education systems. For over 35 years, JFF has led the way in designing and scaling innovative solutions that create access to economic advancement for all. JFF innovates, identifies solutions that work and partners with state and community leaders to drive transformation in state, regional, and local education and workforce development systems.

Opportunities are closed.

Learn more here.

Check back regularly for updates and new opportunities.

Webinars, Trainings and Events


Webinars are led by Moonshot implementation partners, researchers, and practitioners to share effective strategies, best practices, and resources to engage more girls in STEM and engineering. 

REGISTER for webinars through our calendar. To view archived webinars, including recordings and materials, please visit our webinars page.


ACRES January Cohort: Asking Purposeful Questions

January 19th, February 9th, and March 2nd, 9th and 16th 3:30-5pmPT/6:30-8:00EST


Virtual and in-person Moonshot events, both past and future, are listed below. Following virtual events we aim to provide recordings. Please follow the links below for more event information or to access event recordings.

Moonshot Mindshift Session Recordings
Virtual Capacity Building Institute July 13-15, 2021

STEM and Engineering Resource Catalog

There are many STEM and engineering curricula, programs, and activities available. We consulted with Dr. Christine Cunningham, engineering education expert, and her team to create a curated catalog of STEM and engineering resources.

The STEM Resource Catalog is a non-exhaustive curated collection of STEM and engineering resources. We will be adding to and modifying the catalog during the first year of the Moonshot Initiative. The catalog is for internal use only by the Statewide Afterschool Networks.

You can filter the catalog by grade level, aiudience, STEM discipline, learning environment, cost, engineering mindset features, or pathway categories.