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.


Capacity Building Institute

Booster Packs and other resources 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. 

Explore the latest Booster Packs and Partner Resources HERE. 

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.


Check back regularly for updates and new opportunities.

Booster Packs

Booster Packs are direct support and resources to Networks, STEM leaders, programs and/or direct field staff that support shifting practice 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. 

  • Training and workshops for network /system-level staff
  • No cost training and curriculum
  • Resources, activities, and special events from Moonshot partners

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

Family Engagement in STEM – An ISRY and STEM Next Collaboration

Are you looking for ways to meaningfully engage families in STEM in your program, at home, or in the community?

The Institute for the Study of Resilience in Youth (ISRY) at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School, in partnership with STEM Next, wants to learn more about how to support programs that are taking ideas from the STEM Family Engagement Planning Tool and putting them into action to increase equitable family engagement in STEM during the Summer and Fall of 2022.

Learn More and complete an interest form here. 

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.


Check back for upcoming training opportunities. 


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.

Girls Build Solutions
Showcase and Capacity Building Institute June 27-30, 2022

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.



Recruit the Volunteers You Need

In partnership with VolunteerMatch, through the Million Girls Moonshot, STEM Next provides the platform to promote your organization and recruit volunteers to your cause. Together, let’s re-imagine who can engineer, who can build, who can make.

What You Receive:




A Toolkit: Recruiting Volunteers For Your Youth

VolunteerMatch and STEM Next Opportunity Fund are excited to announce their partnership to bring more STEM experts to youth-serving organizations to volunteer in a variety of ways. 

Whether your organizations need STEM mentors, event support (like project judges or speakers), or technical assistance with a project (like web development), the volunteers available through this partnership are committed STEM professionals working in some of the world’s most notable companies. 

This toolkit contains resources Networks or large organizations can use to introduce programs to the VolunteerMatch/STEM Next platform, get them registered, and begin posting volunteer opportunities!

Access the Toolkit Now!