What is STEM?
STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, and math. But STEM education is far more than just sticking those subject titles together. It’s a philosophy of education that embraces teaching skills and subjects in a way that resembles real life.
STEM in Louisiana
According to the America After 3PM survey, 84,686 Louisiana children participate in an afterschool program and 65,224 children have opportunities to participate in STEM learning in those programs.
Louisiana parents value STEM learning in afterschool and summer programs:
75% of parents agree that STEM learning in afterschool helps kids gain interest and skills related to STEM.
66% of parents report that STEM and computer science are an important factor for a majority when selecting their child’s afterschool program.
Why is STEM important?
Getting more young people engaged in STEM is essential in part because jobs in STEM continue to grow at rates double those of non-STEM professions. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics expects STEM occupations to grow by 8 percent between 2019 and 2029, compared to 3.4 percent for non-STEM occupations. Wages for STEM occupations are also much higher than for non-STEM occupations, meaning they provide financial security to individuals from all backgrounds and a pathway to financial independence for students from low-income communities.
Providing greater opportunities for STEM learning isn’t just about preparing the future workforce. As our world continues to rely more and more on technology, we all require a greater level of STEM literacy and fluency to understand how science and technology play a role. Greater STEM literacy also helps prepare students to better understand challenges and issues that affect them and their communities.
How we're advancing STEM in Louisiana
The Louisiana Center for Afterschool Learning 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 nationwide in STEM learning opportunities through afterschool and summer programs over the next five years.
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.
About the Million Girls Moonshot
Led nationally by the STEM Next Opportunity Fund and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in partnership with the Intel Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Million Girls Moonshot:
Leverages afterschool networks in all 50 states to help school-age girls access high-quality STEM education, support, and mentors.
Uses an equity and inclusion framework that is youth-centric and culturally responsive to increase gender, and racial and socio-economic diversity in STEM.
Provides resources, support, mentorship, and expert guidance to help educators deliver hands-on STEM experiences in afterschool, out-of-school time, and summer learning programs.
Training & Professional Development
The Million Girls Moonshot provides a wide range of free training opportunities and webinars led by Moonshot implementation partners, researchers, and practitioners to share effective strategies, best practices, and resources to engage more girls in STEM and engineering. Webinars also enable participants from across the country to connect, collaborate, and learn from one another.
Upcoming webinars can be found here!
Provider Resources & Tools
The Million Girls Moonshot provides a collection of resources and tools for partners and programs to utilize when participating in 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.
Click Here to access the Million Girls Moonshot Toolkit to get started!