The Million Girls Moonshot Initiative plans to immerse one million female middle-school students in STEM in the next five years, according to a District Administration article.
According to the article, the initiative provides grant funding and resources to afterschool programs across the United States to create more hands-on opportunities with STEM. The initiative is being launched by the Intel Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, STEM Next Opportunity Fund, and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
“Every girl deserves access to high-quality education to achieve their dream career, regardless of their ZIP code or family’s socioeconomic status,” said Gabriela Gonzalez, deputy director of the Intel Foundation, in the District Administration article.
The efforts result from the prominent STEM gender gap, in which women are underrepresented in many STEM fields. According to statistics by the National Girls Collaborative Project, women face the largest disparities in engineering, computer science, and physical science fields — with women only making up 28% of the workforce in science and engineering fields.
The initiative’s namesake — the Apollo 8 moonshot — rallied behind a goal to advance science, which is what the Million Girls Moonshot is trying to do in their movement to get more girls involved in STEM, according to District Administration.
The initiative is using the pandemic’s hybrid learning model as an opportunity to reach students on the days they are e-learning by offering engaging activities, kits, and small group meetings. The initiative has partnered with countless organizations for funding and programming, including NASA and the National Girls Collaborative Project.
Programs like this one are critical to help bridge the STEM gender gap and create more diversity in STEM fields. Learn more about the initiative at milliongirlsmoonshot.org.
Read the full article here: Girls in STEM: Closing the gender gap.
For more information about how to engage girls in STEM in your own classroom or program, check out this article from STEM Education Works: Cultivating Female Interest in STEM.