Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA Resource Center

Celebrate Science and Women’s History Month with NASA Science Education Partners

NASA’s Universe of Learning astronomy education program is celebrating National Women’s History Month with the expanded Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA project (formerly the NASA Science4Girls and Their Families initiative).

Libraries are encouraged to partner with NASA's Universe of Learning science education program throughout the spring to empower women’s success – especially in science – starting from when they are young. Libraries will have the opportunity to host events related to NASA’s scientific explorations of the Universe during Women’s History Month. These events are open to all family members, regardless of gender, but focus on engaging girls in science using field-tested, hands-on activities.

Over the last 5 years, the pilot initiative NASA Science4Girls and Their Families was successfully introduced into over 70 libraries nationwide. This year, we hope to expand our reach to your library and the girls who visit. Programming resources for this year include coding workshops, astronomy exhibits, hands-on astronomy activities, and discussions with NASA scientists and engineers.

The first events for Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA kick off during Women’s History Month in March, and will continue through the spring/summer. Help your community explore the wonders of NASA science, and celebrate the contribution of women to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)!

The resources below include field-tested, hands-on activities that have been shown engaging for girls, exhibits that complement your girl-inspiring programming, and professional development opportunities for your staff. Your Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA event may choose to focus on one resource, or feature several of these resources to flesh out your Women’s History Month programming.

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Contact

For more information about Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA, please contact girlsSTEAMahead@universe-of-learning.org

Hands-on-Activities

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Recoloring the Universe

Students with no prior coding experience can learn how to use computers to create images and understand astronomical data. Participants learn basic coding, starting with familiar objects and simple concepts such as shape and color, graduating to astronomical objects. Following a scaffolded set of activities, and working with data from NASA's space telescopes on sources from exploded stars and star-forming regions to galaxies and black holes, participants can experience real world application of science, technology, and even art.

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MicroObservatory/Observing with NASA

NASA's space science researchers control some of the world's most sophisticated space probes and orbiting telescopes to get amazing images of objects in space. Now YOU can join them by operating your OWN ground-based "MicroObservatories" - real robotic telescopes that you command through this website!

Media Template Package

Posters

Need something to help draw attention to your Women’s History Month programming, something inspirational for your teen space, or an addition to the Biographies section? These posters are available for free to print and some can be shipped to you.
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Women in STEM Poster Series

These posters from the Chandra X-ray Center feature great women in STEM. Currently in the collection: Ada Lovelace, Hypathia, Eileen Collins, Melba Roy, Annie Easley, Katherine Johnson, Grace Hopper, Mary Jackson, and Cady Coleman.

We have limited printed posters sets available for your venue to display. To request a set, please email your name, institution, mailing address, phone number and email address to the Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA team at girlsSTEAMahead@universe-of-learning.org. Please also send follow-up information and photos of any events you host with the materials, and take this brief survey.

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Women of Color: Pioneers and Innovators

This two-sided poster features women of color who are pioneers in modern aviation, astronomy, and aerospace.

Exhibits

The NASA Astrophysics community has designed many exhibits for use in libraries and informal education venues. Below are ones we recommend for complementing your Girls STEAM Ahead events. Please click the links to find out how to apply to host the exhibits or print your own.
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Here, There, Everywhere

This program connects science content in the fields of Earth science, planetary science, and astrophysics with everyday phenomena. Its purpose is to demonstrate the universality of physical laws and the connection between our everyday world and the universe as a whole to members of the public who may not identify strongly with science.

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AstrOlympics

This project explores the physical connections between sport and space. Brief explanations of physical concepts are compared with every day experiences, Olympic events, and discoveries from space made with Chandra and other telescopes. By exploring the range of values for concepts such as speed, mass, time, pressure, rotation, distance, etc., audiences gain a deeper understanding of how all matter-in-motion is relatable.

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Light exhibits

These exhibits showcase the incredible variety of light-based science being researched today across the electromagnetic spectrum, across scientific disciplines, and across technological platforms. Materials engage diverse audiences with striking imagery and approachable science. A variety of components, such as video and printable materials, are available to tailor implementation of the exhibit to different audiences and physical spaces.

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From Earth to the Universe

This exhibition comprises many popular and aesthetically-pleasing images of the Universe (taken by ground- and space-based telescopes), accompanied by the science, knowledge, and understanding behind them. This eye-catching exhibit is ideal for non-traditional venues such as public parks, art museums, shopping malls, and metro stations.

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Visions of the Universe

This exhibit includes twelve panels that feature key astronomical discoveries from the past 400 years. The exhibit also highlights technological advancements that made these discoveries possible. Exhibit topics range from celestial objects within our own "cosmic backyard" — the Sun, the Moon, Mars, and Saturn — to those beyond the realm of our solar system — including comets, stars, nebulae, and galaxies.

Webinars

We offer a variety of webinars to help library staff explore new hands-on activities, learn about best practices for engaging girls, and hear from NASA scientists and engineers. Can’t make it to one of these senimars? We are happy to arrange additional webinars around your time, interests, and needs – just contact us at the address listed below.

February 2, 3:30pm ET

Museum Alliance Science Briefing featuring an astronaut, astrophysicists, and great resources to engage girls at your library.

February 15, 3pm ET

NASA @My Library and STAR_Net hosts a webinar featuring an activity librarians can use in their Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA event!

March 7, 3pm ET

The Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA team will host a webinar featuring exhibits to complement your Girls STEAM Ahead with NASA programming. We will discuss the range of exhibits, how to obtain them, and how to incorporate them into your Women’s History Month Programming.
Email Carolyn Slivinski slivinski@stsci.edu for access instructions.

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