STEM Celebrations in March 2021

March 2 is Read Across America Day! Here are four creative ways to celebrate in your afterschool program:

  • Visit your public library in person, or virtually. Do you know what you can do at the library? Do the families in your program know all that your local library offers? This is a great month to partner with your library to increase awareness, especially since many libraries had to adapt their service in response to COVID-19, Most people know you can borrow books from a library, but many libraries have much more to offer. Does your library include DVDs, video games, tools, music, cake pans, eBooks, or audiobooks? Additionally, many libraries have computers patrons can use and offer classes, book clubs, storytimes, or other experiences. Find out what your library offers.
  • Invite a Guest Reader, someone from your community who will share a favorite book. A guest reader can be a grandmother who reads in English and Spanish, a local author who shares their favorite story, or the school principal who drops into the program to read a favorite book. You can also invite a guest reader to share a book virtually.
  • Build a Little Free Library in your neighborhood. Little Free Libraries are places where people can exchange books. Everyone is welcome to take a book or leave a book.
  • Host a book drive this month. A book drive is a great way to engage with your community and the families in your program. Encourage participants to bring books they have outgrown to the drive and send them home with new books. Work with community partners to collect books for families that do not have books at home.

March 8 is International Women's Day, a global celebration of women's achievements and a call to action for equity. This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. How can you choose to challenge the girls you work within STEM? You can change the state of girls in STEM and here are three things you can do right now!

  • Order these free downloadable posters, created by Nevertheless, that feature eight trailblazing women who have made an impact in STEM fields. Each poster is also uniquely designed by a different female artist from around the world.
  • Reimagine who can be an engineer; who can build; who can make with Million Girls Moonshot. The Million Girls Moonshot is designed to allow girls to envision themselves as future innovators and increase the quality of out-of-school STEM learning opportunities for all young people, particularly underserved and underrepresented youth.
  • Try out the SciGirls activity guides. The guides explore engineering, physical science, technology, the science of living things, and other topics. You can download the guides free in English or Spanish. My favorite is SciGirls Engineer It, at least that is my favorite this week!

March 14-April 5 will be March Madness yet again. Print the official NCAA brackets for the men’s tournament and the women’s tournament so you can track the fun throughout the tournament. And check out the great STEM Resources to use during the tournament. Learn more about statistics, learn the secret to the swish, or have your program design a better sneaker.

Nano Days are March 27-April 4. Celebrate the progress of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology efforts and their impact on society. You can explore nanoscale with the youth in your program with this Do-It-Yourself nanoscale science project kit packed with loads of hands-on activities, puzzle blocks, and activity sheets. You’ll find even more resources about Nanotechnology from the NISE Network.