Change the Equation

Meet three Mizzen content creators who are transforming STEM learning

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With afterschool programs underway, we know that many of you are mapping out new ways to help your students reconnect to STEM learning. You also may be searching for vetted curricula that focus on real-world issues that inspire young people to dream, invent and engineer solutions to the challenges they care about most.

Mizzen can help. Meet three Mizzen content creators who are elevating afterschool programs and empowering young people by opening new worlds of STEM discovery.

Explore Earth with California Academy of Sciences

An enormous T-Rex skeleton looms above the entryway of the California Academy of Sciences, located in the heart of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The Academy also is home to the Morrison Planetarium, the largest all-digital planetarium in the world and the glass dome of the rainforest, the world’s largest spherical exhibit.

Inspired by the Earth, stars and seas, California Academy staff share STEM learning experiences in Mizzen with curated playlists, modules and activities for the out-of-school-time field.

Their activities engage young people as scientists and introduce the science of climate change, conservation and sustainability through lessons like “The Heat is On: Cause and Effect and Climate,” which include activity guides in English and Spanish. Through “Conservation Island,” young people create real-world plans to save engaged species.

Also, your learners’ imaginations will take flight with the Academy’s “Empirical Data in Classrooms: Raptor Migrations.” They’ll discover how birds migrate, how seasonal changes impact raptors and explore the connectedness of organisms within and across ecosystems.

Reach for the Moon and Stars with NASA

On July 16, 1969, NASA’s Apollo 11 mission made history. Its lunar module, Eagle, landed on the Moon’s Sea of Tranquility and Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the lunar surface. Now, through the Artemis mission — aptly named after Apollo’s twin sister — NASA is gearing up to the land the first woman on the Moon by 2024. And using what they learn on and around the Moon, NASA will take the next giant leap and send astronauts to Mars.

Inspire young people with progress updates from the Artemis crew and share power-packed lessons from NASA on engineering rockets, phases of the Moon, building and piloting their own miniature crew modules and learning how and why Mars is red.

You’ll also find NASA’s “Habitat Planning” in Mizzen, an activity that combines astronomy and creativity with design. Students think about and discuss what astronauts need to live on the moon — and draw their own habitat.

Travel through Space and Time with Jazz at Lincoln Center

Music is mathematical. Sound-making is science. These are just a few of the principles at the heart of Lincoln Center and Foundation’s Inc. one-of-a-kind interactive learning experiences in Mizzen, developed in partnership with the Mott Foundation.

Jazz at Lincoln Center believes in the power of jazz to uplift, inspire, and create a sense of community. Foundations, Inc. believes that supporting educators is the best way to improve experiences for our children both in school and afterschool. Their dynamic curriculum in Mizzen explores jazz through the lens of music, language arts, science and math.

Through “Space and Time,” students discover the relationships between musical notes and equivalent fractions firsthand— and create their own unique rhythms. Through “Making Waves,” young people learn about design and the science of sound, using everyday materials (think: cardboard, tinfoil, pebbles, markers, tape, string, glue) to create musical instruments.

Plus, if you want to take STEM learning outdoors, check out “Encouraging Youth Voice and Leadership with Project-Based Activities Outside,” our recent Q&A with Oregon ASK master trainer, Rachel Kessler.

Oregon ASK offers oodles of exciting STEM lessons in Mizzen, including its S.INQ Invisible Forces module, through which young people explore the unseen forces that shape our universe and everyday lives, from gravity to static electricity to magnetic force. And the module wraps up with an “Invisible Forces” relay! 

The Mizzen by Mott app is free through support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

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