Multiverse Blog

Nancy Ali
/ Categories: In-Focus

Exploring the Electromagnetic Spectrum through Multigenerational Mentorship Program

[This week's guest blogger is our own Nancy Ali, showing the strength of intergenerational mentors for girls in science, as exemplified in the Five Stars Pathway program.]

girl with ponytail drawing on large wall-mounted poster

Girls Inc participant contributing to a group-generated large EMS poster.

Over the past three years, Multiverse collaborated with Girls Inc. to create and field-test space science resources with teenage girls in afterschool programs. Funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, the Five Stars Pathway project created two components which can be used together or separately – an electromagnetic spectrum curriculum for afterschool programs and an intergenerational model that connects university students as role models for middle school students, with a focus on girls. These resources and intergenerational model description are now freely available at

 The Five Stars project created a model in which five “generations” of girls and women engage in science together in afterschool settings, with each generation representing one stage in the pathway of pursuing a career in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM). The five stages are: elementary-age students, middle-school-age students, undergraduate-level college students, graduate-level college students and professional scientists. Women and girls in each stage act as role models to those in an earlier stage in the pathway. Although the Five Stars project focused on girls in space science, the model could be used for all genders and with any type of academic discipline. In general, this model provides a structure for afterschool programs to collaborate with universities.

 Whereas the model provides the structure for interactions between afterschool students and university students, the Five Stars curriculum provides the content and activities. It includes six lesson plans that explore how light from the electromagnetic spectrum is used as a tool for learning about the Sun. The lesson plans, supplementary resources and background information are all downloadable from the Five Stars website.

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