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STEM After School: How to Design and Run Great Program Activities (Second Edition)

Date Added: 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
STEM After School Guidebook cover

What's in the guidebook?

This guidebook contains information, ideas and resources that can help you design a science program that matches your kids' needs and interests and fits within your program. The resources described here can help you increase student engagement in science using methods specifically designed for after-school settings. Updates in this second edition include a section on partnerships authored by staff from the New York Academy of Sciences, and new resources, like the ExpandED Schools family engagement guide, Click2Science PD from the University of Nebraska and a checklist for helping programs assess their assets and constraints related to STEM, called the STEM Readiness Reflection.

Who should use this guidebook?

You do not have to work in an after-school program to benefit from this information. Principals, classroom teachers, community leaders, museum educators, parents, volunteers or people who work in STEM fields can use this guide to support out-of-school time programs in their schools or communities. At the same time, this guidebook aims to help after-school leaders and professional youth workers who want to improve the quality of their programs and engage kids in science learning opportunities.

Merge from Resource Type: 

Guidebooks & Toolkits


Looking for something for after school for kids on the Autism Spectrum.

Hello! Thanks for your inquiry. Here's a great resource to get you started : http://museumaccessconsortium.org/

I'm looking to partner with a local school and start a STEM afterschool program. What are some go "How To" resources? I need to nail down the requirements I need to meet. Thank you for your help!

Hello -- thanks for your message! The first step would be to approach the school and talk with their after-school administrators to get the discussion started. For further information, please contact me directly: jmelendez@expandedschools.org

-Joe Melendez, STEM Manager

Looking for some new STEM curriculum for an existing program. Any leads?

Hello -- thanks for your message! For further information, please contact me directly: jmelendez@expandedschools.org

-Joe Melendez, STEM Manager

I am working with a small group to create an after school STEM club or enrichment class. We are in a rural school district in Washington State with fewer resources. Many of the grants or large corporate outreach programs end up in larger cities or in programs already up and running. How can I help my little town that seems to live "under the radar?"

Hello Laurie,

First of all, you are absolutely correct in which unfortunately rural communities do get overlooked when it comes to substantial STEM funding. Luckily, there is a very good chance that you are not alone in trying to achieve your goal within your state of Washington so my first suggestion is to reach out to other rural communities in your surrounding area or across the state to see if anything is currently being done to address this issue. (It’s better to pool your resources instead of trying to attack this issue by yourself.) For this I would probably start by looking into the Washington STEM Networks (http://www.washingtonstem.org/Our-Approach/STEM-Networks). You might be able to find others who have already paved the way for helping schools like yours.

Another approach is to contact your local or state colleges and/or universities. If you have a specific STEM discipline in mind, contact the head of the (let’s say) biology department. Sometimes they have outreach programs, citizen science programs, students, and/or staff who are eager in assisting low-resourced communities. At the very least, they might be able to donate supplies to your school. If taking this approach, try to have a clear vision as to what it is you are looking to do with your students. You might find people eager to help, but their time could be very limited.

If all fails, it’s time to get creative. STEM is not only about attacking high-level global problems, but a way of solving more localized issues using the limited resources you have access to. So sit down with your students and have a conversation with them. Ask them to take a close look at their community and the surrounding environment. What would they like to improve? Do they feel that anything could be done better? Are there any specific environmental issues that affect your community? And are these things for which they could collect data, create tests, and possibly produce a solution with your limited resources?

Please feel free to email me if you have further questions. STEM is for all, not just for us lucky enough to live in major cities.

Very interesting site i have bookmarked expandedschools.org for future reference.

Thank you, Eddie! Please check back often or sign up to receive our blog.

Hi, i'm looking for some good STEM curriculums for after school programs tuition & enrichment classes for Pre-K to Grade 12. Please advice. Thank you.

Hi there, I sent an email and it was returned to me.

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