Friday, March 8, 2013

Connect to STEM

STEM activities in your afterschool program make total sense.  Studies have found a clear consensus that afterschool programs can help youth: 

  • “Develop an interest in STEM and STEM learning activities
  • Develop capacities to productively engage in STEM learning activities
  • Come to value the goals of STEM and STEM learning activities”

STEM activities are incredibly engaging for youth.  STEM learning is active and relevant.  Kids can pose questions and then conduct experiments to determine the answers.  During STEM activities kids can work in pairs or small groups.  These activities also help kids to see themselves differently and consider themselves as a scientist, mathematician, or engineer.  STEM lets kids become proficient in using technology as a tool for supporting learning or as an opportunity to be creative. Click on this link : Afterschool Alliance

If you haven’t implemented STEM in your program, consider doing so this spring.  Take a chance.  Find out what youth are interested in learning about and then work out the answers together.  Promote investigative (process) science with youth.  Check out Science Buddies for possible areas of discovery.  Plan Math Olympics and challenge your students to become proficient.  Bring in robotics and challenge your youth to build a “bot” that can also act as a catapult or something else of interest.  Jump in and share your successes with us so we can pass your best practices along.

Remember, tomorrow’s better way will be invented by someone who today is a student.  A future Nobel Laureate could be one of your students.  Open the doors of possibility this month. 
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