Friday, June 21, 2013

STEM—A New Frontier for Afterschool

Everywhere you look there is a push for afterschool programs to include STEM education in its menu of services.  STEM, science, technology, engineering, and math, is seen by many as foundational for our country’s ultimate economic well-being.  I watched a tape of Ron Ottinger’s speech at the National Afterschool Association’s 2011 Conference.  Ottinger, Executive Director of the Noyce Foundation, supports STEM in afterschool.  Click on this link to hear what Ottinger has to say. 

"NAA 2011 Convention Noyce Foundation"

Ottinger’s points are clear when it comes to STEM education. 
1. The nation is relying on out-of-school time to bring STEM to youth as there is not enough time in the school day for STEM.
2. Out-of-school time staff can do the work that is necessary to help youth have an opportunity to explore STEM subjects.
3. Listen to the youth, they will let you know what they need to learn. 
I couldn’t agree with him more.  So whether you are providing STEM that is in support of the instructional day, are having youth investigate through trial and error questions that you have posed, or you are helping youth work through the scientific process and begin by asking a question, you will be on the right track. 

C4K has several videos about STEM education.  Check them "What Is STEM" by clicking on this link.  Check it out and let us know what you think.  

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