Professional Development

NAA publishes fresh, new content every week covering a wide variety of topics related to the field of aftershool. Be sure to check in regularly.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017 04:54

"E" is for Engineering

Scientists study what already exists. They examine the world around them to understand how it works.

Young people today face a health crisis—unhealthy eating habits and decreased physical activity have led to skyrocketing obesity rates. Not long ago, young people walked to school, enjoyed long recesses and spent a lot of time outside.

The Collaboration in the 21st Century Project, funded by the National Science Foundation, is developing a team communication skills assessment tools for middle school and high school STEM afterschool programs.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 00:00

Sneak Peak: Virtual Convention Workshops

NAA's Virtual Convention runs November 6 – 20, 2016. It's FREE for NAA Executive members and just $49 for Ambassadors. Here's a sneak peek at three of the awesome workshops you'll experience when you participate!

Monday, 12 September 2016 11:41

How Art Motivates STEM Learning

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math—the subjects called STEM—continue to be a major focal point in education. This urgent focus on STEM came from the growing concern that education was not providing the building blocks necessary for students to achieve successful future employment in an increasingly technical world.

Monday, 08 August 2016 00:00

Youtube STEM Resources

YouTube now has more viewers ages 18-49 than television. It currently streams over 6 billion hours of video every month and they are in no danger of running out of content with 400 hours of video being uploaded every minute. Thankfully YouTube has matured and is not just for cat videos anymore!

The Three Little Pigs: A classic fairy tale, or a fun way to introduce structural engineering? The Very Hungry Caterpillar: A cute story about caterpillar obesity, or a platform to launch a topic on moving, growing insects and life cycles? Incorporating literacy into STEM activities or vice versa is a great way to promote abstract and creative thinking. Literacy can provide motivation for young people who are not immediately drawn to STEM subjects, and it can provide easy pathways to STEM for staff who might be intimidated by math and science.

Tuesday, 07 June 2016 00:00

Five Ways to Reduce STEM Anxiety

Fill in the blank. I would rather _________ than do a math problem.

1. Eat worms
2. Clean a bathroom
3. Write an essay
4. Give a speech
5. Not eat for a day
6. Dump ice on my head

As afterschool professionals, you know it is crucial that federal STEM education policies integrate informal STEM programs. The STEM Education Coalition has released the report The Case for Investing in Out-of-School Learning as a Core Strategy in Improving Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education, which speaks to the importance of informal STEM learning and contains policy recommendations.

STEM covers four specific educational areas: science, technology, engineering and math. SEL focuses on the softer side of development and emphasizes social and emotional learning.

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