Over the past decade, afterschool programs have established themselves as a vibrant and important setting to engage young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Over the past 10 years, developments in technology and how we interact with information have been racing forward at a staggering pace. We are living in the future—and these changes have impacted young people and their education.
In recent years, there has been momentum to include the arts in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning.
Across the nation, afterschool programs provide opportunities for young people to explore their interests and learn new skills. Afterschool programs are uniquely positioned to offer education and opportunity through hands-on, minds-on learning—without the pressures that sometimes accompany the school day.
Imagine the potential of empowering the 10.2 million children in afterschool programs with science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, while providing them with opportunities to eat healthy and stay active.
Did you know that The National Afterschool Association is a great resource for STEM professional development? In a recent survey of the afterschool community, 98% of respondents listed NAA as a place to get valuable resources and information to improve STEM offerings and teaching practices.
WHAT IS ENGINEERING?
Scientists study what already exists. They examine the world around them to understand how it works.
During Appleton's Afterschool Labs program, the sounds of construction, negotiation and laughter fill the classroom as students race to complete a Maker Day challenge.
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.
Advancing STEM education has been hailed as an effective strategy for training the workers of tomorrow, stoking interest in career fields where employees will be in demand and, of course, for increasing academic achievement. Try these resources for more ideas to expand your outside-of-school-time STEM programming: