SmartLab Toys has been dedicated to helping children learn through play since 2004. From its Squishy Human Body model to its Weird & Wacky Contraption Lab, SmartLab specializes in creating hands-on learning experiences that kids love to play with. SmartLab's hard work and commitment to quality has earned it more than 50 toy industry awards for creativity and innovation.
The vibe at NAA's Annual Convention in Orlando was perfectly aligned with its Superhero theme: From the opening night until the final workshops, the unity, inspiration and energy were amazing! Those who participated left feeling supercharged and filled with powerful inspiration, new skills and strategies for their program.
"I've read Paul Tough's book and seen Angela Duckworth's Ted Talk, and I'm sold that these noncognitive skills are important. What my school needs is a way to build those skills, but we also need another program like a hole in the head. What can we do?" These are the candid words of a busy high school principal.
Parents today face an enormous challenge as they raise kids who are more tech savvy and comfortable using digital communications and social media than they are. There has been a fundamental shift in the way kids communicate today that previous generations of parents have not had to cope with. The good news is that they do not need to be tech experts to parent effectively online.
What are the key characteristics that propel today's youth toward success? How can we as adults foster the development of these important characteristics? Foundations for Young Adult Success: A Developmental Framework, a report by the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, addressed these very questions.
Rural communities are diverse areas united by common strengths and struggles. With the support of John Deere, an America After 3PM report, The Growing Importance of Afterschool in Rural Communities, delved into the state of afterschool in rural areas. This special report specifically looked at how the areas' oft-underserved children spend their afterschool hours and how afterschool programs are helping them thrive.
In the United States, approximately one in three children ages two to 19 is overweight or obese. Organizations such as the Healthy Out-Of-School Time (HOST) Coalition, RTI International (RTI) and the National Afterschool Association (NAA) have implemented standards to promote a healthy lifestyle among our nation's young people.
All educators share a common desire to support the social and emotional development of their students, yet the approaches taken by afterschool and in-school educators when pursuing this goal differ. The American Institute for Research (AIR) has created several briefs addressing how all educators could help students succeed in school, work and life. AIR's most recent brief on this topic suggests ways that afterschool and in-school educators could work together to support the social and emotional development of their student body.
The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge is calling all students in grades five through eight for another year of groundbreaking science exploration. This exciting competition encourages students to apply critical thinking to solve a real-world problem and communicate their idea through a video submission. Discovery Education has worked with NAA to develop specific resources to help afterschool professionals implement the Young Scientist Challenge with youth in their programs.
In a Web search for the word STEM, Google returns more than 200 million results. STEM today is a hot topic and Web pages are being created at a frenetic pace, which can be quite overwhelming for users. Websites may have outdated information, be difficult to navigate and, occasionally, even provide bad information. Your time is precious, so to help you navigate the World Wide Web of STEM information I am providing my current pick of some of the best STEM resources available today.