Recommended Resources for STEM Programs
by School's Out Washington | | Posted under
STEM is a natural fit for afterschool and summer programs. We can allow students the time and space to explore ideas and experiment, a luxury our colleagues working 9 to 3 don’t have.
But STEM is such a huge thing to work with. Even the name is an acronym of four huge, separate things: science, technology, engineering, and math. Where to begin? What to do?
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite websites and resources to help you decide, as well as on how to make your STEM-focused afterschool program one of the best.
About STEM in Afterschool
Afterschool Alliance STEM Division: The Afterschool Alliance is a national non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of afterschool and advocating for support on the national level. The Alliance has a STEM division, and there are resources on the website including advocacy materials, reports, program spotlights, and webinars.
Change the Equation: STEM education website, with a focus on equity.
Edutopia STEM Section: Edutopia writes about a lot of topics, but their STEM coverage is especially useful!
NGSS in Washington State: OSPI’s website with information about the rollout of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in Washington.
NASA Afterschool Universe: NASA has many resources for educators. This particular website is a middle-school astronomy curriculum specifically designed for afterschool programs.
Exploratorium Science Snacks: Lots of science experiments and activities for afterschool programs. Descriptions, photos, templates, and lists of materials.
4-H Science Programs: Learn about 4-H STEM projects happening around the country, and shop for curriculum guides.
Great Science for Girls: This resource promotes gender equity in STEM. Tools for selecting curricula, as well as advice around offering activities for all.
Science Afterschool Consumer Guide: Descriptions of several science curricula for afterschool programs, including expert and peer reviews.
Online Professional Development
Click2Science: Click2Science is free, online professional development specifically designed for afterschool educators. There are training resources, including videos and agendas for workshops, staff meetings, and coaches.
Growth Mindset Workshop: These online resources represent an introduction to the idea of a growth mindset.
Y for Youth STEM Section: A website designed to support 21st Century Community Learning Centers, but useful for a variety of afterschool and youth development programs, including STEM programs. Includes free online training materials.
Fab Fems: The National Girls Collaborative Project maintains this database of women in STEM fields who have volunteered to mentor girls. Mentors can connect with mentees online as well as in person.
Habits of Mind Institute: habits of mind are what people do when they behave intelligently, the soft skills needed to succeed in the 21st Century. The Habits of Mind Institute offers lots of trainings and workshops on this topic.
Tech Bridge: A non-profit organization supporting girls in STEM. The website includes a number of publications that can help programs connect girls with role-models. Among their resources is a guide for training new mentors.
Maker Education Initiative: The non-profit, education focused arm of the Maker Movement, whose mission is “to create more opportunities for all young people to develop confidence, creativity, and interest in science, technology, engineering, math, arts, and learning as a whole through making.” Resources at the website include a guide to setting up a maker space for kids.
Invent to Learn: A comprehensive guide to making and tinkering with kids, but you don’t have to buy the book to connect with the resources at the website. Lots of links here to help you think about and start making with kids, from project ideas to research and articles.
The Connectory is a nationwide directory of STEM programs that allows parents to easily find a program near them that fits their child’s interests. We strongly recommend that any program offering STEM learning as a part of its regular programming create an account and list their program on the connectory.
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