Testing flying designs courtesy Leslie Lowes and the NASA Jet Propulsion Labs

Just back from San Diego, CA, and the Up Your Game conference organized by the California After School Network. I was there to help run a preconference symposium on “Building Effective Community Partnerships for Science After School,” an effort organized by the Coalition for Science Afer School and supported by Time Warner Cable.

Getting a jump start on building STEM programs for high school students in California.

You can get a copy of the agenda and program by clicking HERE.

Partnership mavens: Linda Kekelis, Liz Fergusen, Milinda Martin, Cassondra Williams.

Kalie Sacco, Membership manager for the Coalition for Science After School is blogging the details of the day-long convening, along with a list of presenters, issues and ideas that emerged from the energetic group of 40+ California (and Kansas!) organizers, educators, youth workers, librarians and STEM champions.

STEM Community resources in and of themselves! Panelists Leslie Lowes, Kalie Sacco, Katie Levedahl.

In addition to sharing a few photos here, I also wanted to share a resource we gave out at the conference session. It’s intended to be a kind of “Starter Kit” for folks just beginning to think about how to bring science into their after school efforts. It’s by no means comprehensive. Send along your additions, reminders and ideas and we’ll keep updating this post as they come in.

Thanks a bunch,


Getting STEM in to Out of School


Maybe you need to write a grant? Maybe you need to convince your director, your colleagues, or your staff that this work is important? Here are a few organizations that offer well-articulated cases, research and examples of programs in action:

After School: A Vital Partner in STEM Education from the After School Alliance.

Coalition for Science After School The Coalition supports members by maintaining a catalogue of research, events and projects that improve the quality and quantity of afterschool STEM education as well as organizes convenings to bring stakeholders together to bridge the fields of youth development and STEM.

Making Science Cool from The After School Corporation (TASC) offer fun, dynamic videos of science in action after school.


Maybe you’ve got the institutional buy-in but need tools for getting programming off the ground? Here are some resources that provide support for program planning and delivery:

Frontiers in Urban Science Education (FUSE) Resource Guide This Resource Guide, produced by CBASS and created by the Corporation for Science After School presents promising STEM models from around the country and provides links and information about STEM research reports, curricula and evaluation resources.

Science After School: How to Design and Run Great Program Activities This guide for program leaders from The After School Corporation offers a framework and practical advice for creating and maintaining high-quality science learning program in out-of-school time sites.

SEDL Afterschool Training Toolkit for Science This Toolkit offers templates, principles, illustrative videos and inquiry-based curricula.


Maybe you have the kids, the time and the support? NOW what are you going to do? Here are resources for activities and curricula that you can run with kids:

The Science After School (SAS) Consumer Guide

The SAS Consumers Guide contains reviews of high-quality, hands-on science content for afterschool programs. Materials include semester and year long curricula, activity kits, instructor guides consisting of many related activities, and Web sites that offer content appropriate for afterschool programs. Users of this guide are able to search and sort entries by title, subject, grade level, target audience, and cost.

Great Science for Girls provides inquiry-based, informal science learning programs that will stimulate girls’ curiosity, interest and persistence in STEM and break down the barriers of gender stereotyping.

After School Science-PLUS is an inquiry-based science program for use in afterschool centers serving students aged 6-14. The “PLUS” in this program includes diverse role models and career education materials as well as connections to literacy activities, all designed to expand student perception about who can do science.

Ready To Go Curricula

Explore It!

Design It!



Looking to have students work directly with scientists? Or at least MEET and GREET one? Here are some places that can help you think about making this kind of experience happen – and making the most of it when it does:

Techbridge created a resource guide to help role models and corporations host effective classroom visits and worksite field trips.

In addition to museums, science centers and universities, consider reaching out to the national associations and organizations to find out if your local chapter offers volunteers or support for STEM education. Here are a few to get you started:

Association for Women in Science 

National Resources and Conservation Services Your state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) should provide free resources (such as posters, field trips and nature guides) and may have scientists who can visit your program or host you on field trips or at their sites.

Society of Women Engineers 

United States Fish and Wildlife Department 

United States Geological Survey Every state has a local office in addition to the national resource.


RESEED Silicon Valley is a group of retired scientists who serve as volunteers for presentations and demonstrations

Science Health and Education Partnership is a UC California San Francisco effort that supports partnerships with scientists and has an extensive science-resource library.

A FEW MORE PHOTOS FROM THE October 31, 2011 California After School Network PRECONFERENCE SYMPOSIUM