Professional Development

For an afterschool STEM program to be successful, high-quality staff it necessary. Explore these professional development resources to help your staff and mentors better provide out-of-school-time STEM programming.

Afterschool Alliance Webinars are a great resource for learning about pressing issues in the afterschool field.  We’ve done several STEM-focused webinars—topics include Next Generation Science Standards, strengthening partnerships, “making,” and computing. Browse the archive for a full list. You can also sign up to be notified about upcoming webinars in advance.

InformalScience.org is a one-stop shop for the informal science community, including afterschool STEM programs, science centers and museums, zoos and aquariums, broadcast media, and other out-of-school-time science learning environments. Browse project descriptions and evaluation reports from the National Science Foundation and other federally funded projects. You can also access hundreds of research and reference materials. All resources are sortable by “afterschool”!

Click2SciencePD is an online professional development resource for out-of-school-time providers. It focuses on 20 research-based skills for facilitating STEM and provides video-based learning modules. The site also offers guides for staff training, meetings and coaching pieces to further opportunities for professional development. 

The ACRES project supports out-of-school providers in rural settings. Front line staff come together online and in-person to share, discuss, and receive coaching. From the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance and the Noyce Foundation.

PBS Zoom Sci Training is an interactive website that teaches professional STEM mentors how to lead engaging science activities for kids ages 8 to 11.

SEDL’s Instructor’s Guide to the Afterschool Training Toolkit gives afterschool instructors the resources they need to build fun, innovative and academically enriching activities that engage students, extend their knowledge in new ways, and support academic achievement. The website provides three separate afterschool guides for math, technology and science with resources including lesson plans for program enrichment.

You for Youth provides online training and technical assistance for 21st CCLC practitioners. The website has a “Tools” component that is specifically designed to educate staff on STEM programming. There are also numerous resources for STEM education in the afterschool setting, including “Trainings to Go,” a series of hour-long trainings that consist of a PowerPoint presentation, handouts and training guides to help customize professional development plans, and “Training Starters,” which are tips to help you create training sessions on particular STEM topics. Lastly, there are customizable tools to help afterschool providers plan, implement and assess STEM programming.

Techbridge’s Role Models Toolkit is a free, online interactive toolkit to help potential mentors and role models develop skills to engage girls and underrepresented youth in STEM. It provides 10 mini-lessons for role models to help plan, structure and implement their visit with students.