The Hour of Code is next week. If you haven’t heard already, we’re supporting this unprecedented movement to help 10 million students try computer science this Dec. 9-15. We’re asking you to join us.
Why computer science?
Technology is everywhere today. But only a tiny fraction of students are learning how to create technology. The Hour of Code is a campaign to prove that every child can start learning the basics. Code.org will provide tutorials with options for every age, every device, and even “unplugged.” No prep from teachers needed.
While tutorials are still under construction, we invite you to check them out - featuring Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Angry Birds.
|Boys & Girls Club youth run a dry ice experiment with their university mentors in the award-winning afterschool program Science Club.|
Afterschool programs have long partnered with other youth-serving and community organizations to better meet the needs of their students. As interest and momentum grow around STEM programming in afterschool, partnerships become increasingly important in offering high-quality, hands-on STEM experiences for youth.
Our latest issue brief, Partnerships with STEM-Rich Institutions, demonstrate several models of how afterschool programs are partnering with STEM-rich institutions like science centers and museums, universities and colleges, business and industry, and government agencies. The brief highlights the strengths of each type of STEM-rich partner and describes their potential contributions to afterschool programs. Here are just a few examples:
The Spirit of Innovation Challenge is an excellent way to help your students channel their creative thinking and demonstrate their knowledge. The annual program is a multi-phase, business and technical plan competition, free and open to students ages 13-18 from around the world. The program invites teens to work in teams of 2-5 students and use science, technology, engineering and math skills along with creativity, collaboration and entrepreneurship to develop innovative products and services to benefit humanity and address global sustainability.
The first round submission can be completed in less than five hours from start to finish. The deadline for the 2013-2014 one-page abstract qualification round is this Thurs., Oct. 24.
Not sure you have all the tools needed for your team to be successful? The Spirit of Innovation Challenge provides free access to mentors, webinars and forums to answer all your questions. Join today! www.ConradAwards.org
In Selma, Alabama, today, students in the Police Athletic League afterschool program will participate in a talent contest and community leaders will act as judges.
In Belfast, Maine, the 4-H Afterschool RSU20 program will hold an “All Things that Glow” event highlighting science, technology, engineering and math activities students have engaged in.
In East Boston, Massachusetts, students will exhibit artwork and share short stories about superheroes they created.
In Portland, Oregon, students at the Jackson Club will screen their summer film project, “The Quest of Illinois James.”
These are just a few of the more than 8,000 Lights On Afterschool events that will take place in nearly every community in the country, and at U.S. military bases worldwide, this week. The events—which run the gamut from showcasing science experiments to dance recitals to computer animation demonstrations to sports contests—are all part of the only nationwide rally for afterschool programs. Lights On Afterschool is now in its 14th year. More than a million people are expected to participate.
|Project GUTS students work with StarLogo TNG, a graphical programming language for modeling and simulation.|
This past spring, we invited applications for the Afterschool STEM Impact Awards to identify programs that had significant impact on their students. As national buzz around K-12 computing education increases, we also wanted to showcase how afterschool can help support and grow those initiatives.
By Sarah Keller
It's been 10 days since the government shutdown began, and with Congress still deadlocked over a Continuing Resolution for Fiscal Year 2014, afterschool programs around the country are starting to feel the effect. From the National Park Service to USDA nutrition programs and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), local media have uncovered how the shutdown of a diverse set of federal programs is negatively impacting children served by community afterschool programs:
- Aviator Sports and Events Center, located inside Gateway National Recreation Area, a National Park Service area in Brooklyn, has been deemed non-essential and thus closed since the shutdown began. This has caused the families of the 35 children attending the program rushing to find alternative arrangements.
- AmeriCorps VISTA members, who work at nonprofits aimed at reducing poverty while living on a poverty-level salary for a year, receive their salary in part through the CNCS—unavailable while the shutdown continues. The local CBS affiliate in northern Nevada reports how the Reno Bike Project afterschool program’s VISTA is affected by the shutdown.
As many of you know, NASA offers a great deal of exciting resources for educators to use in afterschool settings. However, professional development to build the capacity and confidence of afterschool educators is often a huge need for afterschool STEM programs. So here's your chance to tell NASA what your resource and professional development needs are as an informal science educator!
NASA’s Informal Education Working Group has developed a survey to assess the STEM resource and professional development needs of informal educators. The results of the survey will help NASA's Science Mission Directorate Education and Public Outreach community better meet those needs and plan future opportunities for the informal education community.
The survey was designed with the following definitions of informal educators and informal education in mind:
Informal educators offer children and adults learning opportunities outside of formal schooling. Informal education is learning that is voluntary, self-directed, motivated by personal needs and interests, and provided by a variety of organizations, such as museums, after school settings, parks, libraries, and other settings. For the purposes of this survey, interpretation is considered a particular methodology of informal education and therefore, interpreters are welcome to respond to the survey.