Children from the Godman Guild afterschool program in Columbus, OH learning about electricity during a demo at COSI.
Afterschool programs and science centers have a lot in common—we are both part of this large and loose field called “informal science education. ” We both struggle to get credit for our accomplishments in engaging children and youth in STEM topics and to be seen as partners in STEM education reform. So it makes a lot of sense for us to work more closely together. With that in mind, we partnered with the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) to have a strong afterschool presence at their recent annual conference in Columbus, OH.
|COSI hosted a Lights On Afterschool event during the ASTC conference. Children from the Godman Guild, COSI staff (including CEO David Chesebrough), ASTC conference attendees and staff (including CEO Bud Rock) participated in the event.|
Many science centers and museums are already very engaged in their communities, including several who work closely with afterschool providers in their cities. Some science centers, like the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, OH, are deeply involved with a couple of afterschool providers in Columbus. Others, like the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, IL, are working with community-based organizations in their city to offer afterschool STEM programs all over the city and are also offering professional development programs for afterschool providers.