Archives:

Select:

Youth in action: Earth Day

READ FULL STORY

Youth in action: Earth Day

Photo courtesy of California Academy of Sciences.

This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's new “Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society” (CYESS) initiative. This series of blogs highlights examples of programs working at the intersection of STEM and civic engagement. We are excited to showcase the systemic change young people can make in their communities when their afterschool programs support them to layer action onto their STEM learning. If you would like to know more or submit a blog about your youth action program, please contact us.

Youth engagement, action, and activism around climate change inspires me and led to the idea of our CYESS initiative. When young people understand societal issues and challenges and what is at stake for them (and us) both in the now and in the future, many want to take action. Afterschool and other out-of-school-time programs are a great setting for young people to strengthen their learning and appreciation for STEM by applying their knowledge and skills to real-world problems that often have STEM-based solutions. Our field’s foundational philosophy of youth development and emphasizing youth voice and agency allow us to support young people to layer deep engagement and action onto their STEM learning, which is becoming widespread in afterschool programs.

In honor of Earth Day and the young people actively engaging with environmental degradation and climate change, this blog highlights a few programs that are working to support and empower young people. We will be featuring other programs regularly, so get in touch if you would like to send us a blog about your out-of-school-time environmental action program!

  1. The Climate Initiative

Contact: Nyla McFadden, Assistant Director of Programs and Education Lead

The Climate Initiative’s (TCI) mission is to educate, empower, and activate young people to combat one of the greatest threats to our planet. As such, TCI provides young climate champions with education and engagement tools to steward our planet and catalyze the transition to climate-resilient communities. Our programming includes:

  • Learning Labs - interactive learning tools for formal and non-formal educators looking for climate-related instructional support, as well as a youth looking to learn more about climate issues 
  • Climate Action Toolkits (CATs) - youth-focused engagement tools to motivate action projects in local communities
  • Policy Toolkits - state-specific guides that empower and activate youth voices in the climate policy legislative process on a state and national level.

Through community-based education and empowerment initiatives, youth learn about local climate problems and possible solutions, giving them hope and the inspiration to become change agents in their communities and beyond. Impassioned high school and college educators started TCI in an area impacted by climate change. We know what it takes to educate, empower, and activate students. We provide a number of educator-specific programming, educator retreats, community events, and community conversations, which are designed to support educators and adult allies on their climate education journey!

  1. Youth Climate Program, The Wild Center

Contact: Elodie Linck, The Jeanne Hutchins Youth Climate Coordinator 

The Youth Climate Program brings young people together to act on climate change through conference-style “Youth Climate Summits” (YCS). Summits focus on the science, impacts, justice, and solutions to climate issues, and help youth gain the knowledge and skills they need to become confident changemakers. Summits cultivate hope, optimism, and agency in youth participants and provide the tools and support for them to create Climate Action Plans for their schools and communities. Youth work on organization, public speaking, project management, collaboration, and coping strategies for climate anxiety and grief. Thanks to our YCS Toolkit, Summits have been replicated more than 160 times around the world and are recognized as a pathway for youth engagement on climate change.

  1. Careers in Science, California Academy of Sciences

Contact: Laura Lerman, Director of Expanded Learning and Youth Engagement

Careers in Science (CiS) is a STEM learning and workforce development program for San Francisco high school students who come from communities historically excluded from science fields. It is led by the California Academy of Sciences, a renowned scientific and educational institution with a mission to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. Based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the Academy is home to a world-class aquarium, planetarium, and natural history museum, as well as innovative programs in scientific research and environmental education—all under one living roof.

In a paid position that lasts two to three years, CiS interns learn, teach, and do science in partnership with scientific researchers and local community leaders. By working in the lab and in the field, teaching visitors on the museum’s public floor, and engaging in community conservation efforts, interns develop the confidence and skills needed to think critically, tackle complex problems, succeed in the workforce, and serve as informed decision-makers in society.  

This year, a group of interns is working with local ecologists and entomologists to engage the public in DNA barcoding—a process of documenting insect species so that scientists can better understand where they live and how they are responding to environmental changes. Interns were trained to collect and process specimens, including extracting, amplifying, and sequencing their DNA, and then shared what they learned with the community by organizing and leading public collection events.  Another group of interns is monitoring California's coastline by observing and documenting populations of the pacific mole crab (Emerita analoga), a keystone species. The data they collect are helping to inform the City of San Francisco’s plans for a large-scale beach nourishment project as part of a critical climate infrastructure program. 

Back in the museum building, a group of interns are working with library archivists to identify and amplify the untold stories of Academy researchers who were marginalized because of their identities and did not receive credit for their scientific contributions. Examples of these stories can now be found on the Academy's website.

Building on the success of Careers in Science, the Academy is preparing to launch Youth Action for the Planet, an environmental action and leadership program that will empower teens around the world to tackle the planet’s most pressing issues. Working with scientists and local leaders in their own communities, participating youth will cultivate environmental leadership skills by engaging in science and nature exploration and designing and implementing conservation, education, and advocacy initiatives of their choosing. 

Looking ahead in 2024 – what’s coming up for our afterschool STEM work?

I hope the new year has launched well for all of you! After a year of changes in our afterschool STEM work and team, we are energized about the year ahead! 2023 saw us bringing on Leslie Brooks as our new Afterschool STEM Hub Manager to revitalize our federal afterschool STEM policy work. We...

BY: Anita Krishnamurthi      01/31/24

January resources from Million Girls Moonshot

January: National Mentoring Month Talk Technology with Verizon Employees  January 30th from 6:00 - 7:00 pm ET Give your students real-world applications of STEM with a LIVE talk with STEM professionals.  With your students, tune into this live webinar, to learn more about the...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/29/24

Teen Science Cafés: Teens and STEM experts exploring our world together

Photo courtesy of Louisa Otto, Sanford PROMISE Teen Science Café. By Katey Ahmann, Director of Teen Science Café Network and Kristin Bayans, Manager of Network Engagement at Teen Science Café Network. This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's Collective for...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/25/24

Introducing the Afterschool STEM Quarterly Research Review

To start off 2024, the research working group of the Afterschool STEM Hub just released the inaugural edition of our Afterschool STEM Quarterly Research Review newsletter! This is a new publication from the Afterschool STEM Hub that aims to provide you with the latest and most relevant findings...

BY: Leslie Brooks      01/17/24

Wrapping up 2023 for the Afterschool STEM Hub

As 2023 comes to a close, the Afterschool STEM Hub is reflecting on the past year and looking to the year ahead. In working towards our vision of a STEM learning community where high-quality afterschool programs are respected, well-resourced, and accessible for all youth, in 2023, we created tools...

BY: Leslie Brooks      12/18/23

Mapping (climate) justice: Empowering southwest Florida youth through summer STEM learning

Photo courtesy of trubel&co. By Laken Sylvander. This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's “Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society” (CYESS) initiative. This series of blogs highlights examples of programs working at the  intersection of STEM...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/13/23

STEM skills and future careers start with Computer Science Education Week

As highlighted in our previous blog, this week is Computer Science Education Week! The week is dedicated to encouraging K-12 students to explore coding. Computer science is a part of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) and inspiring youth to engage in STEM learning is both an...

BY: Leslie Brooks      12/08/23

December resources from Million Girls Moonshot

Special Opportunities On-going and time-sensitive opportunities to engage in STEM learning, media campaigns and professional development opportunities with stipends. Genomics Career Awareness Interest Last year, the Moonshot celebrated DNA Day and exposed hundreds of students to possible...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      12/07/23

STEM Next Opportunity Fund and Jobs for the Future advocate for investments in out-of-school time STEM

Photo from Investing in Out-of-School Time STEM is an Investment in a Robust, Diverse STEM Workforce. Investing in Out-of-School Time STEM is an Investment in a Robust, Diverse STEM Workforce, a recent report co-produced by the STEM Next Opportunity Fund and Jobs for the Future,...

BY: Leslie Brooks      11/17/23

Afterschool STEM programs: Needed now more than ever

By Holly Miller, Ph.D., senior advisor, Afterschool and Summer Learning at STEM Next Opportunity Fund. We’ve all seen the reports—the pandemic had a significant and negative impact on students, not seen just in lost instructional time, but also in engagement, attendance, social...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/13/23

January resources from Million Girls Moonshot

January: National Mentoring Month Talk Technology with Verizon Employees  January 30th from 6:00 - 7:00 pm ET Give your students real-world applications of STEM with a LIVE talk with STEM professionals.  With your students, tune into this live webinar, to learn more about the...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/29/24

December resources from Million Girls Moonshot

Special Opportunities On-going and time-sensitive opportunities to engage in STEM learning, media campaigns and professional development opportunities with stipends. Genomics Career Awareness Interest Last year, the Moonshot celebrated DNA Day and exposed hundreds of students to possible...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      12/07/23

It’s time for takeoff! Applications for the 2024 Million Girls Moonshot Flight Crew open on International Day of the Girl

By Veronica Gonzales, STEM Next Opportunity Fund. The Million Girls Moonshot is looking for afterschool STEM champions to join the 2024 Flight Crew! The Moonshot has launched a nation-wide search for the Flight Crew - a group of youth advocates promoting the value of out-of-school STEM learning...

BY: Guest Blogger      10/11/23

September resources from Million Girls Moonshot

To help youth see themselves with a future in STEM and to broaden understanding of science history, it is important for students to learn about a diverse range of scientists and engineers. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we highlight a few of the Hispanic and Latinx scientists and...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      09/05/23

MAPSCorps@ Northwestern University: A new nexus for data STEM, civics, and project-based learning

Photo courtesy of Valentin J. Torres. By Nia Abdullah, EdD, executive director of The Equity in Opportunity Research Lab & MAPSCorps at Northwestern University School of Education & Social Policy. This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's new “Collective for...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/15/23

August resources from Million Girls Moonshot

Million Girls Moonshot curates monthly asset packages to suit the needs of afterschool and summer program providers across the U.S. All events, PD, trainings and resources can be found on the Moonshot Toolkit. Upcoming Events Register for upcoming events Find FREE professional development,...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      08/03/23

July resources from Million Girls Moonshot

53 years ago, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin made history when they became the first human beings to set foot on the moon. The Million Girls Moonshot is aiming for the future, to soar beyond the moon, launching the next generation of engineers and scientists. What...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      07/07/23

June resources from Million Girls Moonshot

Million Girls Moonshot curates monthly asset packages to suit the needs of afterschool and summer program providers across the U.S. All events, professional development, trainings and resources can be found on the Moonshot Toolkit.  UPCOMING EVENTS REGISTER FOR UPCOMING EVENTS...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      06/23/23

Technovation teaches girls how to use technology to solve real-world problems—and to become leaders

By Maggie Jaris, Director of Content Strategy at Technovation. This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's new “Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society” (CYESS) initiative. This series of blogs highlights examples of programs working at the intersection of...

BY: Guest Blogger      05/05/23

May resources from the Million Girls Moonshot

During the month of May, the Million Girls Moonshot celebrates Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (AAPI Heritage Month). Our country owes a lot of our success to many hardworking, innovative AAPI computer scientists, engineers, and other STEM professionals. These assets will support Networks and...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      05/01/23

Looking ahead in 2024 – what’s coming up for our afterschool STEM work?

I hope the new year has launched well for all of you! After a year of changes in our afterschool STEM work and team, we are energized about the year ahead! 2023 saw us bringing on Leslie Brooks as our new Afterschool STEM Hub Manager to revitalize our federal afterschool STEM policy work. We...

BY: Anita Krishnamurthi      01/31/24

Teen Science Cafés: Teens and STEM experts exploring our world together

Photo courtesy of Louisa Otto, Sanford PROMISE Teen Science Café. By Katey Ahmann, Director of Teen Science Café Network and Kristin Bayans, Manager of Network Engagement at Teen Science Café Network. This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's Collective for...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/25/24

Mapping (climate) justice: Empowering southwest Florida youth through summer STEM learning

Photo courtesy of trubel&co. By Laken Sylvander. This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's “Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society” (CYESS) initiative. This series of blogs highlights examples of programs working at the  intersection of STEM...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/13/23

Why civic engagement & youth voice belongs in every afterschool program — including STEM programs!

By Robyn Lingo, Chief of Strategy & Impact, Mikva Challenge. This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's new “Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society” (CYESS) initiative. This series of blogs highlights examples of programs working at the intersection...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/06/23

Survey of STEM & community engagement initiatives in afterschool, summer and other out-of-school-time programs

The Afterschool Alliance has launched a new initiative to explore how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs in afterschool, summer, and other out-of-school-time (OST) settings such as science centers, museums, zoos, aquaria, universities, etc. can nurture young people’s...

BY: Anita Krishnamurthi      10/06/23

MAPSCorps@ Northwestern University: A new nexus for data STEM, civics, and project-based learning

Photo courtesy of Valentin J. Torres. By Nia Abdullah, EdD, executive director of The Equity in Opportunity Research Lab & MAPSCorps at Northwestern University School of Education & Social Policy. This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's new “Collective for...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/15/23

Building Capacity for Youth Climate Leadership and Action through Youth Climate Summits

Photo courtesy of The Wild Center. By Elodie Linck, The Jeanne Hutchins Youth Climate Coordinator at The Wild Center This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's new “Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society” (CYESS) initiative. This series of blogs...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/11/23

Clemson University Science Outreach Center develops graphic novel to inspire youth-led STEM Justice initiatives

By Renée Lyons,  Director of Science Outreach for Clemson University’s College of Science This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's new “Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society” (CYESS) initiative. This series of blogs highlights...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/30/23

A journey of gratitude and personal growth: A reflection on the impact of a transformative youth program

Photos courtesy of NYSCI. By Folashade Teriba, high school student and explainer at the New York Hall of Science. This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's new “Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society” (CYESS) initiative. This series of blogs...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/09/23

The Climate Initiative's Climate Hope

Photo courtesy of The Climate Initiative. By Nyla McFadden, Assistant Director of Programs and Education Lead at The Climate Initiative. This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's new “Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society” (CYESS) initiative. This...

BY: Guest Blogger      05/25/23

Looking ahead in 2024 – what’s coming up for our afterschool STEM work?

I hope the new year has launched well for all of you! After a year of changes in our afterschool STEM work and team, we are energized about the year ahead! 2023 saw us bringing on Leslie Brooks as our new Afterschool STEM Hub Manager to revitalize our federal afterschool STEM policy work. We...

BY: Anita Krishnamurthi      01/31/24

Introducing the Afterschool STEM Quarterly Research Review

To start off 2024, the research working group of the Afterschool STEM Hub just released the inaugural edition of our Afterschool STEM Quarterly Research Review newsletter! This is a new publication from the Afterschool STEM Hub that aims to provide you with the latest and most relevant findings...

BY: Leslie Brooks      01/17/24

Wrapping up 2023 for the Afterschool STEM Hub

As 2023 comes to a close, the Afterschool STEM Hub is reflecting on the past year and looking to the year ahead. In working towards our vision of a STEM learning community where high-quality afterschool programs are respected, well-resourced, and accessible for all youth, in 2023, we created tools...

BY: Leslie Brooks      12/18/23

STEM Next Opportunity Fund and Jobs for the Future advocate for investments in out-of-school time STEM

Photo from Investing in Out-of-School Time STEM is an Investment in a Robust, Diverse STEM Workforce. Investing in Out-of-School Time STEM is an Investment in a Robust, Diverse STEM Workforce, a recent report co-produced by the STEM Next Opportunity Fund and Jobs for the Future,...

BY: Leslie Brooks      11/17/23

Afterschool STEM programs: Needed now more than ever

By Holly Miller, Ph.D., senior advisor, Afterschool and Summer Learning at STEM Next Opportunity Fund. We’ve all seen the reports—the pandemic had a significant and negative impact on students, not seen just in lost instructional time, but also in engagement, attendance, social...

BY: Guest Blogger      11/13/23

Empowering the next generation of STEM innovators: Join me in the National STEM Challenge!

By Kari Byron, former Mythbusters and EXPLR co-founder. Did you know that YOU, too, belong in STEM? As one of the first female science presenters on the Discovery Channel, I've seen firsthand the importance of representation in the STEM fields; and the power that out-of-school...

BY: Guest Blogger      10/20/23

The White House budget request, STEM education, research, and afterschool

President Joe Biden has unveiled his FY 2024 budget request. The news is mixed for both afterschool and STEM education. The plan seeks increases across most science agencies and the Department of Education, and retains prior requests’ emphasis on research related to emerging technologies and...

BY: Anita Krishnamurthi      03/23/23

Congress looks to address United States competitiveness in recent legislative effort

In early May, congress officially took the biggest step in negotiating a competitiveness bill by naming 107 members of congress (26 Senators and 71 House members) to the conference committee charged with reconciling differences between the House’s COMPETES Act and the Senate’s USICA...

BY: Chris Neitzey      07/08/22

Power up afterschool learning with the 4-H STEM Challenge

By Michael Compton, STEM Integrated Marketing Manager at National 4-H Council. The acronym STEM refers to the four disciplines of science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. STEM is a popular content area to engage young people in exciting, engaging, hands-on learning...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/12/23

Building Capacity for Youth Climate Leadership and Action through Youth Climate Summits

Photo courtesy of The Wild Center. By Elodie Linck, The Jeanne Hutchins Youth Climate Coordinator at The Wild Center This blog is part of the Afterschool Alliance's new “Collective for Youth Empowerment in STEM & Society” (CYESS) initiative. This series of blogs...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/11/23

September resources from Million Girls Moonshot

To help students see themselves with a future in STEM and to broaden understanding of science history, it is important for students to learn about a diverse range of scientists and engineers. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we highlight a few of the Hispanic and Latinx scientists and engineers...

BY: Chris Neitzey      09/20/22

August resources from Million Girls Moonshot

The school year has started for many across the country, and the August assets from Million Girls Moonshot focus on opportunities and resources for Networks and partners to build the capacity of program providers around the four transformative programming areas: 1) Equity and Inclusion, 2)...

BY: Chris Neitzey      09/01/22

Foster STEM learning with the 4-H STEM Challenge

By Michael Compton, STEM Integrated Marketing Manager at National 4-H Council. STEM refers to the four disciplines of science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. Research suggests that using STEM learning opportunities in after-school educational settings is important to address the...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/15/22

February Resources from Million Girls Moonshot

The Million Girls Moonshot is excited to launch recruitment for the inaugural 2022 Moonshot Flight Crew. They are looking for youth advocates — young scientists, engineers, inventors, builders, and leaders who have been inspired by their experience outside of the school...

BY: Chris Neitzey      02/03/22