Full STEM Ahead!: New Jersey’s Afterschool STEM Initiative
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
Eighty percent of jobs created in the next decade will require math and science skills (National Science Foundation). NJSACC’s new Full STEM Ahead! Afterschool Initiative will help New Jersey afterschool providers become STEM leaders, preparing students for these jobs.
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An afterschool pipeline for STEM.
Afterschool programs are excellent venues to teach STEM. Afterschool staffs are experts in building skills in communication, problem solving, and teamwork, which young people need for any career. The afterschool schedule allows time for students to apply, reinforce, and extend skills and concepts taught in school. Combining STEM learning with the youth development expertise of afterschool professionals has the potential to revolutionize both fields by integrating each other’s strengths.
New Jersey’s STEM Afterschool Initiative NJSACC’s Full STEM Ahead! includes several components to bring new resources, training and expertise to New Jersey afterschool providers.
- Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative
- Great Science for Girls
- National Program for After School Science
- Leap Into Science
- Celebrate Afterschool! Outdoors in the Garden State
- The 21st Century Afterschool Science Project
Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative
The Garden State Girls STEM Collaborative is the New Jersey initiative of the National Girls Collaborative Project, a program focused on providing high quality STEM activities to girls. Our primary goal is to strengthen the capacity of girl-serving STEM programs to effectively reach and serve underrepresented girls in STEM by sharing promising practice research and program models, outcomes, products and by connecting formal and informal educators, business and industry in order to maximize the resources that can positively influence our girls. Contact Mike MacEwan for more information how you can become involved.
Great Science for Girls
In 2010 NJSACC was selected to join Great Science for Girls, a National Science Foundation initiative to build the capacity of after-school educators to deliver programming that broadens and sustains girls’ interest and persistence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Through Great Science for Girls, NJSACC is supporting afterschool centers throughout New Jersey to provide learning environments with ingredients necessary for student success in STEM: active engagement, capacity and continuity.
National Program for After School Science
NJSACC was selected to serve as a state co-leader with NJ 4H for Taking NPASS (National Partnerships for After School Science) to Scale: Creating State-based Professional Development Networks for Out-of-School Time Science.
Through this program we are identifying and training ten to twelve New Jersey afterschool professionals as science trainers for afterschool providers throughout the state. National leadership for the project includes the Center for Science Education at EDC, the Boston Children’s Museum and the National Institute on Out-of-School Time. Funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF)
Leap Into Science
In partnership with the NJDOE, NJSACC has obtained a Leap into Science (LIS) expansion grant offered by the Franklin Institute Science Museum and the Free Library of Philadelphia (funded by the National Science Foundation). This partnership has allowed NJSACC and the NJDOE to offer LIS mini grants to 21stCCLC programs that have chosen Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as the program theme. The LIS curriculum is designed to promote family and student engagement and achievement in science and literacy; develop a replicable and sustainable set of resources that engage students and their families in science learning skills and literacy development and professional development for library and afterschool staff. The LIS curriculum consists of 18 afterschool workshops, 6 family workshops, science bookmarks, home exploration cards, training workshops and materials for program facilitators and web-based resources.
Celebrate Afterschool! Outdoors in the Garden State
Celebrate Afterschool! Outdoors in the Garden State connects children and nature through innovative afterschool programming. NJSACC is a national lead in the area of halting “Nature Deficit Disorder” in youth. An on-line user-friendly toolkit includes activities to engage kids in science/ nature based experiences and discusses their roles as stewards of the environment. Special events across the state highlight the impact of afterschool programs on education and youth development.
NJSACC works closely with the national organization, Children and Nature Network and its’ founder, Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods.
The 21st Century Afterschool Science Project
The 21st Century Afterschool Science Project brings together the resources, technology, health and science of New Jersey to develop and integrate quality science and health education programs into afterschool programs. It engages adults and children in the joy of exploration and discovery, the satisfaction of thinking critically about the 'why' and the 'how', and the freedom to pursue the questions about the natural world that intrigue and delight us.
- An informal, hands-on science curriculum infused with language arts and math skill that is appropriate for integration into afterschool, and Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO).
- Use of a guided-inquiry approach to encourage student problem-solving and engagement and effective facilitation of science learning by non-scientists.
- Family-involvement strategies which are integral to students' academic success
A Resource Guide includes research, strategies, resources and templates tailored specifically for afterschool providers and their staff that is aligned to the Common Core Standards and NJ Standards.
For more information on Full STEM Ahead! Activities, contact Mike MacEwan.