Creating STEM Learning Environments | Click2Science

Creating STEM Learning Environments

Purpose: Frontline staff and volunteers will arrange their environment to maximize youth engagement and support physical and emotional safety during STEM activities.

As a result of ongoing, consistent professional development efforts, frontline staff and volunteers will be able to:

  • Identify and mitigate risks to youth safety, such as trip hazards, sharp objects, or dangerous substances.
  • Investigate science phenomena outdoors and in the local community.
  • Arrange materials, seating, or other factors so that the space feels different than traditional school settings (avoiding desks in rows, facing front, teacher standing at whiteboard, etc.).
  • Create respectful, supportive learning environment that encourages youth to engage with new ideas and different perpectives.

Staff Development Guides

Staff development guides are designed for coaches and trainers to use when providing professional development to frontline staff or volunteers. These dowloadable step-by-step professional development guides include agendas, social and experiential learning activities, videos learning modules, supporting documents and handouts. The guides available below are design to support the skill Encouraging Collaboration. For more information about Staff Development Guides, please visit About Staff Development Guides.

Self-Directed Web Lessons

Click2Science Web Lessons offer self-directed, on-demand professional development for frontline staff and volunteers. Web Lessons are hosted on Penn State Extension's Better Kid Care learning managemente system. To take a Click2Science Web Lesson, please review our instructions for accessing lessins on Better Kid Care. For more information about Self-directed Web Lessons, please visit About Web Lessons.

  • Maximizing STEM Space

    How staff arrange the environment can impact the way youth engage and experience science, engineering, and math learning in an out-of-school time program. Learn how to set up space and arrange materials to maximize youth involvement. Strategies from practitioners include creative use of outdoor and indoor space and use of open-ended materials. Learn how to create affordable spaces of wonder and inquiry that differ from traditional school environments.

    Strategy: 
    Preparing for Success in STEM

    Learn More

  • Connecting with Community Partners

    Out-of-school time programs strengthen STEM learning by developing and deepening relationships with community partners. STEM-rich industries, interested academic and community-based STEM organizations bring expertise and creativity to school-age science, technology, engineering, and math efforts. Learn how to go beyond simply completing a joint project to building a relationship with stakeholders. Review model programs, practitioner advice, planning guides and a simple STEM activity.

    Strategy: 
    Preparing for Success in STEM

    Learn More

  • Creating a Safe Space for STEM Learning

    Youth need a safe space for learning STEM skills in after school programs. Safe space includes physical safety as well as emotional and social safety that should be a part of the culture of all after school programs. Through interactive experiences and resources, learn skills to create a safe space for youth for STEM learning experiences and to focus on interests and developmental levels of youth. This is one of 20 STEM facilitation skills that help STEM click for school-age children and youth.

    Strategy: 
    Preparing for Success in STEM

    Learn More

On-Demand Webinars

Click2Science hosts virtual professional development webinars each month focused on out-of-school time learning environments. STEM, professional development best practices, and other relevant events. All webinars are recorded and made available for on-demand viewing. The recorded, on-demand webinars below are designed to support the skill. Encouraging Collaboration. For more on-demand webinars or to register for an upcoming webinar, please visit our Webinar page.