Use this virual meeting with staff to foster interest, wonder and excitement in STEM.
- Ignite youth interest and engagement by presenting STEM through a design challenge.
- Watch as youth examine DNA using the tools and procedures that a real scientist does!
Watch as Diane, the frontline staff member, works with a group of children during the Elephant Toothpaste activity and identify the strategies she uses to spark interest and sustain engagement in the activity.
- Engage interest by presenting a “what if” scenario – what if we added a paper clip to the nose of the paper airplane?
- Start off your activity by modeling, challenging, questioning, or demonstrating to engage students interest.
- Use unusual words or the presentation of an odd concept to get students interested in the STEM activity.
- Be excited about STEM! Your excitement and engagement will keep your youth interested in the STEM activity.
- Give youth a challenge or a context for the STEM activity. For example, giving youth the role of inventors for a company making the strongest newspaper table to sell to consumers.
Professional Development Resources
Six Strategies for Sparking Interest in STEMCategory: Meeting Resources15 minutes
Share the SparkCategory: Coaching Resources
Use this one-on-one coaching resource to help staff facilitate activities that develop STEM processes and skills.15 minutes
Sparking Interest in the Activities I PlanCategory: Training Resources
Create a plan to help staff spark interest in STEM.1 hour, 30 minutes
An Introduction to Sparking Interest in STEMCategory: Training Resources
Purpose: Afterschool staff members and volunteers will be able to foster interest, wonder and excitement in STEM.1 hour, 30 minutes
Motivating Youth by Sparking InterestCategory: Training Resources
How can frontline staff members and volunteers motivate and engage youth in STEM learning experiences?30 minutes
Strategies for Sparking Interest in STEMCategory: Meeting Resources
This meeting resource will help your team develop strategies for sparking interest in STEM by youth.30 minutes
Putting Sparking Interest into PracticeCategory: Coaching Resources
Looking for a one-on-one resource to help foster interest, wonder and excitement in STEM by youth?30 minutes
Planning SparksCategory: Coaching Resources
Use this resource, one-on-one, to create a spark in youth for STEM.30 minutes
Identifying Opportunities to Spark InterestCategory: Coaching Resources
Work one-on-one with staff to stimulate interest, wonder and excitement in STEM in youth.15 minutes
- Design a roller coaster that takes a marble through a loop-de-loop!1 hour
Check out this activity where youth have the role of a "Forensic Scientist" and extract DNA.1 hour
Explore the catalytic action created by the combining of a few household materials.20 minutes