The lack of a STEM “identity” is often cited as one of the main reasons that young people don’t pursue STEM courses and careers. Learn the truth about identity development. Learn to nurture a growth mindset in the school-age children in your care. Try out several identity activities while learning how to impact the next generation of science learners. This module includes practical examples from practitioners and ample on-line resources to encourage youth to pursue their STEM potential.
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.
When youth have control of their learning they are more engaged, learn skills such as self-determination, goal setting and decision-making, and are more likely to enjoy learning. This module features interactive experiences and resources to help facilitators learn skills to give youth control of their learning experience 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.
People who are comfortable with testing and retesting are better equipped for 21st Century STEM work. OST staff and volunteers can intentionally support the testing and retesting phase of science and engineering experiences to nurture this attitude in today’s youth. Learn the basics about testing during an inquiry experience and view examples of testing from OST settings. Try a simple STEM experience that staff can use to introduce the idea of testing variables to children.
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.
Managing active children during science and engineering projects can be challenging even for seasoned out-of-school time staff. Learn how to structure STEM experiences and space for the most positive group interactions and learning. Through the advice of experts and front line staff, this module provides resources for safe, engaging group time during STEM experiences. Planning checklists and several activity instructions are included in this module.
Scientists and engineers work together on a regular basis to solve problems and build explanations of the natural world. 21st century workers will be required to collaborate. In this module OST facilitators will learn how to emphasize teamwork in STEM experiences to help youth refine those skills. Practitioners share tips on projects, environment set-up, and group management that encourage cooperative learning. Easy-to-download instructions for several STEM challenges are provided.
Children and youth are born ready to explore. Many schools and out-of-school time (OST) programs now emphasize an inquiry-based style of learning. What does it take to support OST active STEM experiences? This module includes many hands-on program ideas, information on the emerging Maker Movement, and exercises that guide facilitators as they integrate active investigations into the curriculum. This is one of 20 STEM facilitation skills that help STEM click for school-age children and youth.
Out-of-school time leaders can have a unique impact on the science, technology, engineering, and math skills of school-age children. This lesson is one of 20 Click2Science lessons designed to help frontline staff facilitate STEM experiences. It features interactive experiences, handouts, and videos that will nurture the ability to ask purposeful questions, enhancing a child's STEM learning. It includes both basic and "stretch" information about intentional question techniques.