Frontline staff are individuals in your afterschool program that work directly with youth to guide a program or activity. This may include volunteers, entry-level staff, summer staff, childcare providers, or educators. Essentially, any adult leaders that are required to interact with youth are considered frontline staff.
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Click2Science is designed to address the need for affordable, high-quality STEM professional development for OST program professionals. High-quality, well-facilitated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities encourage youth to be curious, ask questions, and make connections with the world around them. These are essential skills for success in life and increasingly important in the global economy, and OST STEM programs can help ensure that young people have these skills. However, OST staff involved in these programs often lack the capacity they need to effectively plan and facilitate STEM learning in a way that builds the knowledge and skills that young people need.
Better Kid Care is an on-demand distance education system that provides self-directed professional development lessons to youth development professionals. Certificates of completion are available for lessons. Depending on their local regulations, staff can earn credit for completing Better Kid Care lessons. An outreach educational program of Penn State Cooperative Extension, Better Kid Care aims to improve the quality of youth care.
Click2Science PD resources are designed for trainers and coaches to use when providing professional development to staff or volunteers in out-of-school time programs. They are free Grab and Go professional development guides. You can easily downloadable the development guides which include agendas, social and experiential learning activities, video-based learning modules, supporting documents, and handouts. There are a variety of guides for group trainings, staff meetings or one-on-one coaching.
Large group training sessions are hands-on, interactive professional development experiences. Trainings engage staff with new ideas through experiences, discussions, and interactions. Each training focuses on a single skill for facilitating STEM learning. Well-trained staff can deliver high-quality OST programming that has a positive impact on youth. The skills and competencies that staff need to deliver high-quality programming can be developed through the interactions and discussions of a well-planned professional development program.
Small group meeting sessions are brief professional development experiences intended to introduce or reinforce STEM skills for staff. They can be part of a regularly scheduled staff meeting or conducted virtually. Meeting sessions focus on a single skill and are designed to be part of ongoing professional development experiences and combined with training and coaching sessions to create a blended learning experience that makes a meaningful impact on staff.
One-on-one coaching sessions are designed to help frontline staff and volunteers improve individual skills, thereby impacting their practice and the overall quality of the program. Staff coaching involves ongoing teaching, reinforcement of newly learned skills, and adaption of skills and knowledge of the field to fit personal style. Staff coaching includes activities for both individuals and small groups, such as on-the-job observation, instruction, modeling, feedback, debriefing, and emotional support. Coaches may be other frontline staff members, administrators, outside consultants, or staff supervisors. Coaching sessions can be conducted virtually, as well.
These are professional development resources that include videos and reflection questions. Video learning guides can be used for personal reflection or in professional development to fuel discussion and reflection. The videos feature frontline staff and volunteer from a variety of skill levels and backgrounds in various out-of-school time programs. They are not intended to represent best practices or define the only way to facilitate STEM.
Click2Science offer 19 web lesson – self-directed, on-demand professional development for staff and volunteers in out-of-school time programs focused on best practices for STEM teaching. For a small fee, you can receive a certificate of completion at the end of each lesson, and depending on local regulations, you can earn professional development credit for completing a web lesson. The lessons are available in English or Spanish.