This document is useful in selecting quality STEM curriculum for afterschool by identifying evidence across sixteen different criteria. – Provided by Maryann Stimmer, ExpandED, STEM technical assistance for Vermont Afterschool
There is SO MUCH out there around STEM and there’s no way we could possibly curate all that information. But this is a good start for quality sources that relate to afterschool programming:
SMILE: A collection of learning activities, tools, and services designed especially for those who teach school-aged children in non-classroom settings (like museums, zoos, aquaria, and afterschool or outdoor education programs). SMILE is dedicated to bringing the STEM activities developed by informal science organizations around the country to the wider informal educator community, while encouraging that community to both use and contribute to SMILE’s growing collection.
Science After School Consumers Guide is a searchable database of high-quality, hands-on science curricula that have been reviewed by content experts and afterschool providers. Materials include semester and year long curricula, activity kits, instructor guides consisting of many related activities and Web sites that offer content appropriate for afterschool programs.
Design Squad is a popular PBS Kids show. This site includes hands-on challenges, concept animations, and videos across multiple topics, teaching 9-12 year-olds about engineering design. Step-by-step instructions for challenges are availible in both English and Spanish. This site also features online educator training in the design process, along with resources on training others in leading engineering activities.
Engineering Adventures and Engineering is Everywhere are free engineering curricula developed especially for out-of-school time programs by the Museum of Science, Boston. The curricula units are aimed at grades 3-5 and middle school students, respectively. Activities engage students to solve real-world programs through the engineering design process.
NASA Wavelength is a regularly-updated online collection of peer-reviewed Earth and space science resources for all grade levels and has resources specific to informal science environments. Explore the NASA Education site as well for many exciting ways to bring space science into your afterschool or summer program!
National Partnerships for After School Science (NPASS): The Design It! and Explore It! curriculum series are intended for use in afterschool programs serving elementary age students. Each series has 13 projects which contain multiple activities or challenges building upon a single design challenge or investigation. The curricula allow for the development of basic engineering principles (such as troubleshooting and optimization), exemplify the design process and promote problem solving and creativity.
Funded by the National Science Foundation, Afterschool Science PLUS and Afterschool Math PLUS are inquiry-based science and math programs for use in afterschool programs serving students aged 6-14 with downloadable lesson plans, evaluations, and modifications for disabilities.
4-H UVM Extension offers science programs in the community on topics including plant and animal science, environmental science, green energy, and engineering. 4-H is making a bold push to engage 1 million new young people in science programs by 2013 and has many high-quality curricula you can download or order from their website.