Afterschool STEM learning was one of our top themes for this year’s Lights On Afterschool, and with good reason. Afterschool programs provide an ideal space to connect kids to exciting, hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) experiences, helping them engage deeply with these concepts in fun, inspiring ways!
Lots of afterschool programs used STEM as a centerpiece in their Lights On events. Here are a few of the ways programs celebrated STEM on October 26:
- Students got ready for blast-off at the Mississippi Library in Fridley, Minn., with an activity to build their own rockets. Students and families designed and constructed their out-of-this-world space shuttles with a combination of science and art skills, led by library and afterschool program staff.
- kidscommons Children’s Museum in Columbus, Ind., offered free museum admission for families with children age pre-K through 6th grade, with science, technology, engineering, art, and math activities available throughout the museum.
- Think Together Liberty Elementary in Victorville, Calif. held a family night with student-taught 30-minute activity rotations, so students and parents could participate in mad scientist STEM unit lessons, including making moldable goo, engineering and testing different paper airplane designs, and creating monsters out of pipe cleaners and other materials.
This year’s Lights On Afterschool wouldn’t have been the success it was without the help of our amazing STEM partners. We’d like to give a big thank-you to STAR_Net, Association of Science – Technology Centers (ASTC), National Girls Collaborative, WGBH, STEMfinity, 4-H National Youth Science Day, and everyone else in the STEM world who contributed to a fantastic celebration!