On Wednesday the Afterschool Alliance hosted a webinar, the “STEM in Afterschool Virtual Tour,” to introduce our organization’s work in STEM afterschool and the resources we have available online. Our work falls into three main “bins”—field-building, policy and advocacy, and research—and we discussed our current and upcoming initiatives within those. We wrapped up the webinar with a Q&A session with our Director of STEM Policy Anita Krishnamurthi.
Webinar participants were very interested in our recently released STEM Funding Guide and our collection of high quality assessment tools and curriculum resources. We also introduced two new projects the Afterschool Alliance has been working on. The first is Relating Research to Practice, an NSF-funded project in partnership with the Exploratorium, Kings College London and the University of Washington. On the project website, you can tap into the growing body of research on teaching and learning in education. A searchable collection of research briefs translate peer-reviewed research into plain English and provide insight as to how these studies can inform the practice of professionals in informal science environments such as afterschool. In January, the website will be re-designed and re-launched with new briefs continuously added.
The second exciting project we discussed is our new report, “Youth Outcomes for STEM Learning in Afterschool.” It is often asked what afterschool can deliver for STEM learning and what outcomes and goals we can point to. We believed that this was a conversation that needed to be had with the field so that they could have a say in what goals are appropriate and realistic. We hope that this study of expert practitioners and stakeholders will provide a framework and common language to determine the appropriate niche for afterschool within broader STEM education initiatives. The report will be officially released on January 23 at an event in Washington, D.C. You can look for more information from the Afterschool Alliance on this in the upcoming weeks.
Visit our webinar archives page to view a full recording of the webinar, the presenters’ slides and a list of participants’ questions Anita answered. If you missed last week’s webinar, “Feeding America’s Children After School,” those same resources are available on the archives page and you can read a summary here.