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FEB
14
2018

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup: February 14, 2018

By Luci Manning

Henley Student Honored for After-School Program (Herald and News, Oregon)

High school sophomore Nicole Cleland was recently honored with a $1,000 donation from U.S. Cellular to put towards the innovative afterschool program she developed for elementary school students. Cleland’s program focuses on teaching students how STEM skills can be put to good use in the agricultural industry. “Nicole’s passion and commitment to educating young lives is truly inspiring,” U.S. Cellular director of sales in the northwest Erryn Andersen told the Herald and News. “She is setting an incredible example for her peers and community, and we are in awe of the selfless acts of good she’s doing here in Klamath Falls.”

Spur Would Connect Students to Swamp Rabbit (Greenville News, South Carolina)

The Greenville community is rallying to give youths in the afterschool Momentum Bike Club safe access to nearby biking trails. At the moment, students in the club ride on busy streets or cut through the woods to get to the trail, but nonprofit Bike Walk Greenville has arranged with the city to build a connecting trail to Lakeview Middle School if the organization manages to raise $100,000 by this summer. According to the Greenville News, the group has already raised more than $47,000 toward the project. “This is going to give safe access to lots of kids, as well as the adults that also live in that area,” Bike Walk Greenville board chair Tim Hibbard said.

Computer Science Students Mentor Youth (Scarlet and Black, Iowa)

Once a week, Grinnell College computer science students head to the Drake Community Library to give coding and computer programming lessons to local middle and high school students. The student-designed curriculum offers students the opportunity to learn different programming languages and work with 3-D printers and other equipment. The afterschool club has been so successful that it has spurred improvements in computer science education elsewhere in the community, according to the Scarlet and Black. “The code club at the library was successful, which helped get the school district to add a computer science class at the high school,” Drake systems administer Monique Shore said.

Alum Teaches Vocabulary Through Hip-Hop (Brown Daily Herald, Rhode Island)

Recent Brown University graduate Austin Martin developed a creative educational platform to help underperforming students learn vocabulary and academic concepts through the hip-hop music they know and love. “I wanted to combine my love for hip-hop and this idea… about the academic viability of hip-hop,” Martin said. “I wanted to bring that spark to kids across the country with ‘Rhymes with Reason.’” Martin’s research has shown that low-performing students who choose to learn through “Rhymes with Reason” eventually surpass their higher-performing classmates who study with flashcards, according to the Brown Daily Herald. The platform is now used in approximately 35 schools and afterschool programs around the country.

FEB
1
2018

IN THE FIELD
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Encourage your high school girls to code this summer!

By Leah Silverberg

Girls Who Code has opened their applications for their 2018 Summer Immersion Program. Over the course of seven weeks, rising 11th and 12th grade students explore and create coding through art, storytelling, robotics, websites, and apps. Students will also have the opportunity to connect with female engineers and entrepreneurs, go on field trips, and participate in workshops to explore the field of computer science. This FREE immersive experience requires no previous coding experience. Additional stipends are also available to cover living expenses and transportation to support students who qualify.

When are applications due?

Students applying for the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program have the option to apply by February 16 for Round One submissions, or March 16 to be considered in Round Two.

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learn more about: Summer Learning Computer Science Girls
JAN
22
2018

STEM
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Stay informed about STEM with the Afterschool STEM Hub newsletter

By Leah Silverberg

Brought to you by the Afterschool STEM Hub, a project of the Afterschool Alliance, the Afterschool Lab Report is dedicated to continuously providing advocates with the tools they need to make the case for out-of-school time STEM learning. The Afterschool Lab Report is sent each quarter, and includes the latest policy updates, new resources, upcoming opportunities for advocacy, and new research in the field. Written by the subject area experts at the Afterschool Alliance, the Afterschool Lab report is your one-stop-shop for STEM education advocacy needs.

Who should subscribe?

Short answer: anyone with an interest in afterschool STEM education! While the tools are geared towards advocacy, our talking points, and communications materials can be used by anyone to effectively make the case about why afterschool STEM learning is important. If you run a program, build local or state systems, conduct research, or design policy, the Afterschool Lab Report has something for you.

October's Lab Report included:

It is not too late to stay informed and sign up to receive the January edition of the Afterschool Lab Report to your inbox! You can also check out the past editions and the rest of the Afterschool STEM Hub website any time online.

DEC
15
2017

STEM
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Wrapping up the 2017 CS Ed Week

By Stephanie Rodriguez

Stephanie Rodriguez and a student at Tubman Elementary participate in the Hour of Code on December 6

Computer Science Education Week (CS Ed Week) 2017 was an exciting time for the Afterschool Alliance and the CS education community at large. The Afterschool Alliance shared key resources for afterschool computer science throughout the week, including:

Here’s a look at a few highlights from the week!

Launch event with corporate partners on December 4

Code.org kicked of CS Ed Week with a launch event that featured female technology powerhouses, including Melinda Gates and Sheryl Sandberg, offering words of wisdom and inspiration for all kids to pursue opportunities in computing. In celebration of the 2017 CS Ed Week, Code.org and the Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) announced their inaugural Champions for Computer Science. We were thrilled to see that the value of afterschool CS was recognized within the winners of their “organization” category! Alexandra Liggins, co-founder of South Bend Code School, accepted the award, which recognized the great work their out-of-school time program does in bringing computer science learning to students age 7 to 18 across Indiana.

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learn more about: Congress STEM Computer Science
DEC
8
2017

STEM
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Webinar recap: Tools, ideas, and strategies for creative computing in afterschool

By Melissa Ballard

Providing students with the tools and knowledge they need to become creators of technology, not just consumers, is a growing priority for afterschool programs across the country. Many are building from the ground up and running into issues like identifying technology, tools, and curricula to meet their goals. Additionally, it can be challenging to train and support facilitators—either afterschool educators or other community volunteers.

In our webinar on Wednesday, December 6, two inspiring speakers working on these issues presented insights and resources: Sarah Carter, from SciGirls, shared tips on choosing tools and developing curricula, and Ricarose Roque, of the University of Colorado, Boulder, shared her model for family engagement called Family Creative Learning. To get the full experience, watch the recording and view the presentation slides. Be sure to check out the hashtag #CSEdweek to see all the conversations happening on social media!

Getting clear on definitions and goals

There are a litany of terms used when talking about creating technology—"computer science," "coding" or "programming," "computing," "tech skills," "media literacy," and more! Our speakers told us that being specific and intentional about using these terms, particularly when defining your program’s focus and goals, is incredibly important. It is key to think about what’s most appropriate for the out-of-school time environment and ensure that we meet youth development or other philosophical goals.

For example, Sarah explained that the approach to her current project, SciGirls Code, is shaped by a blend of computational thinking and connected learning principles, and is founded on the SciGirls Seven, a set of research-based gender equity strategies. Ricarose has developed the concept of “Computational Creators”, which means the goal is for students is to be able to use computing to create things they care about, develop identities as creators, and see the ways they can shape the world. All educators should spend some time considering the vary approaches and frameworks out there to determine the best approach for their students and community needs.

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learn more about: STEM Computer Science Girls Webinars
DEC
7
2017

STEM
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Promising practices: Hybrid tech/analog system grows STEM mentoring

By Charlotte Steinecke

Keshia Ashe and a student at Tubman Elementary

During CS Ed Week, we wanted to highlight an initiative that pushes the envelope on excellence in computer science and STEM. Keshia Ashe, the co-founder and chief executiver officer of ManyMentors, sat down to talk about afterschool, STEM mentoring, and fostering the growth of underrepresented communities in the STEM field.

In 2011, Keshia Ashe didn’t know she was starting a business. She just knew she saw a problem.

A graduate student at the time, Ashe was mentoring a group of tenth graders, many of whom were interested in pursuing medical school once they graduated. She reached out to friends in the field but kept hearing a familiar story.

“A lot of my friends said, ‘I can’t come, I’m busy, I don’t have the time to drive an hour to interface with the students,’” Ashe recalls. “At the time, Skype was really starting to gain some traction and not have so many technical difficulties, so my friends would Skype into the classroom to talk to the students. That’s really the nucleation site of ManyMentors. It was me trying to solve a problem with the students I was working directly with.”

ManyMentors is an organization that connects younger people to older people in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, using a hybrid strategy that combines face-to-face monthly mentoring meetings coordinated by onsite chapters with a mobile app that promotes sustained communication between mentors and mentees. In addition to more than 400 onsite mentors at six universities in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and New York, ManyMentors is opening a cohort of chapters in the D.C. region, with students from University of Maryland, Howard University, George Washington, George Mason University, and more.

DEC
6
2017

CHALLENGE
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Weekly Media Roundup: December 6, 2017

By Luci Manning

New Club Allows Urbandale Students to Use Lessons in the Real World (WHO, Iowa)

Urbandale High school senior Maya Sims wanted to make a difference in her community, so she created a new afterschool program focused on giving back. Hope in Action gives students the opportunity to participate in community service projects, like creating a free library in a local neighborhood and working with the Iowa Youth Homeless Center. “When we talk about spreading hope, what we are really talking about is social responsibility, and just recognizing we as human beings have the responsibility to take care of each other,” Sims told WHO.

Springfield Students Will Learn How to Talk to Computers in New Course (Springfield News-Sun, Ohio)

This month, the Career Connected Center’s Maker Space afterschool program is offering a course on computer coding and computer sciences based on the Hour of Code. The program will give students an advantage in future careers by teaching them about computation communication and the basics of how computers work. “We have different themes, and it teaches different concepts in the STEM field,” Career Connect ED program coordinator Rene Stratton told the Springfield News-Sun. “You need it in all aspects of life, whatever your job is.”

Dawson After-School Program Opens Christmas Store for Kids (WALB, Georgia)

The Positive Direction afterschool program got into the holiday spirit last Monday by opening its 13th Annual Spirit of Christmas store. Students in fourth grade and younger received up to three gifts from the event, and older students were given gift cards to spend on gifts during an upcoming field trip. The gifts were supplied by Toys “R” Us and local businesses. “They are so excited, in fact when they choose their gifts today they want to take them home right then, but we can't let them take them home. And for us, as well as the children, the impact it has made on us and the children, it is just phenomenal,” Executive Director Dorothy Tomlin told WALB

Mentoring Program for Former Foster Children Celebrates Two-Year Anniversary (KETV, Nebraska)

Foster teenagers and young adults are learning fundamental job skills and customer service as employees of The Bike Union and Coffee. The bike repair and coffee shop is a nonprofit providing health and wellness, mindfulness training, cooking classes, a book club and more for its young employees. Participants commit to working for one year with 20 hours of work and activities each week, all focused on how to live a successful life. “When they're finished, you'll notice a change. For example, when you first met at their interview, their posture was very sunken in and they didn't make a lot of eye contact. When they leave, they sit up straight and they look everyone in the eye,” program manager Curtis Wilson told KETV.

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learn more about: Computer Science In The News
OCT
20
2017

STEM
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New commitments to equity, engagement at the CSforALL Summit

By Stephanie Rodriguez

“Power is the ability to write and author the American story… and that requires ambition to be nurtured; it requires the administration of an infrastructure that can do this.”

These words come from Dr. Kamau Bobb of Georgia Institute of Technology, explaining how institutes of higher education are, can, and should be supporting the effort to get computer science education to ALL of the Nation’s students. Dr. Bobb spoke on a panel during the CSforAll summit, addressing how the computing initiative is at the forefront of what equity in the coming century will ultimately be and offering a salient framing for why more than 400 cross-sector advocated gathered in St. Louis to celebrate successes and design for action toward achieving CSforAll. More than 170 organizations, including the Afterschool Alliance, committed to various activities and supports to bring high quality computer science to all students.

Throughout the day of celebration on October 17, advocates shared resources, policies, and coalitions that have been vital to the ongoing success of the CSforALL movement. Many hammered home how reaching CSforALL will require utilizing the complete learning ecosystem, and reaching kids in all of the places they learn. Some highlights are described below; check out the recording for more!

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learn more about: STEM Computer Science Girls