New Professional-Development Tool for Afterschool STEM Staff
By guest blogger Alyssa Morones
Over the next year, a new website will be launching a series of video professional-development tools for staff working in after-school science, technology, engineering, and mathematics programs.
Click2Science, developed by the University of Nebraska at Lincoln Extension in partnership with the Noyce Foundation, is an interactive site for staff, coaches, and trainers who work with out-of-school STEM initiatives. (The Noyce Foundation also supports Education Week's coverage of informal and school-based science education, human-capital management, and multiple-pathways-linked learning.)
The website says that its emphasis is on skills rather than content and that it aims to develop instructors' knowledge in three core areas: planning STEM learning experiences, interacting with youth doing STEM, and building STEM skills. The site also provides a platform for asking scientists questions and participating in discussions with colleagues in the field.
Registration on the site is free and gives educators access to a variety of professional-development tools, including the video learning modules, which include topics such as ways to link student experiences to societal needs and how to share and explain findings. The resource also includes professional-development tools that can be incorporated into staff meetings and training guides for staff and volunteers.
After-school STEM programs have gained some prominence recently. The Afterschool Alliance released a report in December detailing the value of program partnerships between schools and STEM-rich institutions, such as science centers, aquariums, businesses, or federal agencies like NASA.
For more information on STEM education outside the classroom, you can read Education Week's special report on the subject.