« Tonight's Homework Assignment: Prepare for Disaster | Main | A Snag for New York State's Extended Learning Time Grants »

NASA Makes Out-of-School Time 'Out of This World'

| No comments

NASA is doing its bit to keep students' heads in the clouds—and beyond—with several out-of-school-time programs, highlighted in a new report from the White House Council on Women and Girls, that focus on attracting underrepresented girls to science.

As the name indicates, Afterschool Universe is an astronomy program developed by the space agency to strengthen middle school students' natural fascination with the stars and the cosmos, which is often overlooked due to budget and scheduling constraints. 

"Middle school years are a critical time in the development of attitudes about science and career options, especially in girls," according to the program's website, which provides a free, 12-week lesson plan.    

The first public school just for girls in the state of Tennessee is a college-prep program for middle and high school students focused on STEAM—that's science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. The Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy operates a year-round, extended-day school where girls learn coding, get help with school work from community mentors and participate in learning expeditions co-sponsored by local business and community organizations.

The extra 200 hours of instructional time each year allows the school to provide tutoring and special projects that there's not enough time for during a typical school day.

Inside the secure gates of the NASA Ames Research Center, some 30 miles south of San Francisco, teams of Girl Scouts design and build robots and prep them to test their mettle (and even some actual metals) against each other through a program called For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, or FIRST.

Since it was founded in 1989, FIRST has trained hundreds of robotics teams throughout the country.


Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments