Science, Technology, Engineering, Math

Why STEM in Afterschool?

Afterschool programs activate learning in science, technology, engineering and math—what is called “STEM.” Afterschool and summer programs spark learning by letting children and youth experiment with STEM ideas in real-world, hands-on situations. Such opportunities help spark curiosity, especially for those who might not think of themselves as “math and science kids.” See our 1 page overview about how Afterschool & Summer programs support STEM skill development in Oregon.

STEM Mentor & Volunteer Toolkit

The STEM Volunteer Management Toolkit includes resources and training for educators and administrators based on the time commitment and capacity that STEM professionals have.  

The STEM Volunteer Toolkit provides materials for the professionals to help better prepare for working with youth and providing meaningful support and guidance opportunities.

Informal STEM Impacting Youth

As the nation, and Oregonians, seek ways to increase interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and careers, we are proud to highlight research that includes Oregon youth making powerful strides in STEM. The study worked across 11 states, involving nearly 1,600 youth in 160 programs and was able to show that STEM in afterschool is an effective part of engaging youth in STEM and helping them build the skills they will need for the future.

Overall, the study found that participation in STEM-focused afterschool programs led to major, positive changes in student outcomes, showing positive gains in areas such as STEM interest, STEM identity, STEM career interest and career knowledge, and 21st-century skills, including perseverance and critical thinking. We understand the importance of providing engaging STEM experiences for youth, particularly for those historically underserved youth who do not have ample opportunities for hands-on learning.

Take a look at the full Afterschool & STEM System-Building Evaluation Report, or the Oregon Afterschool & STEM Report for more specifics on Oregon participants. You can also find more information about Oregon needs from our Informal STEM in Oregon and Oregon STEM Fact Sheet.

Afterschool STEM Activities & Curriculum

OregonASK has been providing support to programs since 2013 in designing and implementing quality out-of-school time STEM programs. Click Here to find out more about the curriculum & resources developed right here in Oregon.

Click Here to check out the Afterschool Alliance page of STEM Curriculum, collected from programs around the nation to provide engaging and low-cost STEM activities and curriculum that has been developed for and tested in the afterschool setting.

STEM Ecosystems in Oregon

Oregon has a unique system of support that has been created to support STEM Learning for all youth throughout their lives. The components below demonstrate the many partners involved in providing engaging STEM experiences for youth. You can also read more about our current Regional STEM Hub system below.

Regional STEM Hubs

With 13 funded STEM Hubs in Oregon, nearly the entire state is being served by these collaborative entities, created to generate locally driven connections between education and the workforce.  You can find out more about the local resources accessible to you by checking out to connect with your regional hub.

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Our Master Trainers work with program staff on STEM content in afterschool. We train staff in how to use a variety of STEM curricula, weaving in best practices around the inquiry process, hands-off facilitation, gender equity, and STEM identity.

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