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 situations. Such opportunities help spark curiosity, especially for those who might not think of themselves as “math and science kids.” See our 1 page review about how Afterschool & Summer programs support STEM skill development in Oregon.

Current OregonASK STEM Projects

Previous STEM Projects

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.

Informal STEM Impacting Oregon 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 announce the release of new 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.DSC_0720

Overall, the study found that participation in STEM-focused afterschool programs led to major, positive changes in student, 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.

Exploring STEM Municipal Conversations

US Congresswomen Bonamici at Washington County Breakfast

Thanks to a grant from the National League of Cities, OregonASK worked with regional STEM Hubs to host discussions about the importance and impact of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) on our communities. Participants discussed the state STEM Strategic Plan, how local and state investments are making an impact on youth, families and industry, and what role we each play in supporting these efforts.

We are excited to continue building awareness as we help communities find strategies for building a mutually beneficial system to support local economic vitality and informal STEM learning. CLICK HERE to read more about these events.

National STEM Systems Institute 2016


In partnership with STEM Next, OregonASK is proud to have hosted the 2016 STEM Systems Institute: Cultivating the STEM Continuum. The STEM Institute brought together leadership teams from Statewide Afterschool Networks, partners developing STEM systems, and local STEM partners to explore connections between STEM systems building, expanded learning opportunities and workforce.

This two-day event was held at the World Trade Center in Portland, Oregon, May 12-13, 2016. We were able to engage and exemplify those doing great work in STEM education around the country and throughout our state.

STEM Mentor Toolkit

The STEM Mentoring Toolkit includes resources and training for educators, administrators and volunteers/mentors based on the hours or time commitment that STEM professionals have made. Materials are broken into several categories, including: Managing & Engaging Volunteers, Working with Students, STEM Approaches, Working with Schools and so much more. CLICK HERE to dive in.

STEM Around the State

OregonASK convened nearly 100 STEM program providers and community partners at OMSI in April 2015. Participants took time to dive deep into the work that lay ahead as we build systems of support and opportunity across the state. We also looked at the results of our STEM Survey, getting a pulse on what STEM programs are happening outside of school. Take a look at our summary of the day – STEM Beyond the Bell.


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.

View a list of our current STEM training and curricula HERE.