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.”

Current OregonASK STEM Projects

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
Now with 11 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 or the Chief Education Office STEM Hub page to connect with your regional hub.

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.