Archive | May, 2013

Highlighting STEM in Afterschool: Kim Kelling-Engstrom 2013

13 May

The Florida Afterschool Network is excited to begin featuring articles from Expanding Minds and Opportunities: Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success, a compendium of studies, reports and commentaries regarding afterschool and summer learning opportunities.  Periodically, champions from the afterschool community will provide an introduction and personal perspective on a highlighted article that will be posted on our blog.

For the inaugural article, Kim Kelling-Engstom, Director of Community Engagement at WFSU and a FAN board member, provides her insights regarding STEM education in afterschool.  Read her statement and the article below:

“How do children figure out what they want to do when they grow up?  What influences them to become a teacher, a lawyer or a physicist? Is it a TV show they watched, a book they read or perhaps a role model that influenced their decision?  What’s important is that we provide children many different opportunities to be exposed to career pathways, and afterschool programs are a perfect environment to do that.

Research tells us that we need more students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, known as the STEM fields.   This requires our schools, afterschool and summer programs to develop high quality, fun and engaging STEM activities for students, and to showcase career opportunities within these fields.  And for children from low socio-economic households, it is critical that these programs help connect them to the value an education brings and helps expand their knowledge of what careers are available to them with that education.

The article below, STEM Learning in Afterschool and Summer Programming: An Essential Strategy for STEM Education Reform, highlights the needs and strategies of educational reform for STEM areas.  The article is a part of Expanding Minds and Opportunities: Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success, a compendium that features studies, reports and commentaries on expanded learning opportunities.

Please take a minute and read this important and timely report, found below.”

STEM Learning in Afterschool and Summer Programming: An Essential Strategy for STEM Education Reform

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