Thursday, October 08, 2009

The White House Star Party Features Informal Learning Activities

If you missed the White House Star Party last night, you can still recreate the activities at home (or in your school or after-school programs). The activities came from the Lunar Planetary Institute's Explore! program, designed specifically for use in libraries and informal learning environments. Explore! has been used in 21st Century Community Learning Center and other after-school programs. Try one or more of these White House Star Party activities with your kids:
  • Impact Crater Activity: The students dropped 4 different sized objects and measured the diameter of the objects and the depth and diameter of the craters.
  • The other activities are harder to recreate. Your local science museum may have some of these. Inflatable planetarium dome presentations, "Rocks from Space" with a touchable moon rock, lunar sample disks, a Mars meteorite display and meteorites from the Smithsonian collection, and scientists to talk with the kids.
Thanks to the NASA JPL Museum Alliance for passing along the information!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

School Gardens in the News

It's harvest time in school gardens. It is also time to plant garlic bulbs and other winter crops. Many schools and after-school programs are finding that gardens are great cross-curricular activities, requiring science, math, organization, and other skills. Gardening also gets students outside and eating healthier.

Here are two examples from Moraga, CA, and Jefferson Co., KY.

Find curriculum on science, including two on horticulture, at the Consumers Guide to Afterschool Science Resources.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Are you looking for an amazing opportunity to promote your science and technology programs?

The Coalition for Science After School recently opened a national directory of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning opportunities. This directory will be widely marketed and can rapidly increase the visibility of your program! The best news? There is no cost involved, it is FREE! There is, however, a cost to not participating: missed promotional, funding, and partnership opportunities.

Sign up now!

Are you interested in increasing the number of kids participating in your programs?
The promotion of this Directory will increase interest in opportunities to participate in science after school and in other informal settings, and it will direct interested parents and students to the programs entered in our database.

Are your programs full? Do you need support - funding, volunteers, partners - to open up your programs to more students?
Our Coalition is committed to working with policymakers and funders and will ensure that the Directory is used for increased advocacy in support of informal science education.
All that is needed to become part of the Directory is to visit our website:

Sign up now!

Spend a few moments entering information on your organization and its programs and events. If you have any questions about the Directory, the Coalition, or informal STEM education, please contact our team at

I would like to thank you in advance for your participation. The larger we are able to grow this database the more effective the Directory will become! If you know of any colleagues who might be interested in taking advantage of this opportunity, please feel free to forward this message along.