Monday, February 28, 2011

Summer Learning Opportunities

Organizations from across the country are beginning to plan their summer programs, and youth participants are already starting to sign up! Summer learning is an important component of OST learning time, and the warm weather and freedom to roam outdoors means that it's a great time to do science. 

Below are some summer learning opportunities that have already been entered into the Directory. Get your opportunities in soon for a free way to let your community know about your program!
  • COSMOS (The California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science) at the University of California, San Diego 
    • Talented and motivated high school students are invited to work side-by-side with university faculty and researchers. In addition to the program at UC San Diego, which offers a focus in technology and engineering, COSMOS is offered at UC Davis, UC Irvine, and UC Santa Cruz.  
  •  Summer Camp at the Chicago Academy of Science Notebaert Nature Museum 
    • A variety of camps offered all summer long connect children to the wonders of nature through art, music, movement, hands-on science activities, and live animal encounters. Family open house nights each Thursday get parents and siblings involved as well. 
  • Mathematics Summer Camp for High School Girls at the University of Nebraska 
    • This all-girls, all-math, week-long camp at the University of Nebraska has been offered since 1997. High school aged girls are invited to this stimulating and supportive environment to develop their mathematical ability and interest. 
For more information on why summer learning is essential to every child's education, check out the research and resources at the National Summer Learning Association.

Friday, February 25, 2011

National Engineers Week: February 20th-26th

This week is the 60th annual National Engineers Week, hosted by the National Engineers Week Foundation. Programs across the country will cultivate and celebrate the profession, and inspire students to become future engineers. 

National events include Introduce a Girl to Engineering on February 24th, when business and engineering leaders from across the country will sponsor talks and activities at local schools and programs. In addition, girls are encouraged to explore engineering through the website Engineer Your Life, where they can learn about how to become an engineer and hear from inspiring women who have already done it! The Foundation also hosted the Future City competition; winners were invited on Feb. 17th to join President Obama and Congressional leaders on their video call to astronauts currently working on the space shuttle Endeavour. 

Coalition members are highly involved in engineering as well:
  • Exploring Engineering with the Women in Engineering Program at the University of Maryland 
    • Exploring Engineering at the University of Maryland (E2@UMD) is a one-week summer program for high school women (rising juniors and seniors) who are considering engineering as a possible major and career. Students live on campus for one week and explore the world of engineering through fun, hands-on activities, laboratory experiments, informative workshops, team challenges and seminars with professional engineers.
  • Engineering Projects at the University of Utah
    • Engineering students bring demos, hands-on projects, and engineering fairs to local schools and community centers. 
What did you do for National Engineers Week? Let us know at info (at) afterschoolscience (dot) org.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Biology in Afterschool

All of the heart-shaped decorations, candy, and cards on Valentine's Day means that I have anatomy on the brain (no pun intended!). Biology concepts are essential to know for careers in health and medicine, and out-of-school time learning can result in quality lab and research experiences for budding biologists.

Here are some biology-, anatomy-, and medicine-themed programs from the Directory
  • Sesame Street Presents: The Body from Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana, California
    • Sesame Street Presents: The Body is Discovery Science Center's most exciting exhibit all about you! This unique exhibit offers a learning experience set in the familiar and reassuring world of Sesame Street. The exhibit is an exciting collection of hands-on, interactive and multimedia experiences that allow children to explore the human body.
  • Homeschool Happenings: Focus on Biology from The Health Adventure in Asheville, North Carolina
    • From the simplest cells to the most complicated organisms, join us at The Health Adventure for "Focus on Biology", a six week look at the astounding life that supports, surrounds, and includes us. Students will become familiar with microscopes and video-scopes as they explore life at the microscopic level. Making their way up through the Kingdoms of Life, students will take part in a number of hands-on lessons involving DNA, botany, taxonomy, zoology, as well as activities that compare the rest of life on planet Earth to humans! Explore a world without opposable thumbs, assemble a human skeleton and role-play a red blood cell's journey through the body. In this inclusive program, students will discover which area of biology most captures their imagination and interest.
  • Virtual Hip Surgery from Edheads 
    • Free online activity! Assume the role of the Surgeon through a hip replacement surgery! Explore careers while learning the anatomy of a hip. Edheads has other virtual biology simulations, including the brain, hip resurfacing, and knee surgery
  •  Amazing Brain from the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, California
    • Students examine real brains from animals such as birds, reptiles, small mammals, and even a human. They learn which parts of the brain are responsible for processing sensory information, enabling thought, and controlling bodily functions. The students observe sensory behavior of live animals and design experiments to test which sense an animal relies on most. All brain specimens are preserved and nontoxic. Respect for animals is emphasized.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Science Museums and Centers

Did you know that over 75 science museums and public science centers from across the country count themselves as members of the Coalition for Science After School? In addition to hosting field trips and workshops for visiting P-12 classrooms, museums and public science centers offer a wide range of camps, classes, clubs, interactive exhibits, and programs. And more research is showing that informal learning spaces like museums give essential contributions to Americans' science knowledge.

Here are some museum and science center highlights from the Directory:

  • Overnight Adventure at the ETSU Natural History Museum and Gray Fossil Site Patch in Gray, TN 
    • Spend a night a the museum with your class, church, scout, or family group! The focus of this camp-in will correspond with the Museum's newest Temporary Exhibit. Activities begin early Saturday evening after the Museum closes and resume again the following morning. A typical camp-in begins at 5:30pm and includes activity stations, a film/video in the classroom, science demos and workshops, snacks and breakfast. Natural History Museum and Gray Fossil Site Patch will be awarded upon completion of program. Award ceremony following breakfast. Program ends at 8:30am.
  • BioDECIDE at the Miami Science Museum Center for Interactive Learning in Miami, FL
    • Biomedicine Deliberative Citizens Debate (BioDECIDE) engages underserved high school students in discussion, debate and on-line research related to some of the most cutting-edge, controversial, and personally relevant topics in biomedicine today. The project annually serves over fifty low-income, first-generation college-bound youth participating in the Miami Science Museum's ongoing Upward Bound (UB) program. BioDECIDE supplements content delivered through the regular UB program, involving students in the development and testing of activities themed around current health issues related to infectious diseases/HIV, mental health, cancer, environmental health, and physical fitness.
  • Cave Overnight at the Cincinnati Museum Center in Cincinnati, OH 
    • This popular overnight program is designed to provide visitors with an in-depth study of the longest man made caves. All of CMCs limestone and ice caves will be explored, animals will be introduced, games will be played, and art will be made. You will enjoy the OMNIMAX film, Journey into Amazing Caves, the next morning. The cost is $28 per camper and per chaperone. 
  • EVOLUTIONS After School Program at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven, CT 
    • What Is EVOLUTIONS? It's a club for students interested in science, serious about school and headed to college. It's a place where you'll learn how to make yourself competitive for college, explore what you want to do with your life and make a bunch of great friends from other schools -- students as serious as you are. It's an opportunity to get paid as an intern in a Yale professor's lab and work at the Peabody Museum teaching exhibits to visitors.
  • 2011 Summer Camp from the Chicago Academy of Science Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago, IL  
    • Fun-filled camps connect children to the wonders of nature through a unique combination of art, music, movement, hands-on science activities, and live animal encounters led by Nature Museum staff. Camps include family open houses the last Thursday evening of each session. Camp fees include a camp t-shirt and healthy daily snack(s). More t-shirts can be purchased prior to camp for $10 each. Campers must turn minimum age of camp before start of session.