Thursday, December 20, 2012

Let the After School Science Directory Help You

We completely redesigned the search function and look of the National After School Science Directory!  Now it's easy to discover science-rich institutions and youth development organizations in your community with our new search options.  Start with a zip code search, then expand the distance around your search to find the area you're interested in.

The new search capabilities of the Directory make it a great tool for:

Promoting your organization's after school science classes, workshops & camps
Spreading the word about your virtual and online resources
Finding potential partners in your city, state or nationwide
Discovering professional development opportunities by using the new "Program" filter

As always, listing your after school science opportunities in our Directory connects you with a national audience of kids and parents through Time Warner Cable's Connect A Million Minds Connectory!

You can also look here for a list of organizations currently registered with the Directory.

Are your winter camps listed in the Directory yet? There's still time to promote your awesome out-of-school time science programming - log in today!

Friday, December 07, 2012

Maya Science and Nasa Science

Science educators often find themselves in the position of wanting to debunk commonly held beliefs.  Earlier this week astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson tweeted about the 2012 Doomsday rumors, offering scientific reasoning in favor of all life not coming to an end in a few weeks.

NASA's Calendar in the Sky program is embracing the opportunity to educate folks as we approach the winter solstice about Maya Science and Nasa Science.  While the Mayan Long Count Calendar ends on December 21 2012, there is no evidence to suggest that the ancient Maya people believed that the world would end on that day.  They also have free astronomy lesson plans online, including one lesson focused entirely on the "Mayan Skies."

How will you celebrate December 21, 2012? If you need some ideas, join the last webinar in this series from Calendar in the Sky next week!

Title: How Are You Celebrating December 21st, 2012?
Host: Bryan Mendez, Space Sciences Lab, UC Berkeley
Date: Friday, December 14, 2012
Time: 11am PT/12pm MT/1pm CT/2pm ET
Duration: 90 minutes
Format: Online Webinar (60 min presentation with 30 min discussion period)
Registration: Please register for this webinar here

What do you have planned for your audiences to mark December 21st, 2012, the 13th Bakt'un anniversary of the Maya Long Count calendar? Are you having a "Not the end of the world" party, are you holding a special event, are you marking the solstice, are you including aspects of Maya culture? In this final Webinar of the Bakt'un, participants will share activities they have planned for December 21st, 2012, perhaps getting some last minute ideas from their colleagues from around the country.

Calendar in the Sky is a NASA-funded project led by UC Berkeley to engage the American public, particularly Latino audiences, in NASA science (space exploration, astronomy, planetary and Earth sciences, etc.) via the broad interest in Maya culture. We are conducting a series of webinars for educators on NASA science and Maya astronomy. Following the webinars, attendees will be given access to private discussion boards on the project website ( where they can discuss the webinar topics and exchange ideas and resources for educational programming with colleagues. The webinars will be recorded and archived on the website. This will be the third webinar in the series.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

STEM in Chicago in Out of School Time Conference

Organized by Project Exploration, supported by the Hive Chicago Learning Network, and hosted by the Illinois Institute of Technology, The State of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math in Chicago in Out of School Time conference will convene 100+ of Chicago’s top STEM‐education stakeholders and practitioners to share and discuss the results of the city’s first ever survey of out‐of‐school time STEM education opportunities. 

Sessions will include presentations from local and national leaders involved in system-building for youth and STEM, and working groups on digital and connected learning, state-wide learning exchanges, summer strategies, and strategic collaboration for increasing diversity in the STEM workforce pipeline. 

Funding for this conference is being provided by HIVE Chicago and The After School Corporation. Research funding has been provided by the Noyce Foundation and the Chicago Foundation for Women.

The conference will be held on December 17th from 8:00am-5:00pm at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Conference goals include:
  • Sharing the results of the first citywide survey of the STEM out-of-school time opportunity landscape
  • Raising awareness about the importance of, and opportunity inherent in, out-of-school time STEM to impact students’ educational and career aspirations and achievement.
  • Discussing recommendations for a citywide strategy for building and supporting transparent K-16 pathways in STEM.
  • Bringing together leaders in the field who can collaborate to create and support student-centered pathways into and through STEM K-16, using out of school time programs as a building block.

Deadline: Register by December 14th.

WEBSITE:  Visit the conference page to register, review the schedule or learn about sponsorship opportunities: .

Apply for the Excellence in Summer Learning Award!

The National Summer Learning Association’s (NSLA) Excellence in Summer Learning Award recognizes outstanding summer programming that demonstrates excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting healthy development for young people between kindergarten and twelfth grade.

The initial application to be considered is easy to complete, and in addition to recognizing the Excellence Award-winning programs, NSLA will also recognize summer learning innovations with the Summer Sparks awards in high-interest categories such as:
Family Engagement,
Digital Learning, 
Health and Nutrition, 
Early Literacy, and 
New Vision for Summer School (only school district applicants are eligible for NVSS). 

All programs also receive detailed written feedback--highlighting both strengths and recommendations for improvement based on NSLA's quality standards. Previous winners have used the recognition in fundraising efforts and received local and national publicity. NSLA also works closely with each award winner to promote awardees to media and policymakers.  

You can learn more and download the application at Applications are due to NSLA by Friday, February 8, 2013.