Monday, November 05, 2012

Join the Science After School Conversation!

The following blog post is from Coalition Director Carol Tang.

As we launch our new look and new website this week, let’s take a quick look back on the last few months as we traveled across the country and talked to many of you about the importance of science experiences for youth in afterschool and summer settings.

We’ve gone to Boys and Girls Club Southwest Leadership Conference in Denver, the Alameda County of Education afterschool kickoff event in Vallejo, the Bridges Conference organized by Schools Out Washington in Seattle and the 21st CCLC Summer Institute in New Orleans to talk about how high quality STEM experiences supports high quality youth development. Both the science education and youth development fields aspire to build confidence, foster curiosity and lifelong learning, build communication and collaboration skills, and support mastery.

We’ve also been meeting with national leaders in science education to ensure that afterschool opportunities are full considered and respected as an important player in increasing STEM literacy and the future innovation workforce. I spoke at a panel at the Association of Science Technology Centers, was a facilitator at the National Research Council’s summit on informal science education assessments and a co-facilitator at the 21ST CCLC STEM partners meeting. Perhaps most excitingly, we were invited to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative America 2012 summit in Chicago as part of the STEM team.  Our work with Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds and 826 National was acknowledged by President Clinton himself!

I know that as we launch our new site, we now have a new platform to increase the visibility of science afterschool among the youth development, science education, and science communities to meet our mission. But we need you, as Coalition supporters, to amplify our message and together we can find solutions to the challenges we face in bringing high-quality science experiences to all youth. Thanks for your past support and we look forward to more success stories in the years to come.

Photo credit: Clinton Global Initiative.

Carol Tang is the Director of the Coalition for Science After School and was recently honored as a “Leading Woman in STEM” by the California Science Learning Network.

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