Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Coalition for Science After School Sunsets After a Decade of Success

The Coalition for Science After School (CSAS) would like to announce that after nearly a decade of helping to lead and organize the after school science movement, it will sunset its operations in 2014. This decision comes after a decade of agenda-setting and cross-sector partnership development.

Established in 2004, the Coalition for Science After School championed the mission to make science, technology, engineering and math integral components of afterschool and summer programming by bringing together the experience and commitment of thousands of individuals and organizations across the country.  By bridging the afterschool and youth development community with science-rich institutions such as museums, science centers, universities and corporations, the Coalition has worked to increase the quality and quantity of science engagement in afterschool and summer learning settings.

Over the last several years, the field has experienced tremendous growth of programming and attention to science-related out-of-school time opportunities on a national level, due to both the work of advocates like CSAS and other social and political factors. The decision to sunset reflects a consensus among CSAS Steering Committee members that given the robust and exciting status of the science OST field, CSAS leadership is no longer needed.
– Judy Nee, Chair of CSAS Steering Committee

The leadership of CSAS feel that the field has moved into a new phase, one that presents new challenges and opportunities. Though science in OST has grown in prevalence, much work remains to be done to ensure the high quality of opportunities and provide equitable access to youth nationwide. We're confident that this work has taken root, but are concerned about the need to ensure that communities with a high concentration of poverty are not left out of the integration of science and after-school. It is our belief that much of the work necessary to address these challenges will take place at the local level. We strongly believe that the organizations and leaders who have emerged over the past decade in the science OST community are fully capable of addressing these challenges and continuing to propel the field forward.

In addition to fulfilling current commitments to our partners and collaborators, a major component of CSAS work in the next year will be to identify and train new partners who will continue to advance the work that CSAS has historically undertaken, including maintaining and growing a national directory of science-related OST opportunities. This project has been and will continue to be generously supported by our partner, Time Warner Cable, and their Connect a Million Minds initiative.

 Bernadette Chi will lead CSAS through the sunset work in the year ahead. Bernadette brings extensive experience in science program development and evaluation of OST programs and science education. She holds a PhD from UC Berkeley and has been recognized as a leader in the out-of-school science research community. Bernadette will take over for Carol Tang, who recently transitioned to a role as program officer at the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.

CONTACT: Bernadette Chi at coalitionsas@gmail.com