Monday, April 11, 2011

Why STEM is Vital for Out-of-School Time Programs

After the disappointing results on PISA and NAEP, it’s no surprise that policy makers, educators, parents, and communities are talking about science in American classrooms. What’s often missing in these discussions is the important role of OST in teaching important academic skills and inspiring a passion for science. Higher Achievement is excited to see Education Week take on the subject in their recent report on Science Learning outside the Classroom.

Higher Achievement recognizes the need to create opportunities for substantive engagement with science both in and out of the classroom. We are responding to this need with a comprehensive approach by integrating STEM (an interdisciplinary approach to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) into our academic program. Through exciting afterschool seminars and summer curricula, we are implementing hands-on and inquiry-based learning of science curriculum across all grades. To support the integration of STEM curriculum, we are building staff development and volunteer trainings that ultimately help scholars develop skills related to scientific thinking and foster a passion for the subject.

This report is a must-read – and articulates much of what Higher Achievement believes about the vital role of out-of-school time programs in science learning. - Sophie Huntington Director of Curriculum and Instruction Higher Achievement

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