My STEM Units

Saturday, February 15, 2014

STEM After-School Enrichment Clubs

After-school clubs are not new.  Many schools around the nation offer robotics, foreign language (including ASL), cultural, and religious clubs.  Even more offer after-school tutoring.  But what about STEM?

What is a STEM Club?
A STEM Club is a gathering of students that meets regularly in an informal environment to work on inquiry-based Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) related activities. 
 Benefits of a STEM Club
STEM clubs may have the following benefits:
  • Providing opportunity for meaningful STEM learning and for students to engage in science, technology, engineering and math in multiple ways and in a supportive and fun environment.
  • Building their knowledge and application (i.e., behavior change) of STEM content and processes.
  • Honing their ability to collaborate with and learn from other students and from STEM professionals.
  • Building their interest in academic success and higher education.
  • Foster their interest in additional STEM learning opportunities and careers. (


Maybe you have wanted to start a STEM Club, but weren't sure how to do it.  There are many resources available for you.   Science Foundation Arizona has created a STEM Club Guide, with everything you need.  They have professional development in the summer.  Just for attending the PD, you will receive a check for $700 to buy supplies for your club.  They have ongoing panels and forums, where educators from across the state can "meet up" to pose questions and seek answers from others.

Boys and Girls Club

"Time Warner Company will provide $500,000 in cash to help Boys and Girls Clubs (BGCA) engage and inspire youth around the country to become interested in STEM subjects."  Read the entire article here.  BGCA was already leading the pack with it's Club Tech initiative, where local clubs partner with local cell-phone providers to offer technology training.

Our local BGCA facility in Whiteriver already has the laptops and I will begin a Club Tech session soon.  Club Tech is only the beginning.

  Available for all Clubs this summer, the DIY STEM program curriculum will engage Club youth ages 10 to 18 in a different strand of STEM—from robotics to electrodynamic propulsion—each week. Aligning to the Common Core State Standards Initiative, the project-based STEM activities will provide opportunities for critical thinking and peer exchange.

 Research shows that after-school enrichment programs are effective in stimulating interest in STEM-related careers, plus so much more.  But don't take my word for it.  Read these letters from parents of STEM Club students.

I have noticed that my daughter became more brighter and  more patient after she joined STEM Club.  I have also noticed that she began reading more on her own and asking for books.  She also started keeping a journal of her own. She writes in it daily.  She

And these are just a few.

The students are just as excited about STEM Club as the parents.  At our school, STEM Club is an honor and students clamor to get in.  The day that permission slips are distributed is like Oscar Night or the Academy Awards.  When the teacher calls a name, the other students actually clap for that student.  I have seen more than one fist-pump.

If your child's school doesn't offer After-School Enrichment STEM Club, perhaps your local Boys and Girls Club does.  Ask your local BGCA if they have Club Tech and if they will be hosting STEM Clubs this summer.  I would love to hear your success stories here as well.

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