March 2017

Science Action Club: Birds in Your Schoolyard 

Through games, projects, and hands-on activities, youth in SAC: Birds  investigate nature, document their discoveries, connect with scientists, and design strategies to protect our planet. Afterschool staff receive in-depth training on SAC kits, activity guidebooks, and best practices for teaching STEM in the informal learning environment. The citizen science based activities are perfect for out-of-school-time programs!

Programs who register for the training are also signing on to complete the full 10 lesson plans this Spring with at least 15 students enrolled each session. Facilitators from each site will be asked to give feedback after each lesson in an online document. Participating sites will receive the $500 kit for free from the California Institute of Sciences along with the curriculum and free training.

March 17th

Mozilla Web Literacy Clubs

In this interactive training, participants will explore how to engage school-aged youth in Mozilla Web Clubs with a focus on web literacy as outlined in the Mozilla web literacy map. Participants will explore how to support youth voice, successfully create groups and teams for Web Literacy activities, use the agile process to complete work in group

March 24th
NAA Conference 
 March 19-22
Dallas, TX

Children and Nature Symposium

March 13th at the Oregon Zoo

For more information and to register  click here

Spring is Here!
Join us for our annual Day at the Capitol, and tell your legislators why afterschool and summer learning matter to you! Your voice matters. 

Study: STEM Learning in Afterschool

A large-scale study found that Oregon students who attend afterschool programs focused on STEM learning, like Fidgets to Widgets or Umatilla STEM Academy,   are more interested in science and gaining skills they need to succeed in virtually every job, like critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, perseverance, experimentation. Among the students in our state's afterschool STEM programs, 78% percent said they gained knowledge about science careers, 73% percent increased their interest in science careers, and 72.3% percent reported an increase in critical thinking.
The study was conducted by a team from the PEAR Institute at Harvard University and McLean Hospital and IMMAP: Institute for Measurement, Methodology, Analysis & Policy at Texas Tech University. They surveyed nearly 1,600 youth and their program leaders in 160 programs across 11 states, including Oregon. They collected and analyzed data from observations of programs, student self assessment and teacher/facilitator questionnaires to create a fascinating new look into STEM in afterschool.

Professional Development Questionnaire

We want to know about professional development needs! Fill out our survey and help us build opportunities that are responsive and relevant to the needs of the field.

Take our survey, and like us on Facebook and Twitter, and you'll be entered into a raffle to win a free registration to the 2017 Oregon Afterschool Conference! Five raffle winners will be randomly selected to win free conference registrations.

Join us on Social Media

Did you know OregonASK is active on Facebook and Twitter? Connect with us on social media for more resources and opportunities and to share your story with us- we love to see what you're up to, and to amplify your work through the power of social story telling! 

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This month, if you like us on both Facebook and Twitter AND take our Professional Development Questionnaire, we'll send you a gift card to enjoy a cup of coffee on us!

STEM and ESSA Webinar

Join OregonASK and Executive Director of the STEM Education Coalition, James Brown, for a webinar on STEM and the Every Student Succeeds Act  (ESSA). We'll discuss how STEM In Afterschool & Summer supports student success, the work of the STEM Education Coalition, and the National Perspective on integrating informal STEM within ESSA implementation. This hour long webinar will be held on March 16th at 10:00. REGISTER HERE for an engaging and informative conversation! 

Zero Robotics 2017
Ready to enter the world's first robotics competition in space this summer? This 5-week summer program cultivates student interest in STEM and offers students unprecedented access to the International Space Station. If you're interested, fill out this form and we'll contact you! 

PTA Project

Parents are an essential to a child's positive STEM Identity. We need to fill the opportunity gap in STEM education and careers by making sure all children know that they can do science and math, use technology, and apply their knowledge to practical experiences. To help meet this need OregonASK is partnering with  Portland Council PTA  (a coalition of 74 parent groups in Portland) to empower parents to create family engagement events where families work together on engineering design challenges. PTA leaders and afterschool program staff at their school attended training to brush up on best practices for leading informal STEM activities and hosting meaningful family events.  Six pilot PTAs are a part of this project and have committed to hosting STEM family nights at their schools.  Each site received training, a $350 kit of materials, a guidebook, and coaching support. We hope to expand next school year to include additional schools. The six PTAs are Boise-Eliot/Humboldt, Creston, Faubion, Hayhurst, Scott, and Vestal. The family events will take place in February and March. We'll be reporting on our successes and challenges at the  Oregon PTA Conference and Convention  on  April 21-22  in Wilsonville. 
You can read more about the power of parents and their role in a child's STEM identity on the  National PTA website.
Science Everywhere

The Overdeck Family Foundation and the Simons Foundation, 
in partnership with,  just announced  the launch of  Science Everywhere , an initiative to catalyze math and science learning beyond school walls. The challenge includes several key components; a partnership with a public school teacher, an innovative science or math project done outside school hours, a little of your own fundraising and the actual implementation of the project.  At the end of the challenge, a panel of judges led by astronaut Leland Melvin will award five $5,000 prizes to the best ideas. If you are interested in getting a little extra money for your program and an opportunity to demonstrate great community support, check out the synopsis HERE And be sure to read the full set of submission guidelines  here Apply soon-donations will be matched only until funding runs out! 
Family Engagement 
Amping Up Service in Kid Programs

How can we help parents who are busy be more involved with their kids?  This was the most difficult question on the minds of child care and after school program attendees at the Workshop on Family Engagement presented by Washington County Kids (WCK) on a recent Saturday morning. After a welcome from WCK Chair, Katie Riley, attendees from across the county  and serving all age groups and segments of the community listened to panelists from the various perspectives:  parents, an afterschool and summer program, and a culturally specific program for all ages. The panelists noted the importance of reaching out positively and personally to parents when they come in, providing information on what kids have been doing, and being culturally aware and sensitive.  

The second part of the workshop was facilitated by Susan Hamann, (Master Trainer, Oregon ASK), and Lisa Kensel, (Portland PTA Council President).  They focused on identifying barriers to involvement and then positively using tips and techniques to address them including using social media, providing structure to the program and training for staff, and looking creatively at barriers to engagement. Participants brainstormed barriers to engagement and discussed possible underlying causes and how they could be addressed. Knowing names of family members and their likes can help to engage in conversations to include them in the "family" of the program.  Participants also acknowledged that offering food was a good way to promote involvement.  Providing programs that engages kids and youth helps relieve parental stress and families are more willing to engage with their children in the program. 

Some helpful resources for learning about meaningful family engagement are linked below:

Oregon Afterschool Conference 2017

Interested in leading a session? HERE is our application to present- join us in making this year's conference the best one yet!
OregonASK | Wilsonville, OR 97070 | 503-689-1656 |

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