Spring 2017
Impact After School Conference
Join 200 of your friends from across the state at the 5th annual Impact After School Conference! 

Topics will include creating safe and supportive environments, STEM, elementary and middle school literacy, and much more! A special pre-conference session will focus on STEM and introduce participants to a lesson planning tool that will transform the quality of your STEM activities.

Click here to learn more and register!
Check out the agenda here.
Grant Opportunities

The Iowa Arts Council is offering several community grants. 

All have May 1, 2017 deadlines.


Arts Build Communities Grant


Apply for funding to support an arts project that addresses a civic challenge or issue facing your community. Grant recipients will receive technical assistance to help develop the project form either Iowa State University, University of Iowa, or University of Northern Iowa. Grant awards of $10,000.


Click here to apply.


Art Project Grant 

Apply for funding to support the creation and presentation of new artwork, development of an arts experience or formation of an arts education program. Project grants provide you support to positively impact the vitality of the arts in Iowa by creating arts opportunities that are accessible to all Iowans. Up to $10,000. 


Click here to find out more about the grant.


Cultural Heritage Project Grant

Apply for funding to support a community project that creates jobs for Iowans and provides access to a cultural heritage experience. Up to $10,000.

Click here to read more.
Reports and Research

DoS Workshop Lesson Plan Data
The Active Learning Community Partners wrapped up their 2016 STEM professional development workshops around the state of Iowa last September. The workshops focus on the Dimensions of Success tool to introduce quality measures for informal STEM activities. The group recently released data showing the change in participants' lesson plans before and after attending one of the workshops.

Click here for the full data.

STEM Ready America
STEM Ready America: Inspiring and Preparing Students for Success with Afterschool and Summer Learning is a compendium of articles from 40 leading experts. The site provides success stories, research, and articles on STEM learning from policymakers, educators, and business, foundation, and youth development leaders. This powerful collection of articles portrays the state of the field of STEM learning --- especially in the time and space beyond school.

Click here to read the full report.
Recent Webinars

Knowing When STEM Learning Runs Deep
Presented by: Click2Science

Learn how to use formative and summative assessment strategies to engage youth in learning.  The focus is on assessing learning in out-of-school programs in ways that are authentic for learners and useful for us as facilitators. We will share actual strategies you can take from this webinar and put to use in your program.

Supporting Girls in Afterschool
Presented by: Afterschool Alliance

In this webinar, a lead researcher from the Girl Scout Research Institute will present findings from their recently released report, The State of Girls. The latest report documents trends in girls' well-being from before the Great Recession to present day, across five indicators: economic, physical, and emotional health; extracurricular activities; and education.

You can find more webinars on our wiki site: iowastemactivelearning.wikispaces.com

Legislative Updates - Iowa Afterschool Alliance
The Iowa Afterschool Alliance sends out bi-weekly legislative updates to its members during each state legislative session (January - May). Each update contains summaries of afterschool-related legislation, state and federal policy updates, and tools for advocates.

Sign up to receive legislative updates here

Sign a Letter to Support 21CCLC Programs
With the President's "skinny budget" proposing the elimination of afterschool funding for 1.6 million students, and House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees beginning the FY18 spending process, the Afterschool Alliance is asking for your support of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative. 
Check out their organizational sign-on letter (at the link below) calling for at least current funding of $1.16 billion for 21st CCLC within the FY18 House and Senate spending bills.
To add your organization to the letter, please go here:
IAA Advocacy Trainings
Join the Iowa Afterschool Alliance to learn more about the legislative process, issues affecting afterschool, and how you can be a champion for youth.  You'll leave with concrete actions you can take to advocate for the issues you care about and tons of resources to help you along the way. Lunch will be provided to all attendees.
Mark your calendars for our upcoming trainings, click one of the links below to RSVP.
May 5th
Storm Lake
10 - 1pm

May 12th
11 - 2pm

May 9th 
Cedar Rapids
10 - 1pm

May 17th 
Mason City
1 0 - 1pm

May 10th
Red Oak
10 - 1pm

May 19th 
10 - 1pm

For more advocacy resources and contact information for your legislators, visit our wiki: iowastemactivelearning.wikispaces.com
Summer Learning Planning Guide
Thinking about summer programming? Check out this comprehensive summer learning program planning guide? Included in the guide are research-based strategies, program examples, and helpful tools.

Click here to read more.

Leading Kids Through a Successful Engineering Experience
Discover E created an online workshop that guides educators and volunteers through the planning steps for creating an engaging engineering activity and provides helpful tips for implementation.

Click here for the step-by-step guide.

How-To Videos on Activity Preparation
Engineering is Elementary has put together a series of how-to videos demonstrating how to set up and prepare materials for a variety of popular STEM activities, from hand pollinators to circuits.

Click here to browse the video library.
You can find more resources on our wiki site: iowastemactivelearning.wikispaces.com
Dimensions of Success Observer

STEM Program Observers Needed! 

Would you like to become an out-of-school time STEM program observer? 
Upcoming Observer Training Date s :
  • April 12th- 13th, 2017; 9am- 3pm
  • May 17th- 18th, 2017; 9am- 3pm
The Iowa Afterschool Alliance is using the Dimensions of Success (DoS) Evaluation tool, which pinpoints twelve indicators of STEM program quality out-of-school time, to measure the quality of OST STEM programs across the state. The DoS Tool was developed and studied, with funding from the National Science Foundation, by the Program in Education, Afterschool and Resiliency at Harvard University. 

We are currently seeking individuals in different areas of the state who are interested in observing afterschool programs using the DoS Tool. Thanks to our funding from STEM Next, this training is provided at no charge to you!

If you are interested in becoming a DoS observer, please contact Gracie Brandsgard at the IAA at  gbrandsgard@sppg.com. 
STEM Save the Dates

April 12-13, 2017
DoS Observer Training, online webinar
If interested in becoming an observer, please contact Gracie Brandsgard at  gbrandsgard@sppg.com

April 26-28, 2017
Impact After School Conference
Click here to find out more and register.

May 5, 2017
IAA Advocacy Training
Storm Lake
Click here to register.

May 9, 2017
IAA Advocacy Training
Cedar Rapids
Click here to register.

May 10, 2017
IAA Advocacy Training
Red Oak
Click here to register.

May 12, 2017
IAA Advocacy Training
Click here to register.

May 17, 2017
IAA Advocacy Training
Mason City
Click here to register.

May 17-18, 2017
DoS Observer Training, online webinar
If interested in becoming an observer, please contact Gracie Brandsgard at  gbrandsgard@sppg.com

May 19, 2017
IAA Advocacy Training
Click here to register.

For general questions, please contact:
Gracie Brandsgard
STEM Active Learning Lead
Iowa Afterschool Alliance
2910 Westown Pkwy, Suite 302
West Des Moines, IA 50266