After School Science, Technology and Engineering Program
TheGreenfield CSW’s After School Science, Technology and Engineering Programis a partnership between the Greenfield CSW and the Greenfield Union School District (GUSD) to offer students enrolled in the After-School Education and Safety (ASES) Program access to hands-on science activities aimed at enhancing student understanding of Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) concepts. Through participation in this program, students practice essential scientific habits and are inspired to develop personal and genuine interest in science that will endure throughout their lifetime.
The activities and outcomes facilitated by this program are all aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), specifically its Scientific and Engineering Practices. Through participation in this program, students work on developing grade-appropriate proficiency in NGSS Science and Engineering Practices such as: asking questions and defining problems; developing and using models, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, constructing explanations and designing solutions, engaging in argument from evidence, and obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information. Our approach of offering opportunities for students to collaboratively build, experiment, and reflect on their learning increases intellectual engagement and supports students in their quest to understand both the human-made and natural world around them. In this way, the Greenfield CSW is helping participating students to establish a STEM foundation of scientific literacy that they can rely on and build upon in future science coursework.
A typical session serves one class (~20 students), is approximately two hours long, and takes place in a school classroom. Each “lesson” consists of a brief conversation with students, during which Greenfield CSW staff introduce the concepts to be studied, as well as the issues and questions to be explored. Demonstrations and visuals are incorporated into this introductory phase when appropriate. The sessions then transitions into hands-on activities, which take up the majority of the time. The project is often built from recycled materials and students are allowed and encouraged to take the project home to continue to tinker and interact with it. Two local college-track high school students with plans to pursue a career in STEM or education are employed as part of this program to help deliver the lessons and to serve as mentors for their younger peers. The program operates during the regular school-year and delivers one weekly session to each of the four elementary schools within the GUSD. The 2019 schedule is as follows: