Friday, October 11, 2013

Houston We have STEM in Region 3 After School Programs!!!

It has been exactly one calendar year since Region 3 has facilitated the successful launch of The Power of Discovery: STEM 2 Initiative. This is not to say that STEM didn't exist in after school programs in Region 3 before this initiative was introduced. The Power of Discovery: STEM 2 Initiative is helping the after school programs in our region expose their students to a larger number of high-quality, hands-on, project-based, inquiry-based STEM activities. These STEM activities are not only heavily entrenched in the five Learning in After School and Summer Project principles (LIAS); but they are also quickly being aligned to the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards.

The Region 3 STEM team (Monica Gonzalez-Williams, Phil Romig, and Mark Drewes) are currently working with over 100 plus after school sites in Region 3 to increase the STEM capacities of the after school programs by providing professional development for the after school front line practitioners. The professional development offerings to date have helped introduce new skills and teaching strategies to maximize the engagement of students in STEM activities in after school programs. The STEM professional development opportunities have also helped to take the fear out of teaching STEM by adding to the skill set and knowledge base of the front line practitioners. We have also exposed to the after school programs new resources (that exist in the Region), as well as easy to facilitate STEM activities and curriculum.

Within the last year the Region 3 STEM team has observed N-Pass lessons, FOSS lessons, Engineering is Elementary activities, Lego Mindstorms robotic clubs, SPARK STEM activities, Summer Space Programs to name a few. The students have been engaged and working on collaborative projects during our visits. We are truly excited for year II and we cannot wait to see all of the great STEM activities that you and your programs have planned for the 2013-2014 academic year. Thank you so much for joining us on this STEM mission. We couldn't do it without your support and dedication to expanding the STEM horizons of all students in Region 3.

Here are a few pictures of the Grant Managers and After School Agencies in Region 3 exploring the Discovery Museum Science and Space Center. Without them and our community partners we couldn't have embarked on this mission.

Getting ready for our Space Mission!!!

Ready to Blast Off!!

Region 3 has the Right Stuff!

Here are some recent STEM resources and Grant Opportunities that we have come across:

STEM Articles:


STEM Activities Websites:

STEM Professional Development Opportunities:

a)  Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) FREE 2 day training
    (K-12 frontline practitioners)

    depends on a registration date (K-12)

c) California After School Resource Center (CASRC) FREE Online training (K-12)

d) Resource Area for Teachers Training (RAFT) November 6, 2013 
    (More Information to Follow)

    from 10:00 am - 11:30 am (Free)

STEM Contest:

a) SMUD Solar Regatta: May 16 and 17th 2014 (Grades 6 - 12) 
    Open to anyone that lives from the 
    Oregon border to the Fresno County Line (Includes Fresno)

STEM/Non-STEM Grant Sites:

a) Hungry For Music: Maximum Grant Amount (Not Specified) Deadline: Nov. 15, 2013

    Maximum Grant Amount $10,000 
    Deadline: October 21, 2013 

Please share with us your STEM story. Email us at and we will feature your story in our next blog post.

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