Assessment and Planning Tool for STEM in Expanded Learning Programs

The California AfterSchool Network’s (CAN) purpose is to promote quality in expanded learning programs. Utilizing its unique and effective leadership and committee structure, CAN is a convener of the field, able to facilitate a two-way flow of information between the field and State and National policymakers where the needs and thoughts of the expanded learning field at all levels can influence and inform policy and policy is translated into practice. Ultimately CAN believes that these efforts will bring greater coherence and professionalism to the field.

About the project

The Power of Discovery: STEM seeks to increase the quantity and quality of STEM programs across California. Public Profit partnered with the California AfterSchool Network (CAN)—the host of the Power of Discovery initiative—to create a STEM readiness tool for out-of-school time programs. The readiness tool synthesizes the major lessons learned from the initiative into a practitioner-friendly tool.

The Question

How can programs better implement STEM?

CAN wanted to help after-school communities implement STEM, including those communities that had STEM-related activities already in place and those that were just beginning STEM-related activities. CAN had developed a planning tool early in the initiative, but wished to streamline it and make it more universally usable in the out-of-school time field.

The Process

Creating a novel approach—self-assessment and program planning in one

Public Profit joined forces with CAN to create a comprehensive tool that blends self-assessment with program planning, allowing after-school communities to identify their stage of development and clarify the next steps to enhance quality. The guide provides links to useful resources tailored to meet the needs of out-of-school time professionals at any stage in their STEM development.

The Outcome

Out-of-school time professionals empowered to enhance their practice

Out-of-school time professionals can use this tool to determine the stage in their STEM cycle and to gain access to resources to assist in the strengthening and progression of STEM in their program. CAN has helped to strengthen the field by adding a valuable resource available to all.

See Us in Action

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