What is AfterSchool KidzScience?
AfterSchool KidzScience offers a rich environment for children in grades 3–5 to investigate freely and creatively. This inquiry-based science program is divided into several areas of science—green, life, physical, forensic, and Earth and space—and each area offers an activity kit that includes instructions and materials. The sessions are engaging and easy to lead. They excite children about science, build science knowledge and inquiry abilities, and help children learn important cooperation and teamwork skills. The program includes
- fun and flexible 45-minute sessions that inspire inquiry
- lots of support for the leader
- materials for up to 20 children
- activities that build on one another
Designed specifically for out-of-school time, this program helps children develop a deep understanding of key scientific concepts. AfterSchool KidzScience works equally well as enrichment during the school day or as a summer school program.
Support for the Leader
AfterSchool KidzScience is designed for the leader to be a “guide on the side,” rather than a formal teacher or science expert. By watching what the kids do and asking questions, the leader helps them follow their natural curiosity. By encouraging the kids to help each other and share ideas and materials, leaders help them gain important social skills. Everything the leader needs for each session is included. Refill kits are also available for materials that may get used up, lost, or broken during the course of the sessions.
AfterSchool KidzScience offers two kinds of videos to support the leader and promote professional development, “How-to” and “Leader Tips” videos. All of the video clips help after-school leaders quickly gain valuable techniques to engage children in hands-on activities.
How-to video clips highlight what to expect in that kit’s sessions; how to explain the main science learning goal; and how to prepare, use, or clean up the materials in that session. Leader Tips videos share valuable strategies for guiding and managing children in all after-school science activities and other hands-on activities.
The video clips are designed to support leaders; they are not intended for the children to view. How-to videos do not present every activity in the kit, and are not intended as a substitute for the session guides. All of the video clips help after-school leaders quickly gain valuable techniques to engage children in hands-on activities. You can view these clips here.
Extending In-school Science Instruction
KidzScience is aligned with National Science Education Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards, as well as many state standards (see all the available correlations here). Activities can complement instruction from existing in-school science curricula and support STEM initiatives.
Fun, Flexible Sessions That Build Understanding
Each kit includes instructions and materials for four sessions—each building upon one another, though they can also stand alone to accommodate flexible attendance. They’ve been created to
- excite children about science
- build science knowledge and inquiry ability
- help children learn important cooperation and teamwork skills
Drawing from the collaboration exhibited by real-world scientists, the AfterSchool KidzScience program includes activities that emphasize teamwork and community and help build positive relationships as children work together.
The key to a successful implementation of any program is professional development. We want you to be confident and comfortable with our program materials. We offer in-person workshops where an experienced trainer will lead the hands-on learning, and will work with leaders to prepare them to implement AfterSchool KidzScience. To request a workshop, contact your local Collaborative Classroom Representative.
If you’re looking for training at your site or a location convenient to you, our in-person workshops are a great alternative to online training. Led by experienced trainers, these workshops provide leaders with the following:
- An overview of the program
- Hands-on experience with the program
- Step-by-step guidelines for successful implementation
- Ways to build caring and supportive peer relationships
- Strategies to enhance kids’ cooperative and communication skills
To discuss options for your program, please call us at 800.666.7270, ext. 289.
Our Partnership with the Lawrence Hall of Science
AfterSchool KidzScience was developed in close collaboration with the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley. The Hall has developed other innovative programs, including GEMS. This unique partnership blended the Hall’s deep expertise in effective, inquiry-based science education with our experience in developing and publishing after-school and in-school programs that promote children’s academic and ethical and social development. AfterSchool KidzScience was highlighted as an exemplary program that sets new benchmarks for innovation in integrating STEM disciplines by the STEM Innovation Award in 2014.
Developed with support from National Aeronautics and Space Administration