Afterschool Programs and Science Centers Partnering To Serve Youth

August 12th, 2013 - Posted in Partners, Professional Development, Resources by Mary Mathias

ASTC recently partnered with the Afterschool Alliance to explore and promote STEM in afterschool programming. On August 8, 2013, we presented a webinar on how afterschool programs and science centers can work together. You can view the webinar in its entirety here:

Afterschool Programs and Science Centers Partnering to Serve Youth from ASTC Professional Development on Vimeo.

Are you interested in afterschool programs, but unsure how to connect with programs in your community? The first step is to contact your state afterschool network. Websites of the state afterschool networks may have information on local programs, funding opportunities, and other resources. Some networks are actively engaged in elevating the levels of science their state through the collaborative effort, Project Liftoff. You can also contact the Afterschool Alliance’s Afterschool Ambassadors, who are experienced practitioners and advocates of afterschool. Ambassadors in your state are listed among the “Afterschool Champions” on the Afterschool in Your State webpage.

Don’t see an afterschool network in your state? If you are located in Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, or Tennessee, there is not currently a C.S. Mott-funded statewide afterschool network. Alaska will soon have a network. For all of the above states, check the Afterschool in Your State webpage. Listed at the bottom is a state-level contact that will be knowledgeable about afterschool in your state. There may also be Afterschool Ambassadors who can help you connect to the afterschool field and find local programs (listed in the “Afterschool Champions” section).

Here are some additional resources, courtesy of the Afterschool Alliance:

The report,
Defining Youth Outcomes for STEM Learning Afterschool, concludes a 10-month study that asked experienced afterschool providers and supporters to identify appropriate and feasible outcomes. Study participants identified a consensus on outcomes, indicators and sub-indicators that provide a framework to map how afterschool programs contribute to larger STEM education goals. Find more Afterschool Alliance publications as well as research on STEM and afterschool on their Publications page.

Lights On Afterschool
October 17, 2013

Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities. The effort generates strong partner visibility and has become a hallmark of the afterschool movement. Last year, a record of 10,000 events brought together more than one million Americans.

Lights On Afterschool events, like afterschool programs themselves, come in all shapes and sizes. From an open house to a rally of thousands, from a community parade to a week-long celebration across the state, Lights On Afterschool brings kids, families and communities together in support of afterschool programs.

Interested in Making?

As part of the Summer of Making and Connecting, the Afterschool Alliance is facilitating a three-part webinar series for formal and informal education leaders interested in leveraging the power of making to expand access to educational opportunities that engage, excite and inspire youth. The concluding webinar in the series will focus on strategies for increasing the quantity and quality of maker programs at the city and state level. The previous two webinars are available on the archives page.

Build, Create and Innovate: Expanding Access to Maker Programs
Thursday, Aug 29, 2013
12:00 PM EDT
Register here

Guest speakers from the California Department of Education, the Idaho Commission for Libraries and the New York Hall of Science will discuss some of the efforts currently under way to create a learning revolution in rural and urban communities across the country.

  • David Wells, New York Hall of Science

  • Erica Compton, Idaho Commission for Libraries
  • Johannes Troost, California Department of Education
  • Kamila Thigpen, Afterschool Alliance

Upcoming Webinar from Dr. Jeffrey Ford – “The Four Conversations: Daily Communications that Gets Results”

June 10th, 2013 - Posted in Professional Development, Resources by Mary Mathias

Dr. Jeffrey Ford

ASTC is pleased to announce a new professional development opportunity for the ASTC community. Please join us on June 25th at 3pm EDT for a FREE webinar with Dr. Jeffrey Ford, author of The Four Conversations: Daily Communications that Gets Results.

This webinar, building from a wildly popular pre-conference workshop at last year’s ASTC Annual Conference, will introduce participants to Dr. Ford’s online course, The Four Conversations Online Effectiveness Training, and how using the skills gained from the course can help you better communicate with colleagues, visitors, and community leaders. Register now for the online webinar here! Space is limited.

ASTC and Dr. Ford have partnered to offer this online training at a discounted rate of $99 US to ASTC members. Webinars with Dr. Ford are included in this course and exclusive for ASTC members. During these FREE exclusive webinars, Dr. Ford will be answering participants’ questions about successful communication and how you can use the training in your work.

About this professional development
Success in work and life requires the ability to get results through others. Whether it is your boss, a colleague, your spouse, your children, or a neighbor, your ability to produce results with others impacts the quality of your life. The primary tool you have for accomplishing these results is conversation. Yet, as you have no doubt noticed, our conversations don’t always get us the results we want, expect, or hope for. This online course can change that.

In this course, you will learn such things as:

  • Your personal communication practices and how to improve the ones you want to improve
  • Which types of conversations actually slow things down and undermine effective working relations
  • How the four productive conversations work and when to use them to get the results you want and need from others
  • How to overcome barriers to your personal success and accomplishment such as others submitting things late, giving you poor quality work, or being uncooperative
  • That how you talk matters and that you can be more successful and effective by making a few changes in your current pattern of communication
  • ASTC is pleased to offer the online course at discounted rate to ASTC members. The June 25th webinar is free for all ASTC members.

    About Dr. Ford
    Dr. Jeffrey Ford is a professor of management in the Max M. Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He holds a B.S. in marketing from the University of Maryland, and an MBA, and a Ph.D. in organizational behavior from The Ohio State University. Prior to joining Fisher, Dr. Ford served on the faculties of the Institute of Management and Labor Research at Rutgers—The State University of New Jersey, and the Kelly School of Business at Indiana University.

    Order the Four Conversations online from the ASTC Bookstore

    The Four Conversations: Daily Communication that Gets Results
    Jeffrey Ford and Laurie Ford
    Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2009
    This book is an important tool for employees and managers who want to communicate more effectively. The Four Conversations: Daily Communication that Gets Results shows some of the mistakes that are made in everyday conversation and provides the reader with the tools how to minimize those mistakes and to communicate in a way that is productive both for themselves and their colleagues. 240 pp.

    The next webinar with Dr. Ford will take place on Monday, August 19 and will be exclusively for those registered for the Four Conversations Online Effectiveness Training course. Sign up for the course at the discounted rate for ASTC members here!

    Watch the July 25th introductory webinar below:

    Four Conversations Informational Webinar with Dr. Jeffrey Ford from ASTC Professional Development on Vimeo.

    Upcoming Opportunities for STEM Programs in Smaller Communities

    May 22nd, 2013 - Posted in Resources by Mary Mathias

    Sometimes it seems like the big cities get to have all the fun, but not anymore! There are two very exciting opportunities coming up to bring STEM programming to smaller communities:

    Start a Science Festival in Your Town
    From the Science Festival Alliance… “Humans know how to celebrate. For thousands of years and across cultures, festivals have brought people together to commemorate the things that matter most. So if science and technology are now integral to who we are, why doesn’t your community have a science festival? Now is a great time to get a new science festival started, because the Science Festival Alliance currently has funding to support initiatives in both large and small communities. New science festivals in smaller communities could receive mentoring and travel support as well as a $10,000 matching grant. But you’ll have to get your application in by the June 21 deadline. Find out more at

    NASA’s Summer of Innovation Mini-Awards
    NASA has opened the application process for their Summer of Innovation mini-awards program this week. This is a grant program awarding up to $2,500 “to allow smaller, non-traditional organizations to spur STEM interest in their communities.” (See the full press release here) Applications are due June 10! The application and more information are available at

    ASTC Supportor of 2013 U.S. News STEM Solutions National Conference

    May 17th, 2013 - Posted in Resources by Mary Mathias

    U.S. News STEM Solutions
    ASTC is proud to support the second U.S. News STEM Solutions National Conference, which will take place June 17-19, 2013 in Austin, Texas. Members of the ASTC team will join other individuals and organizations to “collaborate with other leaders and visionaries from business, education and government in finding solutions to the gap in America’s STEM-related skills and unfilled jobs.” (See the full press release here.) The conference will focus on conversations that lead directly to the implementation of new ideas that help advance the current and future state of STEM education and careers.

    Those interested in joining this eye-opening conference can register now, and find more information at

    Space Science Institute Launches STAR_Net to Join Libraries with STEM Professionals

    May 14th, 2013 - Posted in Member News, Resources by Mary Mathias

    The National Center for Interactive Learning at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado has launched a website to bring science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programming to public libraries. STAR_Net, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, aims to connect professionals in the STEM fields with library staff members in order to share resources, create partnerships, and develop programs for local communities.

    The project also has two traveling exhibits called Discover Earth: A Century of Change and Discover Tech: Engineers Make a World of Difference, each with accompanying educational programs and activities, plus training programs from librarians.

    Interested museums, libraries, and individual professionals can add their information to STAR_Net’s directory, participate in forum discussions, and browse activities, resources, and webinars. Visit for more information.

    © Association of Science - Technology Centers Incorporated