Empowering and inspiring youth

What makes a successful youth program? At the session “Making the Most of a Youth Development and Employment Program” at the ASTC Annual Conference on October 3, representatives from U.S. and U.K. science centers and museums described how they’re empowering youth to gain meaningful work experience, take on high levels of responsibility, increase their STEM knowledge, and grow within their institutions and communities.

Led by the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), Queens, the science centers worked together with Geo Education & Research to create a shared assessment toolkit to develop resources and track annual progress of their Science Career Ladder youth programs. (To request a copy of the toolkit, e-mail Preeti Gupta, NYSCI’s senior vice president for education and family programs, at pgupta AT In addition to NYSCI, partners include COSI, Columbus, Ohio; Discovery Science Place, Tyler, Texas; Pacific Science Center, Seattle; Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, England, United Kingdom; and the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History, New Haven, Connecticut.

The ASTC-led Youth Inspired Challenge (YIC), launched September 16, will document the impacts of these types of youth programs, resulting in greater investment and support for them. The YIC challenges ASTC members to engage youth, ages 10–19, in a total of 2 million hours of STEM-centered youth development programming over a three-year period. Click here to learn more.

Photo by Christine Ruffo