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Interested in Connecting In-School and Out-of-School STEM Learning?

The National AfterSchool Association Can Help

Connected Science Learning October-December 2018 (Volume 1, Issue 8)

By Heidi Ham

Interested in Connecting In-School and Out-of-School STEM Learning?

Use the National AfterSchool Association’s resources to learn about best practices for implementing out-of-school STEM learning.



The National AfterSchool Association (NAA) is committed to providing professional development (PD), resources, and other opportunities that vary in level of commitment and intensity based on individual needs. Whether you’re looking to deepen your knowledge about out-of-school (OST) STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning or to further support your team, the opportunities below can help.

Targeted professional learning resources and opportunities

Afterschool Tech Toolkit

Equips educators with strategies and training to provide students with powerful access to technology outside of school.

National Professional Development and Credentialing System (NPDCS)

The NPDCS will develop and recognize afterschool professionals’ facilitation skills, competency, and self-efficacy through digital badge microcredentials in STEM and other content areas.

Short and structured professional learning opportunities


Resources to host relevant PD discussions on a variety of topics, including STEM.


Four days of networking, learning, and inspiration: special events, educational sessions (25% STEM-related), daily keynotes, and an interactive learning expo.


Self-directed learning resources

AfterSchool Today magazine

NAA’s official quarterly publication highlights member success and expertise with articles focused on afterschool research and practice.


Featuring weekly articles about current events and topics to inspire and equip afterschool professionals and leaders while informing those interested in afterschool research, programs, practices, and opportunities.

Social media

Find the latest in OST—#STEMSaturdays include posts on STEM education trends.

Other publications

Harnessing the Power of Explanation—Talking With Schools and Families About Afterschool STEM

Relationships with families and schools are a key component to afterschool program quality. This guide provides easy, adaptable messages for afterschool staff to communicate confidently and competently about why afterschool provides such a powerful space for STEM learning.

Reducing STEM Gender Bias: A Guide for Program Leaders

Studies show that OST STEM programs can have an impact on young people’s attitudes toward STEM—sparking the passion needed to carry them through school and into STEM careers. Afterschool leaders have a responsibility to make these STEM experiences gender neutral and female positive.

STEM + Wellness = A Powerful Equation for Equity

This brief coauthored with the Afterschool Alliance, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and National Girls Collaborative, shares the benefits of combining STEM and wellness resources to support development.


How to Stop the Summer Slide With STEM

During the summer, it’s vital that young people have the opportunity for free play and exploration, and engage with more intentional educational activities. This e-book is full of ideas to stop the summer slide.

Interested in learning more or staying current on OST learning and connecting it to the school day? Visit


Heidi Ham ( is vice president of programs and strategy at the National AfterSchool Association in Oakton, Virginia.

Informal Education

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