The South Dakota Afterschool Network works to better our state and its communities by connecting providers, parents and policymakers with proven tools and resources to increase the quality of and access to out-of-school time programming for K-12 children and youth.

Afterschool is a lifeline that keeps youth safe, helps kids learn and grow, and provides parents the ability to work without worry. While South Dakota is home to more than 300 afterschool programs, the demand for programs exceeds available spaces. In fact, 1 in 3 South Dakota children (34 percent) who are not in an afterschool program would be enrolled if it were available. That’s more than 42,000 children who are missing out on opportunities to participate in programming that supports their development academically, socially and economically.

Afterschool can provide valuable opportunities for students to explore STEM, and we are here to help your program succeed in STEM Learning! From webinars and trainings to our signature TMC Trailers that bring turnkey STEM activities to your doorstep, our diverse collection of resources meets you and your students where you are and provides the support you need to deliver quality programming to your students at any age. 

The South Dakota Afterschool Network wanted to create a mapping tool to better understand the landscape of afterschool and summer programs available for children and families. From the initial launch of the new mapping tool, we have identified some startling findings.

Activities & Resources for Programs – December

Activities


Activities

Prepare for the 2023 Geminid Meteor Shower with SDPB Learn!
One of the Northern Hemisphere’s most magnificent meteor showers, this celestial spectacle will reach its pinnacle the evening of December 14, when the sky will be lit with up to 120 shooting stars per hour. Prepare for the meteor shower with these resources, which explain what meteors are and what your students should expect to see in the stunning celestial show.
Check out these links for opportunities to talk about what meteors and asteroids are and how to view them.

K-2 resource: https://bit.ly/4anqnIK

K-2 resource: https://bit.ly/3GzLjOV

9-12 resource: https://bit.ly/489k9KA

Viewing with NASA: https://bit.ly/3uPTuUJ
  • Code.org’s Free CS curriculum – Free, flexible, and fun curriculum for every grade level (elementary, middle, and high school), includes lesson plans, videos, slides, assessments, and programming tools.
  • Hour of Code Activities – A collection of one-hour tutorials designed for all ages in over 45 languages. Join millions of students and teachers in over 180 countries starting with an Hour of Code!
  • What Are the Chances? – This activity includes and introductory video to illustrate the activity. Youth experiment with probability to tell how likely it is that an event will occur. (This means that for certain events you can actually calculate how likely it is that they will happen.) In this activity, youth will do these calculations and then test if your calculations hold true for reality. 
  • Educator Guide: Make a Planetary Exploration Balloon – This activity for grades 3-12 uses math and engineering to design a balloon and gondola system capable of supporting weight. In this design challenge students will then determine the mass needed to cause the balloon to ascend at a given rate, descend at a given rate, and/or maintain a constant altitude over a set period of time.
  • Build a Pizza Box Solar Oven – Use easily found materials to create an oven where students can cook s’mores.  The activity answers the question “What has engineering got to do with me?” in a way that is fun. 
  • Hands-On Math: Fraction Math Trees – This fun hands-on, kinesthetic and visual approach to learning about fractions produces “math art”.
  • Welcome to Space Math @ NASA – A collection of math videos, books, and activities that are sorted by grade level, science topic, NASA missions, and engineering topics. All activities are based on NASA Mission and projects.
  • STEM Lessons From Space: Mathematics – A collection of math and engineering activities, videos, and resources with a focus on the International Space Station. 
  • The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers – A collection of fun and easy activities for ages 4-18 that cover a broad spectrum of activities—everything from designing devices to address climate change to coding. 
  • STEM Activities for Families – Family engagement is a key factor in developing a positive STEM identity and success in STEM. These easy to implement, fun hands-on activities can be shared with families. The activities focus on engineering, technology, and math skills and content.
  • 49 STEM Activities to Engage Your Students on National STEM Day – To celebrate National STEM Day share these diverse. fun, hands-on activities to get youth engaged and passionate about STEM subjects.  All of the activities use familiar materials that can be found in the afterschool center or in a supermarket. For example, Bouncing Sums gets kids moving around while learning basic math.
  • Puzzle Fun with a Perimeter Magic Triangle – This collection of geometry games is known as the Perimeter Magic Triangle Puzzles. It includes both math and science. These fun activities make it easy to find materials to encourage kids to continue doing the activities at home.
  • Earthquake Rollers – This engineering activity focuses on ways to keep people safe in earthquake zones. Earthquakes can cause serious damage to buildings and even loss of human life. Youth participate in this hands-on engineering activity to find out  if engineers can keep the millions of people in earthquake zones safe.
  • Are you planning activities for the No School Days coming up over the holiday break? Check out some of these great options from NASA to increase STEM engagement for students.

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Click on the links below to access curated mini units of STEM-based curriculum from SDAN.

Activity Guide: Getting Electric

Activity Guide: Inside My Body

Activity Guide: Building Great Structures

Activity Guide: Harnessing Air 

Activity Guide: City Build 2040

Activity Guide: Star Wars

Activity Resources: Native American Heritage Resources

Activity Resources: Spooky Science Resources

Resources


Recruit STEM Experts as Volunteers

Less than 50% of high school girls know a woman in a STEM career. Let’s change that – recruit STEM professionals to support the youth you serve today!

The Moonshot helps to connect STEM experts with OST programs! Share your program’s volunteer opportunities for STEM experts to work with your youth today! Register here to find role models and mentors in STEM.

Transformative Practices
  • Equity and Inclusion in Computer Science: DEI Bytes – The Alliance for Identity Inclusive Computing Education’s “DEI Bytes” lesson series on YouTube focuses on developing equitable teaching skills for CS education, including topics on ableism, unconscious bias, and computing access. 
  • Engineering Mindsets/Computer Science: AI 101 for Teachers – This is a free, foundational online learning series for educators interested in AI. The series features lessons from Code.org, ETS, ISTE and Khan Academy to demystify AI, explore responsible implementation, address bias, and showcase how AI-powered learning can revolutionize.
  • Engineering Mindsets/Computer Science: Teach Computer Science & Coding to Kids – This Google sponsored site supports educators to engage youth in coding activities.  It’s free, fun, and no computer science experience is required. The lessons are video based and cover a variety of subjects. 
  • Engineering Mindsets: Free STEM Resources for Girls and Women Who Want to Work in Data Science, Machine Learning and AI – This site lists activities for children, STEM resources especially for girls, math resources, and resources for teens. The resources focus on areas that depend on math and where women are most underrepresented. 
  • Engineering Mindsets Video: NASA’s Women in STEM 2023 – In this video, NASA celebrates Women’s History Month 2023 by launching a new campaign to mobilize women at NASA to participate in student-centered activities as STEM mentors and role models. A transcript of the video Is available to connect to other resources.
  • NGCP Webinar: Meet STEM Picture Book Author and Founder of Let’s Engineer! Sheryl Haft – This webinar is an exciting meet-and-greet event with Sheryl Haft, Founder of Let’s Engineer! and the author of the new book Mazie’s Amazing Machines. The book features dynamic illustrations, a fun fold-out spread, and even a QR code to meet Mazie in augmented reality 3-D that is sure to inspire budding engineers and creative out-of-the-box thinking. Join the event live (09/28/2023) or watch the recording to learn about activities and discussion prompts to inspire girls and all young children in engineering!
  • Role Models Assets from the IF/THEN® COLLECTION – These assets featuring IF/THEN® Ambassadors, Siobahn Day Grady, Assistant Professor Information Science/Systems and Bea Mendez Gandica, Program Manager and Founder, can be used in marketing, presentations, social media, and conference presentations.

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