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 – February


Looking for a sequence of activities you can implement in your afterschool program today? Say goodbye to googling or searching on Pinterest. Use the following activities in sequence to support youth in building an engineering mindset. Note: The following two sets of activities last 5-8 sessions. The first requires hardware and the second does not in case your program does not have access.

  1. Lesson 1-3: Educator Guide: Explore Mars With Scratch | NASA/JPL Edu Grades 3-8, requires hardware, multiple sessions – This activity is divided into multiple sections. The first section is an introduction to setting up a Mars rover game using the Scratch programming language. It can be completed as a stand-alone lesson, or in conjunction with several other sections, depending on student and teacher familiarity with Scratch and block-based programming languages. 
  2. Lesson 4-6: Educator Guide: Mars Rover Driver Board Game | NASA/JPL Edu  Grades 3-8 No hardware required, multiple sessions. In this board-game lesson, students play the roles of a Mars rover, scientist, and engineer to make exploration decisions and accomplish science goals. Students learn to write basic command sequences, which lay the groundwork for developing computer programming skills.  Includes a variety of videos and other resources to learn about computing and Mars. 

Looking for EVEN More Activities at NASA?! Activity Toolkit: Engineering is Elementary’s NASA Partnership free units – A suite of free NASA-funded STEM resources for students in grades 3-8. All resources are research-based and classroom-tested. They are designed to support students’ understanding of space, while helping them see themselves as capable problem solvers.





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


Engineering Week 2/19 – 2/25
  • Discover Engineering Downloadable Resources – A Collection of resources for your Engineers Week and Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day events and activities! Download logos, ads, graphics, certificates, bookmarks, and customizable language you can share.
  • NGCP “10 Ways to Support Girls in STEM in 2023” – A list of 10 simple ways you can support girls in STEM in 2023, along with the necessary resources to help you. Information for addressing stereotypes, introducing role models, exploring coding, and more are included in this helpful NGCP resource that can be used to kickstart your Engineering Week and beyond. 
  • National Science Foundation’s  Engineering Classroom Resources – This collection of lessons and web resources curated by the NSF is aimed at classroom teachers, their students, and student’s families.
  • The STEAM Playbook – NGCP partnered with The Genius of Play to bring this collection of play ideas and ready-to-use activities to help spark a child’s interest in these critical subjects. Check out the activities specific to Engineering to help plan your Engineering Week
  • PBS Kids Engineering Games – Collection of free engineering-focused games from PBS Kids
Transformative Practices
  • Professional Development Guide For Staff: The National Center for Quality Afterschool Math in AfterschoolThe National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning developed professional development guides for four content areas of the toolkit: literacy, math, technology, and the arts. 
  • Activity Toolkit: Growing Math – Provides ready-to-roll-out lessons and games combining math, agricultural science and Indigenous history and culture that can be easily used in classrooms, via hybrid models or through distance learning. The project will provide resources, curriculum, training and tech support to teachers and students in Grades 3-8 at schools in six states: Arizona, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon and South Dakota. For schools in the region, all participation and resources are supported through USDA funds. 
Special Opportunities

NASA Inspires Futures for Tomorrow’s Youth (NIFTY) Applications due February 18, 2023

Looking to leverage your STEM programs for youth (ages 9-14) by connecting with NASA STEM Role Models?The NIFTY project is seeking 20 partners to provide NASA-themed STEM programs for underrepresented youth ages 9-14 (with a focus on girls and youth of color). Selected partners will receive $5,000, professional development for two staff, space science STEM activities and materials to support running two programs, one July-December 2023 and the other January-June 2025. The NIFTY project is funded by NASA.


Training and Professional Development – April

Training and Professional Development – April

LOCAL OPPORTUNITIES                 WEBINARS Click2Engineering’s Including All Learners in Engineering Wednesday, April 24th, 2024 Noon-1:00 pm ET; 9:00 am-10:00 am PST In a highly competitive world, how do we create program...

Activities & Resources for Programs – April

Activities & Resources for Programs – April

Activities Video: dna activities for kids - Yahoo Search Results Video Search Results This video designed for kids is a fun/exciting way to introduce DNA to children. In this video kids will learn facts all about DNA, what it is made of, chromosomes, traits and much...

Activities & Resources for Programs – March

Activities & Resources for Programs – March

Activities Mathematics & Probability Science Activity: Asked to get an estimate for the famed mathematical constant, Pi, you might do what the ancient Greeks did: Divide the circumference of a circle by its diameter. Or you can estimate Pi by a less conventional...