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.

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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.

Spooky Science Activities 2.0

Gather your mad scientists, your ghouls and goblins for some spooky (and not so spooky) science activities. We have added to our curated list of fun for all ages that celebrates for the season!

Check out these science themed activities:

  • Shadow Puppets use the science of light and also make for the perfect storytelling props.
  • Electric Playdough with squishy circuits. If your program doesn’t have squishy circuits, you can find kits on Amazon or plan to reserve one of our TMC trailers this spring and use our squishy circuits to explore electricity.
  • This Disappearing Candy experiment will test prediction and reasoning skills.
  • Let’s study the dead…well their Fossils that is with this activity from the South Dakota Wind Cave.
  • Everyone love oobleck but have you ever seen it dance? Try Dancing Oobleck for a new spin on this classic.
  • These Circuit Powered Bats makes for spooky Halloween decor.
  • Freeze the beauty of fall with a Leaf Press activity.
  • Create a moveable Skeleton Hand to learn about the mechanics of bones, muscles and tendons.
  • Thes Edible Spheres are a molecular gastronomy wonder that will have kids amazed by the magic of liquid being turned into a solid within seconds.
  • Nature Oddities: Take a nature walk and collect samples of leaves, grasses and twigs in search of galls, a strange plant growth caused by insects, injury or microorganisms.
  • This Skittles Science activity is low-prep and fun for all ages but an especially sweet way to introduce chemical properties and changes.



Activities & Resources for Programs – May

Activities & Resources for Programs – May

Activities Activity (engineering):  How Does a Wind Meter Work? | Science Project ( On a windy day it is hard to keep your hat on! The power of the wind can even be strong enough to power large wind turbines to make electricity! In this experiment,...

Training and Professional Development – May

Training and Professional Development – May

LOCAL OPPORTUNITIES   WEBINARS Teen Science Cafe Fellows- 2024-2025 Information Session May 23rd 4:30-5:30pm ET/ 1:30-2:30pm PT The Teen Science Cafe (TSC) Fellows initiative is a ten-month training program designed to help informal educators implement Teen...

Project Brainy

Project Brainy

Project Brainy Project Brainy is a six-session neuroscience-based curriculum designed for out of school time (OST) programs. The curriculum enables middle-school students to build social-emotional skills, engage in interactive STEM learning and increase literacy....