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.

Training and Professional Development – January


Trainings offered through Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment

Cultural Competency Series (Zoom sessions)
Poverty Simulation Experience (In-Person at USD Sioux Falls, registration required and limited to first 50 registrants)
 For additional information about these learning opportunities and visit learn more about CPCM’s WIC Community Innovation and Outreach Project.


Genomics Career Awareness – Get Ready for April 2024

Last year, the Moonshot celebrated DNA Day and exposed hundreds of students to possible careers in genomics with Illumina. Are you interested in resources and activities to engage students in learning more about genomics and DNA in 2024? Complete this brief form. 

STEM Family Partnership & Empowerment Project 

The Institute for Resilience in Youth (ISRY) is leading an opportunity for Out-of-school time (OST) programs providing STEM to K-12 youth in Winter/Spring 2024 to study how to effectively partner with parents and caregivers. Selected programs will receive professional development, learning community support and a $2,500 stipend for their contributions. 


Programs are encouraged to APPLY HERE by January 10, 2024.

Contact Dr. Patty Allen, ISRY’s Director of Research with questions. 


Earthrise – NASA’s Monthly Collection of Earth and Climate Science Resources 


Earthrise will leverage NASA’s digital community of practice for educators, and a broad network of learners associated with NASA’s federal partners, to provide K-12 educators and learners with a focused, monthly collection of Earth and climate science resources from across the federal enterprise. Educators are now invited to register for this monthly engagement, with the first monthly collection of resources to be delivered in January and then monthly throughout the remainder of 2024. The primary focus is centered around access to Earth and climate resources for the K-12 community, with a regular working group to inform plans for carrying this through the summer and beyond as well.


This initiative began with intent to move the needle on educating our nation’s children and increasing their understanding of Earth and climate science, and the importance of protecting our home planet. The first issue will be released to educators in January 2024.

REGISTER NOW to receive Earthrise monthly collections of resources starting in January 2024.


2024 Solar Eclipse

Are you ready for the 2024 Solar Eclipse that will be visible across the U.S. on April 8, 2024? Join an informational webinar on January 23, 2024 12-1pm ET with NASA’s Science Mission Directorate for an update on the plan for the April Eclipse. 

Learn about: 

  • The science behind solar eclipses 
  • Connections to NASA’s study of the Sun 
  • How to view eclipses safely, and 
  • NASA’s latest plan for public and student engagement 

Find local viewing events using this listing or create your own opportunity. Use NASA Resources, Videos, Lessons and Materials with students. Ensure Safe viewing – Everyone MUST wear solar eclipse glasses or use an alternate viewing method to look at any eclipse. Read more about eye safety during an annular eclipse on our web page and on this safety flier.


Prepare for Engineering Week 2024 – Welcome to the Future

Discover Engineering is hosting a 2024 Countdown to Engineers Week on January 17 at 12pm ET. 

The 2024 Engineering Week theme is: Welcome to the Future, which reminds us of the role we can play in engaging students in engineering and creating the next generation of innovators. It also recognizes the vital role engineers play in innovating solutions to problems past, present, and yet to be discovered. 

Join the Countdown Webinar 

Download Resources 


Talk Technology with Verizon Employees 

January 30th from 6:00 – 7:00 pm ET

 Give your students real-world applications of STEM with a LIVE talk with STEM professionals. 

With your students, tune into this live webinar, to learn more about the day-to-day from professionals working at a leading global communications technology company. Students will have an opportunity to ask questions. 

Register Here



Trainings for January 2024

Click2ComputerScience: Preparing Yourself to Lead Computer Science Virtual Workshops 

January 10, 12:00 – 1:30pm EST / 9:00 – 10:30am PST

Well-prepared CS learning experiences are relevant, engaging, and appropriate for youth. Knowing how to effectively prepare for computer science learning will support inclusiveness and safety, and help you maximize youth engagement.  This workshop focuses on selecting and planning CS experiences for all your program participants. REGISTER HERE


ACRES Coaching: Asking Purposeful Questions 

Tuesdays: 1/16, 1/30, and 2/13/2024 6:00 – 8:00 pm EST / 3:00 – 5:00 pm PST

Questions begin a path toward discovery, imagination, and STEM exploration. How can we help youth expand and clarify their thinking and develop their reasoning through the questions we ask them? This module is a great way to train staff on how to facilitate STEM learning. Experienced educators also love being part of a cohort as a way to connect with other educators across the country, to learn new lesson plans, and to reflect on practice.  This is our introductory module and a prerequisite to other opportunities. *The expectation is that you will be live at all three sessions and an active member of this coaching cohort. Recordings are not available if you are unable to attend. *The expectation is that you will be live at all three sessions and an active member of this coaching cohort. Recordings are not available if you are unable to attend. REGISTER HERE Code: AC325PQ (Coach Emma C)


ACRES Coaching: Elevating Youth Voice and Choice (For OST professionals who have completed Asking Purposeful Questions)

Wednesdays: 1/17, 1/31, 2/14/2024 11am – 1pm EST / 8am – 10am PST

How often do youth in your program get to choose what they’re investigating or designing, the materials they might use and/or how they engage with the work? In this module, participants try out strategies for elevating youth voice and choice and apply the ideas as they redesign a STEM activity to incorporate a greater variety of youth input. *The expectation is that you will be live at all three sessions and an active member of this coaching cohort. Recordings are not available if you are unable to attend. REGISTER HERE Code: AC346VC (Coach Becky T)


ACRES Coaching: Facilitating Engineering Practices 

Mondays: 1/29, 2/12, 2/26/2024 12pm – 2pm EST / 9am – 11am PST

Engineering has become a staple of STEM programming for youth. How can we confidently bring engineering into our programming and support youth as they engage in problem solving? In this module, participants gain first-hand experience with engineering by solving a design problem. They examine the components of the engineering design process and discuss ways to model the process with youth.

*The expectation is that you will be live at all three sessions and an active member of this coaching cohort. Recordings are not available if you are unable to attend. REGISTER HERE Code: AC326EP (Coach Emma C)


ACRES: Info Session about Micro-credentials and Digital Badging

Tuesday January 16th 1:00 – 2:00pm EST / 10:00 – 11:00am PST

ACRES (Afterschool Coaching for Reflective Educators in STEM) is excited to offer additional Information Sessions about STEM micro-credentials, which are competency-based, digital badges for afterschool and out-of-school professionals offered through the National Afterschool Association. These sessions are free, live, interactive, and one hour in length.  You will learn about what Micro-credentials are and how to apply for them. PLEASE FILL OUT THIS FORM, choose the date that works best for you, and we’ll reach out to you with the Zoom link. FMI contact (Note: It isn’t necessary to attend more than one informational session as the content is consistent.)


Training and Professional Development – February

Training and Professional Development – February

LOCAL OPPORTUNITIES Child & Family Resource Network On-Demand Training Access a variety of on-demand style training from the Child & Family Resource Network. From Child Care Orientation to Ongoing Health & Safety Training, staff have quick and easy access...

Activities & Resources for Programs – February

Activities & Resources for Programs – February

Activities 3D Printing by Hand: Students will explore how 3D printers work. Then, working in pairs, they will use the same methods used by 3D printers to create a 3D model of an object. This comes with a video for educators and a complete lesson plan.  Experiment with...

Activities & Resources for Programs – January

Activities & Resources for Programs – January

Activities Can Plants Stop Soil Erosion?: Intermediate level environmental engineering activity lasting 2-4 weeks. Oil erosion can cost the world billions of dollars every year by washing pollutants into our streams and rivers and by causing the loss of farmland. What...