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Apply for an Out of School Time Partnership Grant by April 30

Recent research has shown that students' interest and success in STEM and their development of a STEM identity

depends as much or more on experiences outside of the school day as in classroom science learning. Some students who struggle with STEM in the classroom experience success and excitement for STEM in the less structured, choice-based out of school time environment. Most elementary and middle school youth attend after school and summer programs. These programs, run by school districts, youth organizations, community centers and churches have great potential to include meaningful STEM experiences. These experiences could be aligned with and build on classroom learning. However, the educators leading these programs may not have skills to lead STEM and in many cases, are not confident in their own abilities in STEM. There is little opportunity for communication and collaboration between school-day and out of school time (OST) educators or opportunities for educators to connect with STEM organizations and resources in their communities. Museums, libraries, state agencies, businesses and non-profits have expertise and resources that could help both formal and informal educators to strengthen STEM skills.

This grant is designed to help WSST members (classroom teachers, OST educators or STEM resource people) overcome these barriers though collaboration. The collaboration could be within their school district or programs in other districts, but should focus on local or regional partnerships.


Make sure to submit your Application by April 30!

Goals:

  • Empower Out of School Time (OST) educators to lead STEM

  • Implement quality OST STEM programming (after school or summer)

  • Develop strategies for communication and collaboration between school day and OST educators and other STEM organizations

  • Align OST STEM programming with school day STEM goals.

Timeline:

  • Deadline for proposals: April 30, 2024

  • Notification of awards: May 15, 2024

  • Project begins: June 1, 2024

  • Project ends: Dec. 31, 2024

Requirements: Projects must:

  • Be a partnership between school-day educators and out-of school time educators or program directors

  • Consider the needs, challenges and strengths of in-school and out of school learning

  • Build capacity of OST educators through professional development

  • Build connections between school day STEM learning and OST STEM learning

  • Evaluate student learning in the OST setting

Eligibility: Open to any WSST member. The WSST member must be the lead, but non-WSST members can be involved in the project (and encouraged to join!).We encourage applicants who are reasonably sure they will stay in their district and continue this work for the 25-26 school year Grant amount - $1500 (3 grants are available). Checks will be distributed directly to grant recipients by June 1, 2024 Target age level - Open to Elementary or Middle School programs Allowable expenses:

  • Stipends for educators to meet, collaborate and develop plans for STEM programming and lead PD

  • Costs to conduct PD: food, materials, stipends for participants

  • STEM materials and curricula - cannot be over 50% of the project cost (Any materials purchased will remain with the OST program involved)

Expectations

Grantees must join a community of practice(CoP) that will meet virtually 3 times for one hour each during the grant cycle in May, August and January


Purpose of the CoP:

  1. Provide a common background in strengths and challenges for STEM learning in different settings

  2. Provide models for collaboration between in-school and OST educators

  3. Provide simple evaluation techniques for science engagement in OST programs

  4. Encourage sharing of ideas between teams

  5. Help teams to navigate problems

  6. Learn from this grant cycle to refine future partnership grants


  • Grantees will provide evaluation data of effectiveness of program. Recipients will be asked to submit a 1-2 page report and are encouraged to include photos and artifacts.

  • Grantees will also be encouraged to present at the 2025 WSST conference




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