Innovation After School eNewsletter

Dear After School Provider,

To show you our appreciation, The Tech Museum of Innovation is proud to announce a new perk for after school providers. Enjoy a one-year educator membership, which includes unlimited museum admission, free or discounted admission to over 250 Association of Science-Technology Centers worldwide, half-price educational IMAX films, up to 35% off on special exhibitions, a 10% discount at The Tech Store, and much more. The cost to you is $20, a discount of 33%. To take advantage of this offer, please bring a supervisor-signed letter on organization letterhead stating that you work directly with students in an after school program. Present this letter in person to The Tech Museum membership desk. Click here for a complete list of benefits (listed under “CA Teacher”).

If you have questions, suggestions, testimonials, or requests for future editions, please contact me at the email address below.


Photo Credit: Don Feria

Stephanie Michele Barroso
Coordinator, School & After School Partnerships


Curricular Resources

Kodable is a free educational iPad game offering a kid-friendly introduction to programming logic, sequence, loops, functions, and problem solving. It's for kids ages 5 and up, with tools for grownups too! Kodable helps better prepare young people to use more complex programming education tools such as Scratch (grades 3 – 7) and CodeHS (grades 8 – 12).

Salvadori Center provides project-based learning experiences for after school programs, demonstrations, site-specific events, and professional development for teachers. Science, social studies, language arts, art, and math design-based lesson plans are available for download as PDFs. Each document includes a full lesson plan, sample activities, diagrams, interdisciplinary connections, and a list of online resources relevant to that topic. Cost is $5.

Frog Collective Action Toolkit is a set of activities and methods to enable groups of people anywhere to organize, collaborate, and create solutions for problems impacting their community. This is an ideal resource for middle school and high school after school programs that want to delve deep into design thinking with students and their community. Job title and organization information are required for free download.

Professional Development

Dive into Design with The Tech Museum of Innovation. Looking for a fun, easy way to engage your young people in the engineering design process? Join our Engineering Design Webinar on Thursday, May 1, 2014, from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. This hands-on, collaborative webinar is most appropriate for after school providers who work with grades 3 and up. To take full advantage of this workshop, please:

  1. Watch with one or more colleagues;
  2. Have the following supplies handy: 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of masking tape, one yard of string, scissors, a measuring tape and one large marshmallow.
  3. Click here to register.
Labs & Gallery Connections

Photo Credit: Don Feria

4-H Junk Drawer Robotics Workshop curriculum engages middle school youth in engineering design and the basics of robotics through the use of common household items. This workshop will help prepare 4-H project leaders, teens, and other educators to implement the curriculum. There is no cost to attend and lunch will be provided. The workshop takes place on Saturday, April 5, 2014, from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the SCU Robotics Systems Lab, NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA. The curriculum can be purchased here. Register here.

California After School Resource Center offers free 30-minute professional development trainings 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with ready-to-use activities and resources. Module completion certificates are available for your professional portfolio. Topics include Academics (12), California Health Education Content Standards (5), Health and Safety (8), Physical Activity (5), and Nutrition (10). Great hands-on STEM activities!


REBOOT: music is an exciting new exhibition at The Tech Museum of Innovation which allows you to unleash your inner music-maker March 7 – August 17, 2014. Explore what it means to make music in the digital age. Interact and inspire your creative spirit with the help of more than a dozen imaginative new musical instruments. Stay tuned here for additional events and details.

Young Makers is a program that brings together young people ages 8 - 18 with mentors and a space to make. Participants collaborate in small clubs to design and make an open-ended project, culminating in an opportunity to exhibit at a showcase event. Register for the next regional meeting on April 5, 2014 from 10a.m. – 1p.m. at The Tech Museum.


Photo Credit: Prinda Wanakule

Spark! Lab Invent it Challenge  gives students from 5 – 18 years old the chance to recognize their inner inventor through this challenge. Students must follow a seven-step invention process: identify a problem, conduct research, sketch, build a prototype, test, refine, and market their product. Prizes include a patent application filed by a law firm, camp scholarships, book sets, and more. Deadline for submitting inventions is April 11, 2014.

Online Science Fair Challenge challenges your afterschool students in grades 7 - 12 to put their science projects in cyberspace, where they can earn the most likes and shares to win a prize! Students can also search for ideas, connect with other students, and share their webpages with family, friends, and future universities or employers.  Announcements of winners and finalists will be made within one month of the entry deadline, May 12, 2014.

STEM Resources