Afterschool programs provide an opportunity for students to focus attention on a topic area of interest to them while also promoting STEM fields and future career opportunities. These five STEM products are a great addition to your afterschool program to keep learning engaging and fun!
Drones are a great way to introduce students to the principles of aerospace engineering and programming. Additionally, flying drones is great for building hand-eye coordination, making them a fun kinesthetic activity as well. When selecting a drone platform for your afterschool program, consider the age and abilities of students as well as your overall goals when implementing drones. You may consider if you want students to be able to build the drones themselves, if the students should be able to program the drone, or if you’re looking for something ready to fly out of the box.
There are dozens of robotics platforms that are great for afterschool programs. Like drones, you’ll need to consider what works best for your unique program:
- What age level will use the robots?
- Who will teach robotics in the afterschool program and what are they comfortable using?
- Do you want to use the same robots that are used in the classroom, or would you like the ones used in the afterschool program to be different?
- Are you looking for competition-based robotics?
- Is it important that the students build their own robots? (E.g., Mini Darwin Robot Kit)
- Should the platform focus on a particular topic like gaming or drawing?
- Are you interested in any screen-free programming products?
Escape from the reality of the classroom and enter a virtual space in your afterschool programs! VR platforms are a great way for students to learn about environments that they’re unable to visit in person, like the depths of the ocean or outer space. In your afterschool program, you can visit worlds depending on whatever theme or topic you are exploring in your program.
Afterschool programs are a great place for students to exercise their creative side. 3D printing and modeling allow students to experience engineering while also having ownership in their own creations. You can train students on how to use the 3D printers and they can reserve time to use them during afterschool, or you can include 3D printing as a unit within your afterschool program.
After students have been sitting in school all day, they may be looking for a way to be more active in their afterschool program. These kinesthetic math games allow students to exercise their brains and their bodies! Oversized math games and puzzles help students develop 21st century skills like teamwork, communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Students will also learn about awesome math concepts like logic, spatial reasoning, multiplication, money, probability, and so much more!
For more information about implementing STEM into your programs, visit the STEM Supplies Afterschool Hub!