The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance is proud to be a changemaker in the state, encouraging communities to build sustainable STEM programming.

College and career readiness for all children and youth is the standard for high-quality afterschool programs. Afterschool fosters opportunities that help produce educated, skilled, and successful citizens. These young adults make meaningful contributions to our families, economy and a global society.

STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math:  STEM education is vital for preparing Wyoming’s children and youth to thrive in the future economy. The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance is proud to be a changemaker in the state. We’re encouraging communities to build sustainable programming.

The State of the State of STEM in Afterschool in Wyoming Map:

The interactive tool, created with technical support of the Glen Price Group, tells  the story of STEM education in afterschool programs in communities across the Cowboy State. Visit wyafterschoolalliance.org/stem-map.

The maps help to show the current landscape of programming, identify geographic and programmatic areas for targeted support, and identify programs with expertise that can be shared with others. For providers, the maps can provide a sense of what STEM content areas, curricula, data tools, and funding sources others are using, and who they might reach out to with questions about any of these items. The map shows that afterschool and summer programs across the state are providing STEM programming to children from Pre-K through high school, although they serve more elementary school students and fewer middle and high school age students. Many are interested in expanding their STEM programs.

WYAA would like to thank the afterschool programs who took time to provide data. This project was supported by the John P. Ellbogen Foundation.

Sustainable STEM Programming:

Five pilot programs are working with WYAA on a project to develop sustainable STEM programming in Wyoming:

  • After School for Kids (ASK) Cheyenne
  • Converse County School District #1 in Douglas
  • Greater Wyoming Big Brothers Big Sisters in Laramie
  • Lander Lights On
  • Uinta B.O.C.E.S. #1 Education Center in Evanston

These programs are implementing the high-quality STEM curriculum, Project Lead the Way (PLTW). Because sustainability is vital to success, each of these programs has committed to having a PLTW Lead Teacher on staff that is certified to train their colleagues. A comprehensive STEM library from First Book is also being used to inspire and engage students through storytelling. This project was supported by the John P. Ellbogen Foundation.

Think Make Create (TMC) Mobile Labs

TMC Mobile Labs foster tinkering and hands-on learning. Using STEM skills, the labs let students bring ideas into the real world. The first lab will be launched in Rawlins, Wyoming thanks to a successful community parthership. AT&T Mountain Region and Sinclair Oil Corporation saw the opportunity to bring valuable skills into the community and have helped fund the labs. Carbon County Boys & Girls Club, Carbon County School District #1, and Carbon County Higher Education Center are working together to bring the opportunity to life.

The “lab” is a 6 x 12-foot trailer that can easily be transported for use at afterschool program sites and community-based learning sites. The interior of the trailer has been specifically designed to maximize storage of supplies and projects. Tinkering and making occurs outside of the trailer — either outside the trailer utilizing TMC tables and pop-up canopies or inside.  TMC Labs are designed to be a low-cost entry point for Wyoming youth to tinker, explore and problem-solve while helping to promote long-term sustainability for rural programs. WYAA is proud to partner with Beyond School Bells to offer this opportunity to programs in Wyoming.  Would you like to get involved? Contact us today!

Photos are courtesy of Tim Carey with Shirts and More and Jeff Cole with Beyond School Bells.

Virtual Job Shadow

In Wyoming’s rural communities, it can be difficult for students to get valuable job shadow experience. The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance is working with seven programs around the state to employ innovative new platform to empower their students to discover, plan and pursue their dreams with a unique video-based career planning platform. VirtualJobShadow.com offers interactive tools help students and job seekers develop career paths based on choice, not chance.