Active Science in Afterschool
After school science should be playful, relaxed and fun -- all about engagement and interest rather than teaching science content. But it should still have a clear purpose and structure. Active Science Learning can help your agency chose interesting hands-on projects that use inexpensive materials that call upon teamwork and problem solving skills. When led well, active science gives students ownership of their learning, and provides just enough structure and guidance to keep them focused and successful. Active science encourages a love of learning for its own sake. It nurtures creativity, collaborative problem solving and critical thinking.
Afterschool Staff Training

Charlie Hutchison has trained hundreds of afterschool administrators and support staff all over the US to lead hands-on science workshops for front line staff. ASL training workshops are typically  2 - 3 hour long and prepare staff to lead one science or engineering project with their students. Participants are led through the projects as learners: they experience all the fun and frustration that their kids are likely to feel and they understand how to give the students just enough help to keep the project engaging and successful for the children. Charlie always models best teaching practices so the staff know exactly how to pace the project and scaffold the students fun and learning. For more details about the National Partnerships for AfterSchool Science [NPASS], which Charlie directed from 2005 - 2102 CLICK HERE

Charlie Hutchison (right) accepting the NJ 4-H Educator of the Year Award (2015) from Chad Ripberger of the New Jersey Association of 4-H Agents for his “Outstanding professional educational support for afterschool science programming in the state”

Afterschool Science Curriculum

Charlie received support from the National Science Foundation to develop the successful Design It! and Explore it! curriculum projects that lead children through guided explorations of interesting physical science phenomena or engaging engineering challenges. Each project consists of 4 - 6 related challenges or investigations that use inexpensive and commonly available materials. For more details about these curricula as well as detailed materials lists CLICK HERE

Best Practices for Leading Afterschool Science

Afterschool must be engaging and fun but it can be more than just a series of quick activities ("fun and done"). The multi-session "projects"  described above require staff to pay attention to the structure and pacing and facilitation skills that can make them so much richer and rewarding.  READ MORE