Author: Leslie Lowes

A Jewel of a Project: Cassini Mission at Saturn

In the blackness of space, a “jewel” shines in the distant Sun, encircling it once every 29 ½ years. The planet Saturn’s brilliant rings dazzle casual observers and serious scientists alike, reflecting the Sun’s light as though it was a gem. But now, Saturn has a gift from Earth.  After 13 years and 293 orbits around Saturn, on September 15, 2017, the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft dove into the plane...

Youth Watch – Observing the Earth for NASA Scientists

Observing. Critical Thinking. Accurate Recording. Reflection. These are much needed skills for living in the complexities of today’s world. Developing these skills helps round out youths’ abilities to navigate in and contribute to a better world, whether as a concerned person or a student looking towards a future career in science or technology. You can support your students to have fu...

Out-of-School, Out-of-the-Box, and Out of This World!

The act of imagining other places, other worlds, is the stuff of explorers, adventurers, science fiction writers – and KIDS! Imagination is something that kids have naturally, and out-of-the-box thinking is a valued creative 21st century skill. Encouraging the kids in your out-of-school program to imagine other worlds, places beyond Earth, can help grow this skill. Couple it with some thought expe...

Blood Moon, Red Planet – Spooky Stuff?

In this season where longer nights outlast the daytime hours, many celebrations and legends abound. Most notably in our culture, Halloween and the Day of the Dead both reference passings, remembrances, and other worldliness. We honor and give symbolism to things that are unknown and powerful, perhaps unexplainable and mysterious, and sometimes dangerous. This can make things feel spooky and scary....

My Why: Dare Mighty Things

In the afterschool world, program leaders and staff nurture the whole child, providing them a safe space to learn, grow, and connect to others. In the afterschool space, we see many kids making daily acts of bravery – some extending themselves simply by showing up, participating, or trying something new. Through youth development, kids are encouraged to dare greatly to be themselves, come into the...

Where’s the Water? Hitch a Ride and Find Out!

In the middle of a severe drought here in California, water is very much on our minds. Kids probably know not to waste water, and maybe you have activities at your site to urge kids and their families to conserve. With 80% of California’s water used for agriculture, and more than half the U.S. fruit, nuts, and vegetables grown here, a drought in California is a nationwide concern. Where does...

Wanted: Long Term STEM Relationship

Wanted Energetic, fun, thoughtful, well-connected, well-organized, accessible, kid-loving afterschool program with great listening and communication skills seeks committed relationship with a STEM partner who is enthusiastic, reflective, inspirational, smart and knowledgeable and believes in the potential of kids and wants to grow in a relationship together. Sound like you? Working with a “S...

Look Up! Space-based Science in Afterschool

With the New Year comes a time of reflection and renewal. With it comes celebrations of past accomplishments, and thoughts for new directions. We all want what’s best for our kids, to give them skills to succeed in life. Have you considered offering experiences that can develop your youths’ observational skills and natural ability to wonder? Afterschool is a wonderful place for kids to...