Breakfast Club Blog

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 planet’s atmosphere, losing all contact. The robotic spacecraft left Earth in 1997, bound for the ringed ...Read More

STEM and Wellness: Colliding Galaxies

My fellow BOOST Breakfast Club blogger, Erika Petrelli of The Leadership Program recently wrote an article that explored the “beauty of galaxies colliding.” My inner Galileo loves the thought of swirling stars and as partnership director for a national children’s health nonprofit, social justice movements working together to accelerate and grow is even more thrilling. For galaxies to collide and movements to join forces, there has to be space. A recent Harvard Business Review article, The Benefi...Read More

STEM Ready America Report Shows Off Afterschool STEM Learning

The story of the year in afterschool STEM learning just might have come out this week in Washington, DC. At the National Press Club, people from all corners of the afterschool STEM world gathered to learn about STEM Ready America, a new report on afterschool STEM that effectively defines the national paradigm for activities in the field. Program leaders and policy thinkers, corporate and non-profit executives and funders, STEM educators and researchers from all levels discussed, reviewed, and en...Read More

Arab Women Make a Charge into Engineering

In the face of strong headwinds… In Saudi Arabia, women can’t drive. In Lebanon, sexual harassment is legal. And even in the United Arab Emirates – relatively advanced on gender issues among predominantly Muslim countries – men can physically discipline their wives. Across all 22 states in the Arab world, women face legal and cultural obstacles unfamiliar to women in the United States. Arab Women Push Ahead One area, though, in which Arab women in fact face lesser obstacles and achieve at a high...Read More

Findings From an Afterschool STEM Learning Initiative: Links to Professional Development and Quality STEM Learning Experiences

The third issue of the Journal of Expanded Learning Opportunities (JELO) has arrived! This spring issue launched at the 2016 BOOST Conference and features a conversation about quality programming in afterschool, an article on the role that social-emotional learning can play to close the achievement and learning gaps, and an article focusing on the links between professional development and quality STEM learning experiences. You can visit the first week’s installment about social emotional ...Read More

It’s (Out-of-School) Time for Engineering

In at least two ways, out-of-school programs are little different from their school-day counterparts. For one, STEM education is popular and widely available. Nearly 70 percent of out-of-school programs offer some kind of STEM content. For another, engineering, the “E” in STEM, is the least developed part of the picture. As with K-12 schools, out-of-school programs focus far more on science and math. Engineering, the driving force behind all the tools and technologies that make our l...Read More

Grow Your Program with Gardening

My two driving passions are youth development and access to fresh food. So the idea of incorporating gardening into youth programs gets me very fired up. There are a lot of great garden resources out there including this previous Breakfast Club Blog: Garden-Based Learning. Truth be told I could chat about gardening plans and show you pictures of my little urban garden all day. But first we should talk about how gardening fits in to your bigger, grander program plan. Because gardening fits into e...Read More

Breakthrough Episode Two Recap: More Than Human

Breakthrough is produced by Hollywood power players Ron Howard and Brian Grazer and their Imagine Entertainment company. Each week a different actor or director will delve into real world, human stories that connect the ways that science impacts our lives. The directors include actors like Angela Bassett and Paul Giamatti, Producer/Directors like Ron Howard, Bret Ratner (X-Man) and Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind; I, Robot) and Peter Beg (Friday Night Lights). BOOST Collaborative will be publis...Read More

Breakthrough Episode One Recap: Fighting Pandemics

Breakthrough is produced by Hollywood power players Ron Howard and Brian Grazer and their Imagine Entertainment company. Each week a different actor or director will delve into real world, human stories that connect the ways that science impacts our lives. The directors include actors like Angela Bassett and Paul Giamatti, Producer/Directors like Ron Howard, Bret Ratner (X-Man) and Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind; I, Robot) and Peter Beg (Friday Night Lights). BOOST Collaborative will be publis...Read More

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. This September’s “super blood moon” – a total lunar eclipse during a time when ou...Read More

STEM Anyone? Everyone?

STEM isn’t one of my areas of expertise. As a consultant, I’ve spent time with hundreds of programs. I’m clear that there really are fifth graders who know much more than I do about robotics, coding and engineering design and are better at algebra than I ever will be. I love my time with high school students who are excited about 3-D printers – especially when they make cases for my iPhone. But I really have no idea how this works. I’m probably in the top 10% of folks my ...Read More

Engineering Challenges Promote 21st-Century Skills and Engage Youth

Asia Society and BOOST Collaborative are partnering to create a series of blogs on global learning in out-of-school time.  This blog entry was originally published on EdWeek’s Global Learning Blog. This entry was written by guest bloggers Natacha Meyer, Senior Curriculum Developer, and Tania Tauer, Senior Curriculum Developer, from the Museum of Science Boston. STEM Training Today’s unprecedented push to train students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) has been pri...Read More

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