Breakfast Club Blog

The BOOST Breakfast Club Blog is a curated space where bloggers from around the world contribute content on a continual basis about a variety of topics relevant to in and out-of-school time. The BOOST Breakfast Club blog is at the heart of an ongoing dialogue where expanded learning and education professionals share their personal thoughts and stories from the in and out-of-school time field. They also tell us what they ate for breakfast!

The BOOST Breakfast Club Blog is Brain Food for In and Out-of-School Time Leaders!

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Bringing at-home STEM success into focus

STEM has left the building For a long time, advocates of STEM education have worked to bring STEM learning closer to students’ lives outside of school. This year, though, COVID has made STEM learning a part of students’ lives outside of school in ways nobody ever imagined or wanted. The pandemic has forcibly ejected STEM from the traditional in-building school environment and strewn it about in a great blurry mess spread out variably and amorphously among the home, Zoom sessions, mask-, distance...Read More

Perseverance Pays – At Home and in Space

In these times, there are many lessons to be learned, for which afterschool helps kids both prepare and develop skills. One of them is perseverance – being steadfast in doing something despite difficulty or delay, or using grit to keep on going and recover in the face of trouble, great and small. Can you think of a time that you and/or your students have needed this skill or if you know someone who did? It also means keeping your eyes on your goal and vision, on what is important to you. Can you...Read More

A Step Beyond –Youth Team Up And Advance Their Curiosity for Space

Kids are naturally curious, wondering about everything around them, and growing in their journey of figuring out life. Each youth comes into an afterschool program with a unique background and experience – and that is reflected in their own story, perspective, and skills. In afterschool, kids can have experiences where they are guided to deepen their curiosity, develop open communication, make careful and thoughtful observations of the world around them, and learn to work with others as a team. ...Read More

Kids Are Natural Scientists—Let Them Take the Lead!

Science is based on curiosity and finding evidence. Giving kids opportunities to roll up their sleeves and understand the world around them by looking for evidence is a great way to be a “guide on the side” rather than a formal teacher or science expert. By letting the children lead, watching what they do, and asking questions, you empower them to follow their natural curiosity. By encouraging them to help one other and share ideas and materials, you help them build important social skills. Scie...Read More

Super Moon 2019!

“Go further than you planned. Ask for the moon: you will be surprised how often you get it.” These words of Paulo Coelho are certainly what we want our kids to hear and feel – to reach beyond and become the best person they can be. And we want to be there to help give them opportunities to reach their full potential. The Moon serves as a source of inspiration – influencing aspiring poets, writers, musicians, artists, scientists, explorers, traditional knowledge-keepers in cultures such as Native...Read More

How to Start the Afterschool Engineering Club You’ve Always Wanted

For all the popularity of STEM activities outside of school time, engineering remains something of a neglected stepchild. “Full STEM Ahead,” an America After 3 PM survey, found that the favored siblings in the STEM family, science and math, feature in a preponderance of available programs, 60 and 45 percent, respectively. Technology and engineering share the table scraps, named in less than a third of program offerings. And with the greater share of these programs focused on computing and progra...Read More

The Science and Art of Helping Kids Love Physical Activity

Creating a physical activity program for grade schoolers that engages all children involved is both a science and an art.  The science of child development, motivational psychology, and human behavior help us create an enriching program. The art of creating a fun, play-like, inclusive environment gets all kids excited to participate. Using imaginative, play-based activities to introduce critical developmental skills is a perfect culmination of the art and science behind getting kids to enjoy bec...Read More

Books to Help Build Elementary Students’ Understanding of Engineering

Thoughts Turn In Springtime … For the last several weeks, the view from my office on the third floor has been of treetops filling out with leaves. Looking down to the ground, I can see flowers coming into bloom, bushes becoming green, and animals of all kinds scurrying, hopping, or flying about, urgently concerned with their appointed, springtime tasks. It’s a delight and a wonder to see the natural world coming to life in such vivid fashion. … To Tech? But here’s what I have been touching and u...Read More

Join In The 2018 Summer Of Mars!

Need a unique theme for summer camp or afterschool programs this year? 2018 is the summer of Mars! In May, NASA’s InSight Mission launches from Southern California to Mars to study marsquakes! During InSight’s trip to a post-Thanksgiving landing, Earth and Mars are on the same side of the Sun, so Mars appears a bit bigger and brighter for the evenings this summer. Engage your youth with NASA and related activities about observing Mars, rocket launches, and marsquakes. Enhance summer learning opp...Read More

Algorithms with Empathy

The algorithms, math, hardware, physics, engineering, computer science, and artificial intelligence behind breakthrough discoveries like those spearheaded by Elon Musk and his teams require a person to be emotionally, socially, and physically prepared for the failures and successes of attempting to reimagine and change our world. I watched with great admiration as one of the most successful human beings of our time, possibly in all human history, cried at the thought of his heroes knocking him f...Read More

Collaboration, Gratitude and Birds (Yeah, Birds!)

As we enter the holiday season, I’m thankful to be coming up on my 10th year at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. As Director of Community Partnerships, I have the unique pleasure of cultivating relationships to engage communities in promoting children’s health. For this article, I wanted to share three collaborations that I am particularly excited about – each with resources I hope you can use to bring wellness to life in out-of-school time while engaging families and empowering children...Read More

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

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