Nebraska BLAST!

Nebraska BLAST! (Building Lasting Afterschool STEM Teams) is an initiative designed to bring engaging learning opportunities to students who attend Nebraska 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool and summer programs. The primary goal of Nebraska BLAST! is to partner with statewide, regional, and local organizations to provide professional development for teams of certified teachers and informal educators who then work together to plan and implement student-centered learning opportunities for students after school and in the summer.

Nebraska BLAST! curriculum is now available at the following web address:

Frequently Asked Questions About Nebraska BLAST!


For more information about Nebraska BLAST! please contact:
Kim Larson, Coordinator of Professional Development,
21st Century Community Learning Centers, 402-471-4824

Workshop Information

All workshop sessions are FREE to attend.
Lunch on your own.
No stipends can be offered this year.

Join Nebraska Project WILD for a training specifically for Afterschool Program Providers! This workshop will focus on the Growing Up WILD guide and show how to use this guide to develop an afterschool club focusing on nature, STEM and having fun outside!

Afterschool Kearney July 11 pdf

Wednesday, July 11
9:00-11:30 AM
Sunrise Middle School, Kearney – CANCELLED due to low registration

Friday, July 13
9:00-11:30 AM
Norfolk Middle School, Norfolk – CANCELLED due to low registration

WILD Afterschool training program workshops registrationREGISTRATION

Afterschool Norfolk July 13 pdf


Come learn how to get kids outside and engaged in STEM learning . . . and having fun!

Afterschool PROJECT WILD & AQUATIC WILD July Kearney pdf

Wednesday, July 11
12:30-4:30 PM
Sunrise Middle School, Kearney

Friday, July 13
12:30-4:30 PM
Norfolk Middle School – CANCELLED due to low registration


Afterschool PROJECT WILD & AQUATIC WILD July Norfolk pdf

Biomedical Engineering workshops


Sunrise Middle School Conference Room
4611 Avenue N
Kearney, NE
July 12 & 13, 2018 – CANCELLED due to low registration

Collective for Youth
105 North 31st Ave
Omaha, NE
July 16 & 17, 2018

Day 1: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm; Day 2: 8:30 am – 12:00pm. Lunch on your own.

Biomedical engineers develop solutions to medical problems, such as stabilizing fractured bones, tracking blood flow in the body and growing new organs. In this workshop, participants will explore this exciting field through hands-on activities that can be incorporated into their afterschool programs. The workshop content is appropriate for students in grades 4 through 8.

Participants will:

  • Design bone fracture stabilizers.
  • Prepare tissue engineering scaffolds and explore how organs are made in a lab.
  • Treat nanoparticle models to function inside the body as sensors.

The workshop will be led by Drs. Jenny Keshwani, Becky Wachs and Forrest Keivit, Biomedical Engineering faculty from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The materials needed to implement the Biomedical Engineering curriculum are very low cost and in many cases include materials that are on-hand in afterschool programs. Materials will be provided to workshop participants.

Jenny Keshwani, UNL Biomedical Engineer, explains more about this summer’s Biomedical Engineering workshops!

Please contact Kim Larson ( if you have questions.

Research: STEM

Afterschool: Middle School and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)(2010).
MetLife Foundation Afterschool Alert; Afterschool Alliance, Issue Brief No. 44.

S.T.E.M. Initiatives. Research Brief David Anderson, Principals’ Partnership. (2010). This research brief answers the questions: What are the characteristics of exemplary STEM initiatives? What are some exemplary STEM initiatives?

What Afterschool STEM Does Best: How Stakeholders Describe Youth Learning Outcomes(2013). Krishnamurthi, Began, Rinehart, Coulon. Afterschool Matters.

Research: Wearable Technology

Nugent, G., Barker, B., Grandgenett, N. (2015). Robotics camps, clubs, and competitions: Results from a US robotics project. Robotics and Autonomous Systems Journal. doi:10.1016/j.robot.2015.07.011

Nugent, G., Barker, B., Welch, G., Grandgenett, N., Wu, C., & Nelson, C. (2015). A Model of Factors Contributing to STEM Learning and Career Orientation. International Journal of Science Education, (ahead-of-print), 1-22.

Barker, B., Larson, K., & Krehbiel, M. (2014). Bridging Formal and Informal Learning Environments. Journal of Extension, 52(5), 5IAW5.

Barker, B., Nugent, G., & Grandgenett, N. F. (2014). Examining fidelity of program implementation in a STEM-oriented out-of-school setting. International Journal of Technology and Design Education, 24(1), 39-52.

Barker, B., Melander, J., Grandgenett, N., & Nugent, G. (2015, March). Utilizing Wearable Technologies as a Pathway to STEM. In Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (Vol. 2015, No. 1, pp. 1782-1788).

Nugent, G., Barker, B., Grandgenett, N. (in press). Wearable Technologies to Promote STEM Learning and Attitudes. Proceedings of the World Conference on E-Learning 2015.

Nugent, G., Barker, B., & Welch, G. (2014, March). A model of STEM learning and career orientation based on social cognitive theory. In Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (Vol. 2014, No. 1, pp. 1432-1440).

Nugent, G., Barker, B., Grandgenett, N., & Welch, G. (2014). Robotics camps, clubs, and competitions: Results from a US robotics project. In Proceedings of 4th International Workshop Teaching Robotics, Teaching with Robotics &5th International Conference Robotics in Education Padova (Italy) July (Vol. 18, No. 2014, pp. 11-18).

Barker, B., Melander, J., Grandgenett, N., & Nugent, G. (2015). Utilizing Wearable Technologies as a Pathway to STEM. In Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2015., Liu, L. & Gibson, D.C. (Ed.), Research Highlights in Technology and Teacher Education 2015. Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education.

Barker, B., Nugent, G., Grandgenett, N., Melander, J., Nelson, C. A., & Leduc-Mills, B. (In Press) Developing an Elementary Engineering Education Program through Problem-Based Wearable Technologies Activities. In Handbook of Research on Wearable and Mobile Technologies in Education. Hershey, PA: Developing an Elementary Engineering Education Program through Problem-Based Wearable Technologies Activities. IGI.

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Updated November 8, 2019 11:32am