STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

21st CCLC



Connect2engineering is here to serve as a resource for engineering events and happenings in the region, as well as a comprehensive source for connecting with area professionals, students and faculty already in the engineering field. There’s no better way to find out about careers in engineering than from those who enjoy it every day.

This site hosts an extensive STEMworks Database of excellent STEM learning programs from around the country. Change the Equation (CTEq) is proud to host this database of programs that deepen young people’s learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The DESIGN SQUAD NATION website is an online community that grew out of the DESIGN SQUAD television series that aired on PBS KIDS. The site targets kids ages 8 and older and features creative activities, engaging video, interactive games, and exciting contests.
The goal of Design Squad is to give kids a stronger understanding of the design process, and the connection between engineering and the things we all use in everyday life.

STEM Resource Guide
FINE Newsletter, Volume VII, Issue 2
Harvard Family Research Project
Looking for innovative ways to provide science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities for children outside of the classroom? This newsletter includes information on hands-on activities and advice from museums, libraries, and afterschool programs that you can use while exploring STEM with students.

SMILE’s learning activities, tools, and services are available to all but are designed especially for those who teach school-aged children in non-classroom settings (like museums, zoos, aquaria, and afterschool or outdoor education programs). SMILE is dedicated to bringing the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) activities developed by informal science organizations around the country to the wider informal educator community, while encouraging that community to both use and contribute to SMILE’s growing collection.

The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NRD’s) has a wide variety of projects and programs to educate youth (PK-12th Grade) about conserving and protecting the state’s natural resources.

The Khan Academy is an organization on a mission. We’re a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere. All of the site’s resources are available to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. The Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.

As part of NASA’s National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, we are funded to promote aerospace-related research, education, and public service programs to encourage a Diverse Workforce. This is accomplished through a national network of colleges, universities, industry and federal agency partners.


NASA Education/Summer of Innovation
Visit the NASA Education Website. You’ll discover a wealth of information for students and educators. Find current opportunities, education-related feature stories and information about other NASA education projects.

NASA’s Digital Learning Network
NASA’s Digital Learning Network presents a series of videoconferences to assist educators in staying current on NASA education resources and related products. Topics to include: Exploring Space Through Math, Robotics, NASA Fit Explorers, NASA eProfessional Development Network — Robotics Course, MoonWorld, and On the Moon.

The goal of SciGirls is to change how girls think about science, technology, engineering and math – STEM. Although SciGirls targets engaging girls (8-13 years old) in STEM activities, the material can be utilized with everyone. The strategies that are highly beneficial to girls have also been proven to work with all learners, including underrepresented youth.

The Education Coalition works to support STEM programs for teachers and students at the U. S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and other agencies that offer STEM related programs. The STEM Education Coalition represents all sectors of the technological workforce – from knowledge workers, to educators, to scientists, engineers, and technicians. The participating organizations of the STEM Education Coalition are dedicated to ensuring quality STEM education at all levels.

The Strategic Air and Space Museum, a Smithsonian affiliate, is a home to the largest collection of aircraft and space artifacts in the state. This museum, located near Ashland, Nebraska, provides visitors of all ages with exciting educational exhibits and activities that will inform and excite those interested in learning more about air and space.

Middle and high school teacher participants in the Summer Professional Development Institute have developed high quality lesson plans that use transportation engineering applications to dynamically illustrate science and math concepts! Find repository of lesson plans here. No registration/password necessary.

The You for Youth website will help you connect and share resources with your colleagues, provide professional development and technical assistance opportunities, and offer tools for improving your program practices. You and your students are already using science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) more than you may realize. This course suggests enjoyable ways to build on your existing knowledge as you help your students see that STEM is everywhere and for everyone.

4-H is the Cooperative Extension System’s dynamic, non-formal, educational program for today’s young people. The program partners the cooperative efforts of youth, volunteer leaders, state land-grant universities, state and local governments, 4-H Foundations, and the Cooperative State Research, Educational and Extension Service of the US Department of Agriculture. Nebraska 4-H is comprised of youth, ages 5-19, and adults. Adults are involved as volunteers working with youth as leaders or on committees and boards providing the framework for 4-H. More than 400 Extension staff across the state serve as primary contacts for the more than 135,000 youth and 20,000 volunteers.

Project-Based Learning, Civic Literacy & Service Learning


Buck Institute for Education
Buck Institute for Education offers several free resources, such as definitions of project-based learning, how to design a project and project-based learning research.

Edutopia: What Works in Education
This website provides information and resources for implementing Project-Based Learning in the classroom and in the afterschool setting.

You for Youth: Project-Based Learning
This website, offered by the United States Department of Education, provides professional development resources and information on a variety of topics relevant to afterschool programs. The coaching module focused on project-based learning provides guidance and tools for implementing project-based learning in the afterschool setting.

Civic Literacy & Service Learning


ExtendED Notes: Teaching Students About Martin Luther King
Six resources to teach students about Martin Luther King

Free the Children
This website assists students raise money or assemble health kits to be provided to developing countries.

Global Campaign for Education
This organization plans Global Action week to raise awareness for quality education around the world.

This website offers students opportunities to join online discussions, share stories and get involved with projects.


General Science

100 People Project
The 100 People Project Foundation offers a toolbox of information including statistics, lessons, videos and student work to help students understand issues facing our planet and resources.

Assessment Tools in Informal Science
This website offers information including links, references, events and programs.

Exploratorium: The museum of science, art and human perception
This website includes sections on the science of gardening, sport science, speaking of music rewind, as well as a digital library and afterschool activities.

Jason Science (from National Geographic)
The JASON Project connects students with great explorers and great events to inspire and motivate them to learn science using core curriculum units, online videos, games, labs and field work.
This website gives links to tutorial sites in chemistry, biology, geography, astronomy, physics and math.

Lawrence Hall of Science
This website shares educational resources, including support for providing science in afterschool programs.
This website offers teacher professional development and teacher resources across the curriculum.
Teacher Resources

Nebraska BLAST!
Nebraska BLAST! provides professional development to staff in buildings with 21st CCLC programs and provides engaging NASA/SEM curriculum to middle school students attending 21st CCLC summer and afterschool programs across Nebraska.

This website allows students to explore nanoscience, read about scientists, play games, watch videos and ask questions.

National Science Teachers Association
This website provides resources for teaching science.

Nebraska Game & Parks Commission
Visit this site to learn about programs, events, and resources offered through Nebraska Game & Parks. Examples of programs offered include Family Fishing Nights, Family Camps, Youth Outdoor Skills Camps, Outdoor Discovery Program, and Outdoor Skills After School Program.

Ology (from American Museum of Natural History)
This interactive website for students 8 to 14 years olds (designed for schools and after school programs) includes activities and games related to science.

OneWorld Classrooms
OneWorld Classrooms offers free content for classrooms and access to global learning resources.

Scholastic Global Trek
This interactive site, with content for teachers. parents, administrators and students, lets students plan world travel (Expedia or Orbitz), but with an educational twist.

SEDL Afterschool Toolkit for Science
This section of the toolkit offers science practices, support materials, standards refreshers, literature review and more to help programs offer fun, hands-on innovative activities that explore science through inquiry based learning and real-world problems and projects.

Science NetLinks is a guide to meaningful standards-based Internet experiences for students, providing a wealth of resources for K-12 science educators (lessons, tools, resources and benchmarks).

Science 360
The National Science Foundation, NBC News and the National Football League have joined together to create a 10-episode video series that explores the science of football (other videos explore science, engineering, technology and math).

Travel 4 Life
Dean Jacobs has traversed across the globe exploring over 45 countries on a low budget adventure, and on this site he shares photos, newsletters, podcasts and educational resources.

Activities and Experiments

Bizarre Labs
Bizarre labs offers labs on growing sprouts.

Bottle Biology
Bottle Biology explores science and the environment with soda bottles and other recyclable materials.

PBS Kids
This section of PBS Kids includes a potato maze activity.

PBS Online: ClubZOOM
ClubZOOM is a 6 to 8 week after-school program that offers a fun, hands-on way to engage 8 to 10 year olds in science investigation using common household materials.

Skateboard Science
Skateboard Science investigates the physics of skateboarding tricks.

Animal Science Resources

National Geographic Kids
This website offers games, activities, stories and other resources to learn about people, places and animals from many different countries.

Project WILD
Project WILD is a wildlife focused conservation education program for K-12 educators and their students.


International Dark Sky Association
This website includes resources for teachers and a section for students.

Lunar and Planetary Institute
This website explores topics such as day and night, seasons, moon phases, meteors, sun, stars, and solar system.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
NASA’s Education Materials Finder will help teachers locate resources that can be used in the classroom- users may search by keywords, grade level, product type and subject.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
This website includes information on the Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age.

Earth Science

21st Century Afterschool Science Project (CASP)
This website provides the Facilitator’s Guide to Incorporating Science in Afterschool & Exploring Water Science in Afterschool Curriculum (includes 21 lessons & student journal).

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
This website provides online tutorials, case studies, and lesson plans related to corals, currents, estuaries, global positioning, pollution, tides, oil spills, climate change, habitat management, marine sanctuaries, navigation and more.

National Science Foundation
This website includes a database of materials for teaching earth science including maps, documents and resources on volcanoes, earthquakes, rocks, oceans, plate tectonics, hydrothermal systems, earth’s magnetic field, geological time and more.

Project WET
Project WET provides resources to reach children, parents, educators, and communities of the world with water education.

Environmental Science

Afterschool Science Resource (PBS)
This resource activity guide, The Greens, encourages students to explore sustainability and take action on topics like recycling and global warming.

Lower Platte South Natural Resources District (NRD)
The NRD offers various classroom presentations and programs, and resources such as outdoor classroom grants, a lending library, scholarships for both educators and students and much more to support educators and help them better meet curriculum needs.

Scholastic: Act Green
This website offers learning games that will motivate students to consider our earth, while building academic skills.

The Roof is Growing!
This website provides teacher resources related to saving the environment.



Exploratorium (The Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception)
Here students can research topics related to math, such as the history of Mayan counting and calendars.

Illuminations offers resources for teaching math, including a library of online activities, lessons for pre-K-12, standards and web links.

SEDL Afterschool Training Toolkit
This section of the SEDL toolkit covers math concepts that could be included in the after school environment (from simple addition and subtraction to algebra and geometry) and offers resources for planning, incorporating real world activities, assessing programs, training staff and resources for key practices.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
This website provides math support and activities in English and Spanish, with a teacher corner and family corner, as well as sections for both elementary and middle school.

Mixing in Math
This website includes a bank of resources that add math to out-of-school time for ages 5-12.

The Securities and Exchange Commission
This website explores, among other topics and resources, reasons for saving and investing and explains compound interest, using slices of pizza to illustrate the benefits of compound interest.

Population Connection
This website has downloadable lesson plans and math activities in areas such as how human numbers and actions affect the availability of resources, how population changes and resource use affect humans, and population growth patterns and demographics.

Outdoor Play and Recess

21st CCLC


Children’s Contact with the Outdoors and Nature: A Focus on Educators and Educational Settings
This section reviews research focused on the physical, mental and social benefits that contact with the outdoors and nature provides to children.

Health Benefits to Children From Contact with the Outdoors & Nature
These articles summarize literature related to outdoor and nature contact and children’s health and well-being.

NJSACC Celebrate Afterschool! Outdoors in the Garden State Activities and Resource Guide
This guide includes activities related to nature, animals, trees and leaves, outdoor play adventures, gardening, weather exploration, art, and being green in addition to fun facts.


Fitness Fun Forever
This website includes teaching tips and activities to promote physical activities with students.

National Kite Month
This website provides information on building and flying kites.

Peaceful Playgrounds
This website offers resources and information regarding playgrounds, including supervisor training, supervision, examples of rules, benefits of recess before lunch and 60 alternatives to withholding recess.


21st CCLC


Leveraging Afterschool for English Learner Success
This document compiles resources pertaining specifically to the needs of afterschool programs to support English learners.


Five Ways to Build Students’ Vocabulary


American Library Association
Consider your librarian as your teaching partner in the afterschool and summer program. Connect your students to your school and community library.
September is Library Card Sign-Up  Month. Visit the American Library Association website for 60 Ways to Use your Library Card and other useful resources.

Colorin Colorado!
Includes links to resources for families of ELL students interested in supporting young readers.

This site offers fun, educational activities for reading, writing and storytelling- dedicated to helping kids of all abilities.

Guys Read
Welcome to Guys Read, a web-based literacy program for boys founded by author and First National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature Jon Scieszka.. Our mission is to help boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers

Ink Think Tank
The Ink Think Tank database was created by 22 children’s book authors who have connected their nonfiction works to curriculum standards.

International Children’s Digital Library
This website offers a collection of thousands of children’s books available free online from countries all around the globe in native languages and in English.

International Reading Association: Read, Write, Think
Parent and afterschool resources for students kindergarten through grade 12. From fun activities to suggested books, we’ve got your out-of-school time covered.

Jack Prelutsky
Jack Prelutsky’s website allows visitors to enjoy his poems, read letters from students, and learn about the author and parents/educators can find home activities, classroom activities and a booklist.

Letter P.A.L.S.
Letter P.A.L.S. is perfect as an After-School Literacy Initiative to help at-risk readers. The Pet Shop Pen Pals are a special group of pets who love to write letters to children and tell them all about the cool adventures they go on so students can practice their reading skills. The 2013-2014 program runs from October 16, 2013, to April 30, 2014, and students can sign up anytime during October through April.

National Council of Teachers of English
This website, with sections for elementary, middle, secondary and college, offers resources and professional development related to English studies, literacy and language arts.

National Council of Teachers of English
How to Help Your Child Become a Better Writer
This position statement offers suggestions for helping a child become a better writer, both at home and at school.

National Writing Project
The National Writing Project focuses the knowledge, expertise, and leadership of our nation’s educators on sustained efforts to improve writing and learning for all learners. This website features research and best practices for teaching writing.

National Education Association: Read Across America
This website offers background information, event planning ideas, activities and resources for Read Across America.

One Size Does Not Fit All
This article from Teacher Magazine offers ways to make reading assignments more engaging for all levels of students.

Award-winning author James Patterson, who has championed books and reading, has created this website for parents and educators to help make children lifelong readers.

Reading is Fundamental
This website includes articles, advice and booklists as well as a section for parents that has tips and activity ideas to help motivate children to read.

SEDL Afterschool Training Toolkit
This section of the toolkit addresses how to integrate speaking, listening, reading, and writing after school, and offers resources for planning, incorporating real world activities, assessing programs, training staff and resources for key practices.

Shel Silverstein
Shel Silverstein’s website gives visitors the option to play games, write poems, print out free bookmarks and poetry kits and download screensavers, audio tracks and wallpaper.


Leading an Afterschool Writing Club
Deb Coyle, Lincoln Public Schools and Nebraska Writing Project
Originally aired Monday, December 2, 2013
After school and summer are the perfect times to support writers and at the same time, engage families in your afterschool program. Join Deb Coyle, Nebraska Writing Project I Love to Write workshop leader and writing club expert, to learn the basics of starting an Afterschool Writing Club for your students and family members including philosophy, framework, and resources.
Literature Resources for After School Writers Circles


21st CCLC


99 Ways to Make Your After-School Program Even Healthier
This toolkit offers ways to promote healthy eating, provide time for physical activity, incorporate culture, make staff development a priority, provide youth with positive role models, engage youth in leadership roles, get family involved, use the community as a resource and more.

California After School Physical Activity Guidelines
The intent of the California After School Physical Activity Guidelines is to create high-quality physical activity programs that expand learning opportunities of the regular school day.

Outdoor Family Fun Guide
This guide provides activities and ideas to incorporate fresh air into the family’s busy routine.


Action for Healthy Kids
Action for Healthy Kids addresses the epidemic of overweight, undernourished and sedentary youth by focusing on change in schools, offering resources for schools and afterschool programs.

Alliance for a Healthier Generation
Alliance for a Healthier Generation provides resources to build a healthier environment at home, in business, at school and out of school time with support, guidelines and tools.

This website offers resources that after-school professionals can use in encouraging children and youth to eat right and be active.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
CDC Healthy Youth promotes the health and well-being of children to help them become health adults, and this section of their website addresses the school’s role in promoting health education.

Kids Health
This website offers ideas for interactive learning focused on a health and fitness emphasis for parents, children and teens.

Middle Schools See Culture of Health Pays Off in Nationwide Study
This article addresses changes middle schools can make to improve the health and wellness of students.

P.E.links4u provides articles on exercise, physical activity, sports, games and activities.

United States Department of Health and Human Services, Physical Activity Guidelines for America
Chapter 3: Active Children and Adolescents provides physical activity guidelines for children and adolescents aged 6 to 17, and focuses on physical activity beyond baseline activity.

Global Literacy

21st CCLC


The Power of Afterschool and the Future of Learning: A Nebraska Afterschool Conference
September 28, 2012
Omaha/LaVista Embassy Suites Conference Center
Let’s Go Global
Global Competency refers to the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to live and work effectively in the new global environment. This sectional will cover fun ways to incorporate global learning into your afterschool program through a variety of hands-on activities.
Sarah Sutton, Program Support, 21st CCLC
Let’s Go Global.pdf
Online Global Resources.pdf


Building Bridges A Peace Corps Classroom Guide to Cross-Cultural Understanding
This book is designed for adaption by teachers in grades 6-12 and provides lessons to help students better understand culture, how it has shaped them, the perspective of other cultures with respect for those who are different, and an increased awareness of the value and practicality of social service.

Educating for Global Competence: Preparing Our Youth to Engage the World
This publication is intended for educators, administrators, parents and other stakeholders interested in preparing youth for the 21st century, introducing a conceptual framework for global competence.

Online Global Resources
The Power of Afterschool and the Future of Learning: A Nebraska Afterschool Conference
La Vista Embassy Suites
September 28, 2012


Asia Kids Society
This website is linked to Asia Society’s main page, and includes sections for children (Stories, Arts, Languages, Games) and educational resources for teachers, parents and afterschool providers.

Central Intelligence Agency: The World Factbook
The World Factbook provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.

Global Competence Matrix
Asia Society and Council of Chief State School Officers
This one-page matrix outlines a set of outcomes of what students need to know and be able to do to be globally competent youth. Globally competent youth can investigate the world beyond their immediate environment; recognize perspectives, others’ and their own; communicate ideas effectively with diverse audiences; and take action to improve conditions.

European Geography Games
Students at all levels can utilize this website to learn more about the European Geographic Regions, Europe’s countries, capitals, and landscape.

National Geographic Kids
This website offers children’s games, activities, stories and videos about people, places and animals from different countries.

Smithsonian Education: Educators
This website is designed to access lesson plans and resources aligned to state standards (can be searched by state, grade and subject) related to art and design, science and technology, history and culture and language arts.

World Affairs Council
The Global Classroom section connects teachers and students with international resources, ideas, and people and offers lesson plans related to world politics, history, geography and economics.


Going Global
Mardi North, Nebraska Department of Education and Sarah Sutton,
former 21st CCLC Project Director
Global competency refers to the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to live and work effectively in the new global environment. This webinar introduces strategies and resources that can be used for incorporating global learning into your afterschool program.



Americans for the Arts YouthARTS
This website gives detailed information on how to plan, run, provide training and evaluate arts programs for at-risk youth.

This PBS website includes sections on lesson plans, activities, books and resources for parents and teachers, as well as resources for children.

Coming Up Taller
This website offers information about Coming Up Taller Awards, Humanities Programs, Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards, National Book Festival, The National Endowment for the Humanities and The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.

Make Beliefs Comix!
This website provides resources for teachers and allows students to create their own three-panel comic strips in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Latin.

Nebraska Arts Council
This website of the Nebraska Arts Council, whose mission is to promote, cultivate and sustain the arts for the people of Nebraska, provides grants and services to artists, organizations and communities.

SEDL Afterschool Training Toolkit (Arts)
This toolkit addresses dance, music, theater and visual arts and includes sections on arts practices, support materials, key terms and a literature review.

Songs for Teaching- Using Music to Promote Learning
This website offers multicultural instrument building instructions for families.

Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning21st CCLC


The mission of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is to help make evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) an integral part of education at all grade levels.

EASEL Lab, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Navigating Social and Emotional Learning from the Inside Out
May 2, 2017
A practical resource for schools and out-of-school time providers that looks inside and across 25 leading SEL programs.