Seeking your suggestions for an after-school club

  • Hi All,

    My colleague and I are thinking of starting a after-school club that is science based for our students. We have done a STEM club in the past. Any interesting ideas... looking forward to hearing from you .


  • @Srividhya-Sundaram I have done a science based book club in the past. I just read the book Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly and it would be a good read to help engage both the minority populations and girls. I loved the book and enjoyed the movie. However, like all book/movie combos the book is far better. There are several books that could work for something like this that I can suggest if you are interested.

  • @Natasha-Rabinowitz

    Thank you for the suggestion. Good idea!

  • Earth tomorrow is an excellent club. It is sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation.

  • @Angenette-Planter

    Thank you for such an incredible idea. Is 'Earth tomorrow' for high school? I looked into the website and I thought so. Is that right?

  • I began a STEM club four years ago at my high school and run it fairly informally. I use it for students to come in once a week, or as time allows, to help them get involved in STEM competitions. I pass on simple and rigorous contest and competition opportunities digitally (email, online course, Google Drive) and the students find something that interests them and run with it. I support them with lab space, supplies, working scientists I can introduce them to, help them find research partners, etc... I write grants for makerspace items like 3D printers, 3D pens, lab supplies and make them available for students to experiment with. We have a social event or party every few months to celebrate successes and champion accomplishments. I also have older, more seasoned students mentor the younger students. The important thing is to be flexible and supportive, but don't burn yourself out. Recognize that not all students are going to follow through and some students will surprise you with their awesome and unexpected ideas and motivation. There have been times of downright disappointment and moments that are richly rewarding! I wouldn't trade them for the world.

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  • For my after school programs I have partnered with local universities through their professional organizations like ASME or SHPE to have mentors and resources for the students. MESA is also a good organization for an afterschool program. They are involved with STEM based competitions. There is a cost to joining, but it is an excellent program.

  • @Deborah-Morgan

    Sounds great!

  • @Jose-Rivas

    Thanks Jose, I will look into the resources suggested by you.

  • Check out the Science Action Club (, sponsored by the California Academy of Sciences. They offer 3 modules - Bug Safari, Bird Scouts, and Cloud Quest. You can register and take the educator training online for free now. I was able to receive in-person as well as online training through a grant for two of the modules. They were fantastic. You can purchase kits including all the supplies needed to complete the series of 12 activities per module. You can also probably acquire the majority of the supplies locally. The kids who participated in my SAC really embraced and had a lot of fun with the activities.
    I would also suggest taking a look at Biology on a Box, a program created and sponsored by the University of Tennessee at Knoxville ( They currently have 12 different thematic units, with a thirteenth on the way. They want to work with school systems, and under certain circumstances provide all of the materials, kits, and support for free.

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