July 22, 2013

In case you missed it, the U.S. Department of Education has officially unveiled an exciting new guide to Civic Learning and Engagement on the Y4Y portal! Civic learning and engagement affords students the opportunity to make a real difference in the world through collaborative projects that address real-life issues that concern them. Empower your students to be engaged members of their community, and to know that their opinions and ideas matter. Get started with a civic learning project now, and the youth in your program will be learning by doing, while gaining 21st Century skills and becoming good citizens.

You’ll find the new Civic Learning and Engagement content integrated into the Project-Based Learning module, because when it comes to hands-on learning one of the best examples is civic engagement. Come visit the Learn section of the Project-Based Learning module to see how your program can incorporate practical strategies that draw students into becoming more active and involved in their communities, all while gaining academic and 21st century skills.

Get staff on board with the new content by checking out the Trainings To Go and Training Starters related to Civic Learning and Engagement, and get started with Civic Learning and Engagement activities and projects using the specially designed planning and implementation documents in Tools.

Stay tuned for more guidance from the Y4Y team on this exciting topic! In the meantime, if you have any Civic Learning and Engagement examples or ideas you’d like to share, you can post them to the Discussion Boards.  


July 22, 2013

Thunderstorms, lightning bugs, ocean waves, and Fourth of July fireworks add up to sunny, hot, and humid days bursting with energetic children ready to have fun. Ah, summer!

Y4Y is here to help your summer program channel that energy and combine it with the spirit of summer for a focused approach to learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). The excitement of summer aligns well with the principles of inquiry-based learning and STEM concepts. Try out some of the resources in the Y4Y STEM content module to encourage exploration and discovery in your summer program.  


July 22, 2013

The freedom of summertime helps you get students outside to explore the natural world and your surrounding community, which opens many opportunities for STEM learning right in your own backyard. Since summer usually brings at least a few extremely hot days and a few very stormy days, you may find yourselves unable to go outdoors at times. Don’t worry – Y4Y resources can help spark students’ interest in STEM, indoors or out.

For example, the STEM Everywhere Activities chart provides detailed ideas for bringing STEM into your program in a variety of ways. Although the document is targeted to school-year programs, the ideas translate into summertime with ease. Try out some of the activities for rainy days and match them up with outdoor extensions to truly bring them to life for your students.  


July 22, 2013

Take a look at the Network section of Y4Y to see what your peers from around the country have posted to the Discussion Boards about Low Cost STEM. They’ve found some great resources that work well for them in their programs, and the activities translate well into summertime.

Also in the Network section, you’ll find a recording of a STEM webinar hosted by the Y4Y Team. The special guest speakers demonstrate how they have sparked enthusiasm in students through exciting activities and projects.

With these ideas, STEM fun could be just a click or a phone call away. Another webinar shares the Y4Y team’s ideas for summer plans that get your students going with hands-on STEM and other summer-friendly activities.

You can also post your own STEM ideas to the Discussion Boards. Add low-cost STEM ideas here or start a new thread on the board (don't forget - you have to be logged in to post, but registration is free!). Your impact will go beyond your own program, helping students in other locations enjoy and learn about STEM this summer.  


July 22, 2013

One of the best things about STEM learning is that so many programs are doing it so many different ways! What will work best for your students? Try a variety of topics and approaches and see what fits. You can find some great ideas for summer STEM activities in Y4Y’s Learn More Library. For example, get some new ideas from The Globe Program for inquiry-based learning about the environment and our planet, NatureMapping on edutopia.org for technology-inspired fieldwork, and Time To Invent Club for captivating indoor creations.