STEM Afterschool Innovation Mini-Grant Winners Announced

Noorvik B&G Club.jpg

The Alaska Afterschool Network, Juneau Economic Development Council, and BP are proud to announce the recipients of the 2017 STEM Afterschool Innovation Grants. These small grants are designed to help afterschool programs implement or expand high-quality STEM learning. Grants ranged from $500 to $2,000.


We were pleased with the diversity of grant applicants, including programs from nonprofits, public schools, and libraries spanning the state.  From opening a bakery to purchasing new technology to offering new curriculum, these STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math – programs will help provide youth with valuable skills to prepare them for success in college, career, and life.

Thank you to all of the grant applicants for your commitment to positive youth development and informal STEM education! We received a total of 53 applications requesting more than $83,000. There is a clear need for the support and expansion of STEM learning in afterschool.


The 2017 STEM Afterschool Innovation Grant recipients are listed below.


Boys & Girls Club of Alaska – Nome Community Center | Nome, AK
The Clubhouse plans to teach youth that we are all changing individuals and how these changes benefit everyone through the exploration of habitats and solar energy. Funding will be used to purchase habitat supplies, microscopes, solar car kits, and wind turbine experiment kits. This will allow the clubhouse to increase the frequency of STEM offerings and to take their STEM programing to the next level. 


St. Paul Preschool | St. Paul, AK
Funding will be used to purchase a Discover STEM Lab to be used on a rotational basis, exposing students to multiple STEM modalities by promoting innovation and inquiry, developing problem-solving, and encouraging mathematical reasoning skills within their afterschool program.


Boys & Girls Club of the Kenai Peninsula – Kasilof Clubhouse | Kasilof, AK
The Kasilof Boys & Girls Club Bakery will encourage the use of engineering, science, and mathematical skills among club members. Youth will create a student-run bakery business by constructing a storefront for sales, using data analysis to create and maintain spreadsheets of sale records, and utilizing math and life science skills in baking and nutritional labeling.


Sitka Sound Science Center | Sitka, AK
STEM grant funding will be used to create a new one-week summer camp called REVolution Camp, which will focus on automobile engineering, fuel systems, and design and product testing. The camp will expose students to the ideas of automobile mechanics, renewable energy systems, design requirements, and testing engineering.


Cordova School District | Cordova, AK
Funding will be used to help purchase a Little Bits Pro Library to provide students with more opportunities to learn and create. The Little Bits Pro Library will enable youth to create a comprehensive makerspace that engages them in hands-on STEM activities.


Meadow Lakes Elementary | Wasilla, AK
The Meadow Lakes Einstein’s Club will use funding to purchase materials and accessories to teach students problem-solving, engineering, and computer programming. Students will engineer things such as index card towers and paper tables; robots will be used to teach youth about coding and programming.


Teeland Middle School | Wasilla, AK
Funding will be used toward the purchase of a replacement 3D printer, which will be used to manufacture robot frames and used as a vehicle for teaching computer programming to students.


Discovery Southeast | Juneau, AK
Discovery Southeast will incorporate an explicit STEM focus into its Outdoor Explorers Summer Camp. Three weeks of the camp will be dedicated to Ocean, Salmon, and Rocks, during which campers will pose questions, conduct investigations, collect data, and create a project to share the information they have gathered.


Friends of the Zach Gordon Youth Center | Juneau, AK
STEM grant funding will assist Body and Mind Afterschool Activities in providing new STEM curriculum focusing on snow science, space, and birds.


Fairbanks North Star Borough School District 21st CCLC | Fairbanks, AK
Funding will be used to purchase three OSMOs classrooms sets that will be shared across 21st CCLC programs in Fairbanks using their Afterschool Lending Library. The OSMOs expose students to problem-solving, coding, mathematics, and computational skills.


Trailside Discovery | Anchorage, AK
Trailside Discovery will use grant funding to purchase a JASON Rigamajig to be used in Anchorage School District Title I schools that operate 21st CCLC programs. The Rigamajig is a large-scale building kit used for hands-on free play and learning.


The Arc of Anchorage | Anchorage, AK
STEM grant funding will purchase a modular Magnetic Levitation (Maglev) race track and corresponding Maglev cars. Participants will be able to building different tracks, and will then break into teams to build the Maglev cars that will be used for racing. Concepts such as aerodynamics will be taught to students to help them continually rebuild and improve their engineering designs.


Anchorage Public Libraries | Anchorage, AK
A geocaching program for youth grades 3-5 called “Geocaching – Hi-tech Hide and Seek” will be rotated throughout programs held in Anchorage’s public libraries. Geocaching will increase youth’s early exposure to real-world mathematics, geospatial science, and GPS technology, while also building upon critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and teamwork.


Boys & Girls Club of Alaska – Woodland Park | Anchorage, AK
Funding will be used to create a DIY STEM program at the clubhouse. Four units will be introduced: Energy and Electricity, Engineering Design, Food Chemistry, and Intro to Aeronautics. The program will promote interest and awareness of STEM among club members.


Camp Fire Alaska – Tyson Elementary & Fire Lake | Anchorage/Eagle River, AK
Staff members of Camp Fire Alaska will receive specialized training in STEM activity facilitation, focused on supporting youth to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Additionally, staff will receive an orientation to the STEM supplement of the Youth Program Quality Assessment tool in preparation for observing and measuring quality of STEM programing. Camp Fire staff will then implement 12, pre-planned activities intended to introduce youth to basic STEM concepts.