STEM Afterschool Innovation Mini-Grant Winners Announced

2017 Innovation recipient,  the Sweet Shoppe , a student-run bake stand & STEM project,   Boys & Girls Club of the Kenai Peninsula - Kasilof      

2017 Innovation recipient, the Sweet Shoppe, a student-run bake stand & STEM project, 

Boys & Girls Club of the Kenai Peninsula - Kasilof



The Alaska Afterschool Network, Juneau Economic Development Council, and BP Alaska are proud to announce the recipients of the 2017-2018 STEM Afterschool Innovation Grants. These mini 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 community centers spanning the state. From offering new curriculum to purchasing new technology to expanding programming in rural Alaska, 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 the grant applicants for your commitment to positive youth development and informal STEM education! We received a total of 23 applications requesting more than $35,000. There is a clear need for the support and expansion of STEM learning in afterschool.


The 2017-2018 STEM Afterschool Innovation Grant recipients are listed below.


Riverbend Elementary 21st Century Community Learning Center| Juneau, AK
The LEAP Program (Learning Enrichment After-school Program) at Riverbend plans to implement the Hands-On Standards STEM in Action curricula with students in their afterschool program. By completing Earth, Physical, and Life Science projects addressing real-world issues, participants gain valuable STEM skills in the areas of applied science and math, engineering design, innovation, and evidentiary evaluation in a team context.


Willow Crest Elementary 21st Century Community Learning Center| Anchorage, AK
Willow Crest’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) is partnering with Boy Scouts of America to introduce STEM Scouts. Students will have an opportunity to conduct experiments and carry out scientific investigations, in the first ever STEM Scouts lab in Alaska. This curriculum is designed to connect 3rd-6th grade students with professionals in the community to get them excited about STEM careers and opportunities.


Fairview Elementary 21st Century Community Learning Center| Anchorage, AK
As one of the most diverse schools in the nation, Fairview is excited to expand their participation in First Lego League (FLL) to fund a First Lego League Jr. team for younger students (1st-3rd graders). In addition to these grant funds, the school’s 21st CCLC also seeks to utilize the network’s support to incorporate more quality STEM activities into the afterschool program for all grades. 


Boys & Girls Club of Alaska – Fairbanks | Fairbanks, AK
The Clubhouse in Fairbanks seeks to develop STEM literacy among children in grades 5-8. Their Clubhouse plans to use the innovation grant to offer Science Club projects that teach and engage participants about nutrition (the technology and science of food), as well as cultural resources and disability awareness (with an emphasis on STEM content).


Kvimarvik Pool, Bristol Bay Parks & Recreation | Naknek, AK
In Naknek, the Kvimarvik Pool is central to the community and is the primary site of afterschool activities in the area. Funding will help purchase materials needed to provide engaging ‘Survivor’-style challenges, involving problem-solving skills and mathematical puzzles in action. The Parks & Recreation Department seeks to motivate local STEM education by providing fun STEM-based programming during afterschool time.


Thrivalaska Afterschool Program at Pearl Creek Elementary | Fairbanks, AK
The afterschool program is excited to introduce Pearl Creek students to the awe-inspiring STEM field of astronomy. Participants will interact with the dark winter skies, learn to identify constellations, and broaden their inquiry of planetary movements. Grant funds will be used to procure refracting telescopes that will serve students this year and beyond.   


Boys & Girls Club – Nome Community Center | Nome, AK
Reaching a wide range of youth (7-18 years old), the Clubhouse in Nome is excited to provide innovative STEM offerings for local youth. Funding will be used to procure a planetarium projector and additional telescope, to engage more kids in astronomy through guided inquiry. Teens at the Clubhouse will be engaged in building drones to help prepare them for fast growing careers in engineering and construction.     


Bristol Bay 4-H | Dillingham, AK
Ten communities around Bristol Bay will benefit from this grant by receiving popular STEM kits to use during their 4-H club. These Tinker Kits contain tools for youth to engage in critical thinking and practical experimentation, building and design improvement, collecting and analyzing data, as well as interacting with peer teams to present their discoveries.   


Harborview Elementary | Juneau, AK
Harborview plans to use this grant to fund an Early STEM Investigations afterschool club.  The club will promote the practices of science and engineering in a fun and supportive environment for young children. Getting K-2 grades excited about STEM in this context can give them confidence to connect with otherwise daunting topics early on, from coding to public speaking, and even electrical circuitry.


Meadow Lakes Elementary | Wasilla, AK
Meadow Lakes will use funding to offer an afterschool program for students to expand STEM learning. In this afterschool program, participants will engage in activities that promote cooperative collaboration and communication, through hands-on exploration of relevant problems. Projects will give teams the opportunity to consider and discover STEM solutions.    


RALLY | Juneau, AK

Recreation, Arts, Learning, Leadership for Youth (RALLY) afterschool program is committed to fostering life-long learners beyond the classroom. The Innovation Award will focus on increasing staff STEM professional development to implement high-quality STEM programming. As part of their grant, RALLY will be cross-training their staff with Harborview Elementary Innovation Grant awardees.  


The Learning Center – Fairbanks Memorial Hospital | Fairbanks, AK
Grant funding will purchase equipment and supplies that will positively enrich the Learning Center’s STEM offerings for youth (age 5-12).  Children will have the chance to engage with a better-equipped science area at the Center, and be provided with a more thorough framework to practice scientific investigations, evaluation and problem-solving.


Hope 4-H | Hope, AK
Using the natural world around this small rural community, the grant award will support the Hope 4-H Club to offer much-needed STEM enrichment in their afterschool programming. From active learning about the physics of archery, to STEM learning through cooking science of local wild foods — integrating STEM into out-of-school activities for children in Hope is set to have a considerable impact.


Northern Susitna Institute | Talkeetna, AK
This grant will help support the Northern Susitna Institute’s development of year-round afterschool programs. Funds will be used to offer engaging lock-box challenges and other activities designed around the BreakoutEDU model, as well as STEM-focused Questing, summer programs and family day programs held on-site.