Thursday, February 11, 2010
Resource Type:
Project Descriptions
Environment Type: 
Afterschool Programs, Summer and Extended Camps, Community Outreach Programs, Professional Development, Conferences, and Networks, Informal/Formal Connections
Elementary School Children (6-10) | Middle School Children (11-13) | Youth/Teen (up to 17) | Adults | General Public | Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals | Scientists | Evaluators
Chemistry | Computing and information science | Education and learning science | Engineering | General STEM | Geoscience and geography | Life science | Mathematics | Nature of science | Physics | Space science | Technology
Missouri AfterSchool Network, Project LIFTOFF

Project LIFTOFF works with local, regional, and national partners to engineer statewide systems for Informal Science Education that inspire: YOUTH to pursue STEM education and careers through increased opportunities for quality, hands-on STEM learning. AFTERSCHOOL STAFF to facilitate STEM learning experiences that contribute to the overall STEM education and aspirations of youth in their programs. PROGRAM ADMINISTRATORS to encourage and support staff in the integration of STEM enrichment into the daily programming. STATE LEADERS to sustain and expand afterschool learning opportunities so that all students have access to engaging STEM experiences outside of the regular school day. Project LIFTOFF is dedicated to the development of the following essential elements of statewide systems for informal science education:

  • Access to appropriate STEM Curriculum for youth of all ages, abilities, and socio-cultural backgrounds that meets the needs and interests of individual community programs
  • Systematic STEM Professional Development that matches individual skills in positive youth development with abilities to facilitate discovery and science learning
  • A diverse Cadres of Trainers who will deliver the professional development, technical assistance and curriculum dissemination in their local communities
  • Authentic Evaluation of informal science efforts that determine the impacts on youth aspirations and the capacity of youth programs to provide quality STEM experiences
  • Local STEM education leadership to identify the ways in which collaborative education efforts can advance the development of 21st Century Skills and the preparedness for STEM workforce and higher education
  • Partnerships in support of youth development and informal science education that convene local, regional, and statewide organizations and stakeholders

To advance national initiatives and states' sySTEM engineering efforts, LIFTOFF coordinates an annual convening, the Midwest Afterschool Science Academy, that brings together national informal science experts, system leaders and youth development professionals to elevate the levels of science after school. The 5th MASA will be in the spring of 2014 in Kansas City, MO

Team Members

Jeff BuehlerContributor

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