Lincoln, Neb. —Nebraska 4-H Youth Development, in collaboration with Beyond School Bells and funded by the CARES Act, has developed a new program to offer hands-on, youth-centered STEM programs to school-age child care facilities and after-school programs in Nebraska counties.
Nebraska 4-H Youth Development is currently seeking child care centers, instructional leaders and program instructors to participate in the program. The program will run March through April of this year, led by pairs of local high school students, designed and supported by University of Nebraska-Lincoln undergraduate students and state-level Nebraska Extension 4-H staff.
Child care centers are sought and would receive six hours of STEM programming to elementary aged students in March through April. To meet the qualifications, the child care center must be a licensed child care or after-school program in Nebraska providing services to school-aged children, preferably in third-grade through fifth-grade. Arrangements should be made for a group of approximately 12 youth to participate regularly in sessions, to have a dedicated learning space for each session and provide appropriate adult supervision, per required ratio. Ideally, visits would occur one to two times weekly for sequential weeks.
Instructional leaders in the STEM CARES Program would lead small online communities of program instructors weekly, support youth in their instructional skills, assemble and become familiar with high-quality STEM curriculum kits, assist program instructors in understanding STEM content material, develop professionally and more. Instructional leaders must be 18 years old or older, commit five hours per week for 12 weeks over the semester, devote time in the afternoons, along with some evenings and weekends to prepare and more. Prior teaching experience is advantageous, but not required. This is open to UNL undergraduates in STEM, STEM education majors, or preferred prior experiences in STEM. Those interested can sign up here.
Program instructors are sought to teach STEM programs focusing on 3rd- through 5th-grade youth in childcare or afterschool settings, participate in weekly online meeting with University of Nebraska-Lincoln students serving as STEM teaching mentors, be familiar with the high-quality STEM programs and be able to teach it and more. Instructors must be 16 through 19 years old, enrolled in high school, commit approximately 10 hours per week for 10 weeks and provide their own transportation to program sites within their county. A desire to work with elementary-aged youth is essential, and prior knowledge of 4-H or teaching experience is advantageous, but not necessary. Those interested can sign up here.
“Extension 4-H is excited to offer fun, engaging STEM programs to Nebraska school-age youth and support child care and afterschool programs with free programming during these challenging pandemic times,” said Rebecca Swanson, STEM specialist and assistant professor in 4-H Youth Development. “This will provide local high school students with employment and career training opportunities.”