Out-of-School Time and STEM


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What is STEM?

Play this video to find out.


Robots Take Over the Classroom

“We need engineers. We need excitement about that profession,
and I think robotics provides one of the avenues to get us there.”

– Anna Sumner, Teacher, Westside Middle School


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the Conversation!


Increasingly Nebraska youth are told that their futures depend on understanding challenging Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) concepts. These skills and competencies are vital for our modern economy,  but t there is simply not enough time in the school day to provide the kinds of hands-on, engaging, and inspiring activities that enable young people to fully grasp these complex topics.

This segment of the State of Education in Nebraska explores the national trends that are making STEM such an important area and why out-of-school time (OST) programs provide needed opportunities for the hands-on learning students need to understand and master these key concepts. Academic standards, the future demands of the Nebraska workforce, and how OST STEM experiences help our state’s youth will also be considered. Finally, a diverse collection of community educators share their efforts on the front lines of the intersection of OST STEM in Nebraska.

“I challenge all Nebraska youth, and your parents, to embrace the idea that learning is taking place everywhere and all the time and to actively look for and engage in out-of-school STEM learning experiences. These opportunities can give you the skills you need to be successful in life and contribute to our state’s long term prosperity.”
       — Governor Dave Heineman






Student Scientists in Action

At Newman Grove Public Schools, science teachers are using the great outdoors as their classroom, giving students the opportunity to experience the scientific process in its most natural form.

ESU 4 - Energy Academy

See how a group of dedicated educators and business partners joined together to create a unique education opportunity for students.





Program Moderator
Ken Schroeder,
Strategic Air & Space Museum Deputy Director; Nebraska Museums Association President
Jim Woodland
Science Education Director, Nebraska Department of Education
Catherine Lang
Nebraska Department of Labor Commissioner
Dr. Brad Barker
4-H Youth Development - Science and Technology Specialist; UNL Cooperative Extension Division Assistant Professor
Dr. Elizabeth Mulkerrin
Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium Director of Education
Jason Novotny
Gretna High School Advisor & ChairElect;  Wayne State College Asst. State Officer Advisor


Gwyn Williams
Collective for Youth Program Director
Dr. Anita Krishnamurthi
Afterschool Alliance STEM Policy Director
Dr. Gil Noam
Program in Education, Afterschool & Resiliency (PEAR) Founder and Director
Ron Ottinger
Noyce Foundation Executive Director




NET Learning Services
Nebraska Children and Families Foundation
Nebraska Department of Education
Nebraska Loves Public Schools
America’s Promise Alliance Grad Nation
Avenue Scholars Foundation
Buffett Early Childhood Fund
Center for Children, Families, and the Law
Coalition for Community Schools
Lincoln Community Foundation
Nebraska Community Learning Center Network
Nebraska Trucking Association

Project Liftoff
Urban League of Nebraska
United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County

United Way Readers, Tutors and Mentors


© 2013

American Graduate is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in partnership with America's Promise Alliance, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.