Getting kids to do and talk about science is key to supporting their science literacy. In fact, science and engineering practices are embedded into the new Washington State Science Learning Standards. Here at the Spark Museum with our many education programs, we have been getting kids to do just that for over 15 years. One such program is Spark’s After School STEM Enrichment, or SASSE for short. This program has evolved over the years and is currently based on using littleBits©, Legos© and a variety of other kits, games and materials that we haul back and forth to the schools. It’s a lot of work but has an incredible impact for getting kids excited about science.
“All of us at Spark feel strongly that every child should have the opportunity to get excited about science, and hope that taking SASSE to Title 1 schools will help level the academic playing field for these kids.” – Anne Bargetz, Spark’s Director of Education
Last spring we spent 8 weeks at Alderwood and this fall we spent 6 weeks at Cordata. These two Title 1 elementary schools in Bellingham are working hard to provide extra curricular activities for their low income student populations. Their coordinated and well organized afterschool programs are funded through special grants and provide the Spark Museum with a small stipend for our efforts. However, more financial support is needed to continue providing quality, hands-on science and engineering activities to kids both in and out of school. We need your help to make the programs and other like it possible for the future.