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Our CLASP STEM Cohort allows out of school time professionals an excellent place to explore fun, unique STEM practices and opportunities for young people.  The program connects realistic, relevant and hands-on learning and networking opportunities for you as an educator to add to your resources, practices and tools that will help you build opportunities for supporting the young learners in your programs to find the possibilities and skills that come from powerful learning experiences and thoughtful partnerships. 

Our new CLASP STEM cohort began earlier this year.  The cohort is getting ready to write their 2024 grant proposals for their summer camp programs.  They already visited places like Eli Whiteney Museum and Sacred Heart University’s planetarium.

See what our participants have to say about their CLASP experience.

Monthly Padlets

Our Padlets include all the monthly resources in one accessible link.

2024 – JUN, MAY, APR, MAR, FEB, JAN  2023 – DECNOV


The expectation is that you will be live at all three sessions and an active member of this coaching cohort. Recordings are not available if you are unable to attend.

JUN 3, JUN 17 & JUL 1
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Are you looking for fun ways to help youth build number sense and problem-solving skills? Math can take on new meaning when it is integrated into daily routines in our afterschool programs. In this module, afterschool educators will explore and practice strategies for making math engaging and accessible.

Register Here
Code: AC352MP
(Coach Becky T)

JUN 6 | 4:00 – 5:00 PM
JUL 23 | 2:00 – 3:00 PM

ACRES is excited to offer additional Information Sessions about STEM micro-credentials, which are competency-based, digital badges for afterschool and out-of-school professionals offered through the National Afterschool Association.   You will learn about what Micro-credentials are and how to apply for them. 

Please fill out this form, choose the date that works best for you, and we’ll reach out to you with the Zoom link. 

Note: It isn’t necessary to attend more than one informational session as the content is consistent.

JUN 10, JUN 17 & JUN 24
6:00 – 8:00 PM

How can we help youth expand and clarify their thinking and develop their reasoning through the questions we ask them? This module is a great way to train staff on how to facilitate STEM learning. Experienced educators also love being part of a cohort as a way to connect with other educators across the country, to learn new lesson plans, and to reflect on practice.  This is our introductory module and a prerequisite to other opportunities.

Register Here
(Coach Emma C)

The expectation is that you will be live at all three sessions and an active member of this coaching cohort. Recordings are not available if you are unable to attend.

Projects & Activities

Inventors Month

It’s #InventorsMonth, a time to celebrate creativity, innovation, and the remarkable achievements of inventors past and present! Did you know that women have played a significant role in shaping the world through their inventions? Take Mary Anderson, who invented the windshield wiper, or Dr. Patricia Bath, who developed a groundbreaking device for cataract treatment. These visionary women, among many others, have left an indelible mark on history with their ingenuity and perseverance. Let’s honor their contributions and continue championing diversity and inclusion in the world of invention! #InventorsMonth #WomenInInnovation #STEMdiversity

Lesson plan: Who is an inventor, anyways? | PBS NewsHour Classroom In this lesson, students will learn about what it means to be an inventor and think creatively about improving something they are passionate about. First, students will watch a short video about a teen inventor who used creative thinking to improve the experience of others. Then students will draw connections between the young inventor and their own passions and interests.

Monthly Activities

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( hands-on activities that can be done in 15-30 minutes that get students thinking about how things really work, and how to engineer a cleaner, safer ocean.

  • Drinking Water Cleanup Where does drinking water come from?  It comes out of the faucet, but how does it get there? Drinking water all over the world originates from either surface waters—such as lakes, reservoirs, and rivers—or from underground sources, such as groundwater. Create (engineer) a filter to clean water to the point where it is clean enough to drink.

  •  Wind turbines are large towers with blades on top that are spun by the wind. They are a great source of clean, renewable energy. Environmental engineers have to figure out where to put wind turbines, so they get the best exposure to steady, consistent winds. In this project, students play the role of an environmental engineer and figure out whether it is a good idea to put wind turbines near tall buildings

  • 15 Cool Conservation Activities for Kids ( These hands-on, minds-on activities allow kids to understand conservation and the importance of it through activities and learning instead of hearing about it in a textbook. While you can’t make all environmental concepts visual, conservation is a great place to start! Here are 15 cool conservation activities for kids to do that incorporate engineering.

  • Building a Grape Smasher Using simple, readily available materials. work in a team to design a machine from simple supplies that can smash a grape.  Click2Engineering includes activity instructions, a video, and links to other resources.

  • Past Monthly Activities

transformative practices


Are you trying to inspire others with authentic and relatable images of women in STEM? The IF/THEN® Collection is a digital asset library of women STEM innovators for educational and other noncommercial use.

Search full collections, educator hub, Steminists updates and their featured categories here.

Farmington, CT.

Ann is interested in pursuing a career as a robotics software engineer with a focus on machine learning in computer vision.

Ann enjoyed doing similar work on the FIRST Robotics Team where Ann used machine learning to program the robot to identify game pieces on the field.

Learn More

Organized by, the annual Hour of Code campaign is a global movement in 180+ countries that introduces young people to computer science through fun, age-appropriate learning activities. The Moonshot’s partnership with aims to expand that reach into afterschool. 

Learn more about the Hour of Code, download the Afterschool Guide for Hour of Code to explore activities and tutorials, and encourage programs to register as an official Hour of Code site to globally engage and take advantage of the full Hour of Code experience.

The CT After School Network is proud to be a part of the Million Girls Moonshot initiative, working to inspire and prepare the next generation of innovators by engaging one million more girls in STEM learning opportunities through afterschool and summer programs.

​The Million Girls Moonshot will not only allow girls to envision themselves as future innovators, but it will increase the quality of out-of-school STEM learning opportunities for all young people, particularly underserved and underrepresented youth.

About the Million Girls Moonshot

The Moonshot is designed to spur girls’ interest, understanding, and confidence in STEM and equip them to become problem solvers with an engineering mindset. Led nationally by the STEM Next Opportunity Fund and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in partnership with the Intel Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Million Girls Moonshot:

  • Leverages afterschool networks in all 50 states to help school-age girls access high-quality STEM education, support, and mentors.
  • Uses an equity and inclusion framework that is youth-centric and culturally responsive to increase gender, and racial and socio-economic diversity in STEM.
  • Provides resources, support, mentorship, and expert guidance to help educators deliver hands-on STEM experiences in afterschool, out-of-school time, and summer learning programs.