Expanding Access to NPASS Professional Development

Student engagement and learning in science is greatly increased when their teachers or youth leaders receive ongoing professional development [PD] and support to lead research based curriculum projects that support state and national learning standards

That’s why NPASS has delivered over 800 afterschool science workshops and Train-the-Trainer [ToT] Institutes over the last four years for youth workers and afterschool specialist based well over 1000 afterschool agencies and program sites in nine states. As a result, tens of thousands of students have participated in well-led Design-It and Explore It science and engineering projects at their afterschool sites. The afterschool field now has a growing cadre of confident and skillful program leaders and specialists who are ready to make hands-on, minds-on science widely available to students attending afterschool programming in under served communities. Learn more about the NPASS Professional Development model

NPASS PD trains afterschool program staff to lead interesting engineering challenges and science phenomenon that are grounded in state and national learning standards.

The Nature of NPASS PD

NPASS participants [Science Trainers, Afterschool staff, students,] learn in safe communities of learners and they learn by doing. NPASS Science Trainers and afterschool staff learn the craft of training and teaching by doing exactly what the students will do – and then (just like the students) by reflecting on what works and what doesn't what should stay the same and what needs to be changed. And, as appropriate to the age or confidence of the learner, they learn to spot the general rules or principles that can be deduced from the specifics of the experiences at hand.

The Professional Development Tools linked below are recommended for those who use NPASS2 Curriculum projects from EDC's Design It! or Explore It! product lines, or for those who train others to do so. These resources are designed to supplement learning that takes place in face-to face training or in direct practice: they do not constitute a "training program” in and of themselves. The best way to get good at leading afterschool science programs and trainings is to attend trainings oneself, work with a community of learners and a trusted mentor and then lead workshops and programming over and over with youth workers or kids.