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Showing posts from April, 2015

Why incorporate engineering skills into an environmental program?

By Hui-Hui Wang When you think about engineering, do you first think of machines and buildings? People rarely associate engineering with the natural world. You may think it’s hard to design a youth program that combines engineering design and environmental or nature components. It is a challenge but it’s worth doing because of the thinking skills that youth can get from these activities. I am leading a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) youth program that focuses on native pollinators. Recently we asked a group of middle school youth to examine different flowers and write down their observations, such as the shape, smell, size and color of the flowers. Then, we introduced the concept of pollinators and different type of pollinators -- bees, bats, mice, flies, butterflies, birds and so on.  We asked them to design a flower that attracts the most pollinators. Next, they designed a pollinator that is attracted to that flower. We asked them to consider why the pollinators

Brief programs can make a lasting impression. How can we measure that?

By Betsy Olson Searching through childhood pictures of a clowning workshop I attended as an eight-year-old, I have strong, happy memories of our tumbling presentation, with my parents laughing in the audience. These memories resonate with me as I prepare for an upcoming youth leadership presentation, and have me thinking about how to evaluate brief programs. Measuring impressions from them can be tricky. However, keeping a few considerations in mind can simplify the process of evaluating brief programs – defined as those lasting fewer than eight hours.

6 critical collaborative leadership practices to engage diverse youth

By Judith Conway Collaboration should be the way we do business for young people. We know that no one youth program can support every child’s needs and engage youth from every background. But by working in collaboration with other programs, we can bring our commitment to enriching the lives of young people to even more of them.

What do young people think about social and emotional learning?

By Cynthia Matthias Who do young people confide in? Do they ever talk about setting goals, managing emotions, or understanding other people’s perspectives? Young people will be most impacted by the policies concerning the teaching and assessment of SEL skills in schools and in out-of-school-time programs, yet their thoughts on the topic have not been heard. The YouthVoice project research team, an intergenerational group convened in collaboration with Youthprise,  is working to remedy this situation.