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Showing posts from April, 2016

3 ways to help your volunteers and program staff facilitate inquiry

By Anne Stevenson Imagine an after-school program in which second graders learn about chemical change by making pancakes. Or a club in which kids in fourth through sixth grades build a  Rube Goldberg machine for a county competition. Or a group of teens re-engineering an underwater robot. How do you, as the adult guiding the learning experience, facilitate inquiry to best engage them and challenge deeper thinking? Adults  may feel successful in creating a “space” where questions are encouraged, yet they feel challenged with how to further facilitate group learning, guide youth but not give them all the answers, and help deepen the learning experience with content or higher level thinking skills. These are strategies that will work in any learning setting, even if you don’t work specifically with STEM programming. Inquiry-based learning is as an approach that includes exploring the natural or material world through questioning, discoveries, and testing the questions in the se

Wants or needs? The role that young people can play in developing a country

By Joshua Rice My colleague Molly Frendo and I visited Bangladesh last month to consult on how to improve agricultural training in that country. Our hosts in the  Department of Youth Development asked us to identify youth empowerment needs in the agriculture sector and outline the resources and interventions needed to close gaps and steps for implementation. Program development is an aspect of my job that I am passionate about. I enjoy identifying a need or missing element within a community and then constructing programs to address them. I follow a four-step process: identify, develop, facilitate and evaluate.