QuickPoll: Chamber Involvement in Afterschool STEM

Total response for this survey was 57. The survey closed on May 30, 2017.

Introduction: Out of school time (OST) STEM education - offered during the hours after school and during the summer months - offers youth the opportunity to continue learning and practicing real-world skills that will help them be successful in the workforce. This survey was intended to gauge chamber involvement and interest in afterschool STEM, as well as interest in resources that ACCE can provide on the subject.

Q1. Please describe your chamber's involvement in afterschool programming (Please check all that apply)

"Other" Comments:

  • We offer STEM during the school year.
  • We own and operate both a Fab Lab and a robotics training center.
  • We partner with our Workforce Development Board on CareerLinking Academies.
  • We don't currently host any after school programs, though we have tried entrepreneurial and financial literacy programs after school, and they were not successful at all. Instead, we are focusing on making technical skills training (construction trades, manufacturing, etc.) available to all students locally.
  • We are working on ways to partner with afterschool providers to reinforce exposure to in-demand careers, share information on local education/training pathways and resources, and connect the leaders of these programs and the students they serve with local businesses.
  • Our chamber and its membership is represented on the boards of afterschool providers
  • This has not been on our radar but am interested in learning more
  • Our Leadership program actually created one of the primary STEM programs in the area (MindBender Academy) and it is now run by the school district during the summer months.
  • We participate with our local STEM during the school year but it is not part of the after school/summer program.
  • Any ways to enhance education and the workforce and partner with the schools is of benefit to our community.
  • We also support programs in financial literacy and ethics in the late start time slots during the school day.
  • Our "Fab Lab" is owned and operated by the Chamber. We work with 16 public school districts students and teachers. We include art and health in our maker's space and programs. We also partner with the university's schools of engineering & liberal arts. We also are opening a robotics training center to train certified robotics technicians. The Fab Lab is 5500 sqft and robotics center is 7200 sqft. The Fab Lab is nonprofit and the robotics center is for profit.
  • Our Chamber has led coding instruction in the area beginning two years ago with two summer camps designed to reach underserved youth. Wildly successful we completed a second year of summer camps and instituted classroom sessions after school in Charter Schools, on the Navajo reservation, in the Navajo dormitory, and in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club. The STEM based learning has expanded to include K-12 learners. Parents are pleased and all instruction is free.
  • These programs are in the summer, not after school--they are full week camps. Three per summer.
  • We have a program that our chamber started. While it's not a STEM program by definition, it does use aspects of STEM. It is an after school education program for entrepreneur skills. We take a group of students through the process from idea to completion and then also funding of their business.
  • We are supportive and engaged in a regional partnership initiative to connect local businesses to the education providers.
  • Our primary work is in creating more internships in our community.
  • We have a very strong, supportive relationship with our County School System and the Community Foundation. The school system and the Foundation are providers of afterschool and OST programs, including the STEM program.
  • We have school groups and selected business that are engaged in Robotics; for the most part, the Chamber is not a part of the program at this time.
  • We work with both organizations providing out of school time and educational partners providing out of school time. We facilitate an afterschool program called Business AfterSchool and we are the backbone organization of the regional STEM Network. Out of school time is extremely important as we look at experience deficits in our students by 6th grade. Equity and Access are important.

Q2. If you are currently working to support afterschool programming, what role does STEM play in the program(s) your chamber is engaged with?


"Other" Comments: 

  • STEAM is a priority.
  • STEM programming is an important focus of our Chamber's Workforce and Education committee. While our Chamber is not directly involved in an afterschool program, we do help communicate programs to the business community and the community as a whole.
  • Our Chamber was one of 3 lead partners on the America's Best Communities grant with Frontier Communication for Economic Revitalization on STEAM education. Our goal was to end poverty by providing STEAM education underserved youth that would allow them job skills for the living wage/family wage jobs currently available in our community. Out of 350 communities, we won/raised over $200,000 & made the "Final Eight." The conversation between biz and education has changed forever in our community.
  • When girls, minorities and rural community underserved youth are offered Coding Classes, a whole new excitement for STEM learning evolves within the served demographic. Many come to Coding Camp not believing they can out their math, tech, and science skills to work to build a video game or work in teams on complex math problems. The results are self confidence not previously felt, new curiosity for technology learning setting stage for future employability in careers that demand these skills.
  • Many of the entrepreneurs (students) in our program use some form of STEM in the design, development or planning of their product. All of them must focus on math to determine their budgets, and financial prospects. We have one student who developed his own skincare line, he has to use science to determine the composition of the product.
  • In our program, Business AfterSchool, we highlight the STEM skills that can be incorporated across a variety of business/industry. Our STEM Network provides communication and awareness around STEM programming in our community. 

Q3. If you are interested/considering engagement in the afterschool space, how important would STEM education be in that programming (given the needs of local employers)?

Other" Comments:

  • STEAM would be a primary focus.
  • Based on feedback from our members, STEM skills are seriously in-demand, but quite lacking with the current employee base, including outgoing high school seniors.
  • STEM and workforce are two of our strategic focuses for youth in secondary programs.
  • STEM skills across a variety of industries should be a component. STEM develops agile learners as we look to create talent with portable skills for our business and future labor demands.

Q4. If you are not currently working on afterschool education, what are the barriers preventing your chamber from engaging? (Please check all that apply)

"Other" Comments:

  • Our Chamber, at current staff levels, would not take on afterschool education specifically, but we would promote all types of STEM and workbased learning programs at the school system and outside entities as a whole.
  • We are the conduit that brings agencies together to help complete each others work. If there is a gap, then we consider our role. Example: We are getting ready to initiate a 13 week parent training at a low performing school. Just received grant today!
  • We would need to determine the interest of the school district, teachers,parents, students, and local STEM business representatives. Also, what facilities and equipment are available, funding, interest, curriculum to be used, etc.

Q5. Which of the following ACCE resources/support would you be interested in to help your chamber engage in community partnerships to support afterschool STEM programming?
(Please check all that apply)


"Other" Comments:

  • We host two STEM "Passport to Your future" events each year to expose students to industry people who bring interactive activities in the STEM areas to excite them about their career possibilities. This is hosted by our Education-Workforce Development Committee.
  • We currently have a very engaged community and partnerships - with a Pipeline-to-jobs website and program.
  • We currently provide an after school program and would love to share with our chamber community, called Business AfterSchool. We can provide development, implementation, success and challenges along the way.

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