Sensory Balls – DIY STEAM Activity


sensory ball activity

My 10 year old daughter came home after being at her friend’s house with some sensory balls that she made herself. I thought it was a really cool concept, and asked if she could teach me how to make them! So we turned this idea into a weekend STEAM project. These sensory balls were fun to make, plus they were educational! This project can go in a number of directions with different color polymer beads, balloon sizes, and amount of water.


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Afterschool Education in STEAM


STEAM afterschoolS&S Worldwide recently sponsored the National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award for Afterschool for 2017, and we are very proud of all of the nominees and winners! This is a great opportunity to highlight these afterschool professionals and the dedication they have to their programs. Ashley Conroy shares her experience as an afterschool leader:

As a lover of learning, I am always trying to figure out what makes a good urban teacher, especially through my interactions with students, family and community. A great lesson I learned was not from a graduate education course, but from an insightful grandmother. She explained that her grandson was now at an age where he would enter a vicious cycle and she could see him starting to make the same poor decisions she had seen so many times. “What they need,” she said, “is someone to teach them that life goes beyond the block.” I’ve thought about that for many years, about how sensitive but bold an individual must be to break those barriers and prove what can be a different future. Teachers in this system require balance; they must weigh all of the emotion that is required to work with a human medium. I truly believe in education as an opportunity to shape socially conscious individuals who are willing to help bring change to a world in need, and I want to make sure that every child in this city has that opportunity. Continue reading

Top 10 STEM Designs for Your 3D Printer


students 3D PrinterScience, Technology, Engineering, and Math or STEM is the new buzzword in education as all levels of educators press to refocus curriculum suited for tomorrow’s emerging technological workforce. A 3D printer enables teachers to span the entire STEM spectrum with one device. Here are 10 designs that demonstrate one or more letters in S.T.E.M. The links to each design include the .STL file download that is needed to create them with your 3D Printer!


1) Geometry ConnectorsAdd some excitement to your Geometry lesson! Use these geometric connectors with quarter-inch dowel rods to make shapes like a icosahedron, tetrahedron, and cube come to life. Continue reading

YMCA Thingamajig® Invention Convention for STEM


STEM invention convention YMCAThe YMCA is a cause-driven charitable organization here to strengthen the foundation of community in the areas of youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Seeing a need to expanding STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, YMCA Senior Vice President of Program Development, Janice Williams, developed a unique experience with hands-on activities called Thingamajig®.

Thingamajig® is a STEM festival where children can create their own experience. What started as a small science fair for 150 youth, expanded to an all-day convention with over 4,000 young attendees. Continue reading

Tips to Start your New MakerSpace


We are all about MakerSpaces here at S&S and have been immersing ourselves in the concepts and ideas surrounding them. We even have a dedicated MakerSpace Shop! I find it fascinating that there are so many options for a MakerSpace and so many wonderful opportunities to get students engaged in learning and problem solving.  If you have decided to create a Space in your school or program for tinkering, we have some tips below for how to start today!

MakerSpace Tools

Tips to Start Your MakerSpace Today

Keep in mind that these tips are for beginner MakerSpaces and to get started with “basic” and guided projects. Teachers, librarians, and program directors that are looking to introduce children to the Maker concept, will be starting with some of these ideas. As your MakerSpace develops and the Makers using it become more advanced, you will progress your activities and the tools and materials you use.

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