New Jersey's Partnership for Afterschool Science and Engineering presents…

Explore It!

Afterschool Science Program Training

Now enrolling afterschool sites for the 2020–2021 school year.

Online enrollment due June 15, 2020.

Program training by Rutgers 4-H for your afterschool staff includes everything you need for a full-year of STEM programming at your site(s).

  1. professional development (three full-day workshops)
  2. curricula guides
  3. materials kits
  4. ongoing support

Training prepares your staff to lead a full-year program that includes six science projects. Each of the six projects lasts approximately one month, with youth meeting in their "Science Explorers" club once a week. Selected Explore It! projects for 2020–2021 include – Cake Chemistry, Heating a House and an Oven, Measuring Ourselves, Sinking and Floating, Siphon Systems, and Wiring a House. Youth work in teams to explore familiar phenomena in an extended manner using simple materials to foster science learning.

Photo: measuring spoons.

Cake Chemistry
What are the ingredients in a recipe that cause a cake to rise? Is the same gas produced when using baking powder, baking soda, or yeast? These are questions youth pursue in this exploration while, at the same time, they get to eat their experiments and gain some sense of the chemical properties of materials.

Heating a House and an Oven
By finding different ways to insulate a cardboard “house” warmed by just one 40W light bulb, youth explore the difference between the ideas of heat and temperature. Then, using a 100W bulb, they turn the house into an “oven” that can bake cookies at 300° F.

Measuring Ourselves
Youth measure their own bodies in a variety of ways to learn more about their basic physical make-up and to observe both the consistency and variation of body shape, size, and strength among their peers.

Siphon Systems
Using an arrangement of plastic tubing and a special connector, youth transform a soda bottle into an interesting device for exploring how water flows through a closed or open system. Connecting multiples of these special bottles adds to the challenge of analyzing what happens with the air and water pressure in these systems.

Sinking and Floating
Youth explore the buoyancy of common objects and make boats from a variety of materials, gaining a sense of the relative contribution of the material and its shape
in determining whether it will sink or float. They repeat their experiments with salt water and other solutions to see how the type of liquid makes a difference in how
things float.

Wiring a House
Youth discover some of the principles of practical wiring and electrical circuitry by installing lights and switches in the rooms of a cardboard house. They follow electrical “pathways” within their circuits to explain why some light bulbs shine brightly while others are dim.


Photo of Tapemeasure.
Rutgers New Jersey 4-H Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station