About Our Extended Learning Programs
Afterschool Labs' award-winning extended learning programs function as a true extension of the school day by engaging students in a variety of educational experiences:
Application, reinforcement, and extension of skills and concepts taught during the school year curriculum
Hands-on investigation of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) concepts
Development of leadership, communication, problem-solving, and teamwork skills
These experiences are incorporated into Afterschool Labs before-, after-, and summer learning programs.
During Afterschool Labs extended learning programs, students become experts on the theme of each STEAM unit as they deepen knowledge through inquiry-based learning and interactive experimentation:
- Building propulsion-powered rocket cars
- Designing computer programs and games
- Synthesizing crystal flowers from coal
- Constructing functional water bowling alleys
- Developing motion-sensor alarm systems
- Designing collaborative murals
In addition, Afterschool Labs' extended learning programs foster the development of critical, creative, and collaborative thinking skills by engaging students in the following program activities:
Students express their artistic talents – whether they are interested in painting an artistic masterpiece, directing a short play, or composing a musical sonata – using a variety of arts, crafts, and performance arts supplies.
Daily Team Challenges
Students compete in structured team-building challenges – such as the completion of obstacle courses, logic puzzles, and minute-to-win-it challenges – that emphasize the utilization of communication, cooperation, and collaborative thinking skills.
Students use their imagination to play in whatever way that they like, as long as they are not endangering themselves or others.
Students participate in recreational activities – such as capture the flag, freeze dance, and kickball – focused on fair play, mobility, and skills that transfer to sports, dance, and related activities.
Students explore freely the possibilities of play with building blocks, logic puzzles, science/engineering kits, and other educational toys and games.
Maker Day Challenges
Students participate in structured engineering challenges – such as designing a new type of amusement park ride or building a better mousetrap – that draw upon a variety of skills, including designing, building, planning, presenting, and working cooperatively in teams.
School Service Projects
Students give back to their school community in a tangible, meaningful way by orchestrating a fundraiser for school supplies, writing thank you notes for faculty and staff, or organizing a school beautification project.
STEAM Showcase Events
Students present their STEAM research in an oral, visual, multimedia, or performance-based format for their classmates, parents, and teachers at the end of each semester.
Students complete their homework independently and in a quiet learning environment while extended learning staff assist students as needed.
Young Scholars Projects
Students participate in a self-directed research program designed to teach students how to conduct and present a research project on a topic of interest.
Afterschool Labs' extended learning programs include the following services for school districts:
Full Management of Extended Learning Employees
Attracting new extended learning staff and substitutes, conducting extensive in-person interviews, maintaining and updating employment records, and managing all payroll, benefits, and ACA compliance processes.
Training + Professional Development
Providing access to Appleton’s interactive online training program and conducting monthly professional development and training sessions for extended learning staff and substitutes.
Managing the revenue and expenses incurred from the extended learning program and procuring the curriculum and supplies necessary to implement all scheduled program activities.
Administering an online childcare management software to manage extended learning accounts, including registering students, collecting payments, and maintaining student records.
Program Management + Growth
Supervising the daily operations of the extended learning program through effective marketing plans and communications.
Developing new STEAM extended learning curriculum each semester.
Evaluating program quality monthly and providing follow-up coaching sessions for extended learning staff and substitutes.