Providence After School Alliance & Boston After School and Beyond: Partners in STEM programming and digital badges

We are pleased to announce that the American Institutes for Research was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to study summer STEM programming in PASA’s Summer Scholars and Boston After School and Beyond’s (BASB) summer programming. We’re hoping their observations will yield some interesting results on the best instructional practices and environments that facilitate learning – not only to improve our programs, but to serve as a model and aid to the rest of the country.

PASA and BASB use a number of the same youth outcomes measurements and information management systems, and this year we began the process of partnering to take those common systems to support our work in digital badging. Building on the successes of PASA’s original badge project, funded by a HASTAC/Macarthur grant, PASA, BASB, and a generous funder, the Noyce Foundation, are working together to create a new badge system. Badging is still in its infancy, but we believe that a dedicated framework and shared badging system, students in Providence and Boston will finally have their after school achievements recognized in a way that carries currency with future colleges, universities, and employers. Remember your Scout badge for first aid, woodworking, and/or civics ? We use this model and students will have a badge for their after school and expanded learning opportunities in photography, culinary arts, video game and app design, and more. In the near future, you will see students presenting their badges alongside their transcripts and letters of recommendations!

PASA and BASB will be sharing our work to date with badging in a webinar as part of the Wallace Foundation‘s Expanded Learning Opportunity PLC on Thursday, March 12th, from 12:00 to 1:00pm, Eastern Standard Time. Mark your calendars if you’d like to learn more about our work. Check back here for more links and instructions closer to the webinar date for this informative online discussion.