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Afterschool science programs give students hands-on learning 

Science education in Clover Park School District doesn’t end in the classroom. Schools around the district host afterschool programs aimed at extending science instruction to interested students. 

“There is only so much time for science during the school day,” said CPSD science and health supervisor Don Pruett. “These afterschool programs help increase access for all students who want more science.” 

The afterschool science programs have two major goals. Some are focused on the district’s STEM fairs happening over the next two months, with a goal of increasing participation. Others focus on supplementing the district curriculum. 

In CPSD’s K-5 Science Extended Day program, which is offered at most elementary schools, teachers use the district curriculum to teach science after school. Recently Custer Elementary students built water filtration devices out of soda bottles. 

“We are focused on more challenging science,” Pruett said. “In the past, science curricula have been designed around the scientific process, now next generation science standards incorporate engineering practices.” 

At Dower Elementary, students built straw rockets and took turns launching them across the school gym. The lesson focused on aerodynamics and rocket design. 

“I believe in the saying ‘Hands-On is Minds-On’ and this activity gave students the opportunity to explore new ideas which can lead to increase confidence and understandings of the science, technology, engineering and math,” said Dower teacher Linda Muir. 

The year’s districtwide STEM Fair will be held Saturday, March 10 at Harrison Preparatory School.

Student participates in afterschool science experiment