STEM in Afterschool

Inspiring creativity, curiosity, and career explorations in all young people by connecting STEM to afterschool

STEM graphic with science, technology, engineering, and math in a circle in different colors

Why STEM + Afterschool?

Every young person should be able to dream big and do big.  

To make that a reality, we need to put STEM where young people are — and for us that means afterschool.


It’s about jobs. 

It’s about equity. 

It’s about what’s possible.


STEM is where the jobs are today, and will be tomorrow. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that STEM occupations will grow 11 percent by 2029 and that those workers will earn more than double the median wage of all other workers.  

And while that’s awesome — I mean, who doesn’t want to see self-driving cars or a cure for cancer?  The problem is that many young people don’t have access to the kinds of experiences that allow them to envision themselves in STEM. They have to see it to be able to dream it

We aim to change that through afterschool.

By intentionally embedding STEM in afterschool — even in programs that aren’t explicitly science-based — we’re building young people’s creativity, innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. We’re making career pathways visible to youth of all backgrounds, especially those who may not see themselves in STEM. 

When we’re intentional about STEM, we’re expanding the number of young people who can envision themselves as future scientists, engineers or programmers. Plus (bonus!) even if young people don’t choose STEM careers, they still have gained a new way to look at themselves and the world around them.

Believe It. Build It. STEM
A guidebook to help programs of all kinds incorporate STEM concepts and methods
Minnesota's STEM Justice Afterschool Cohort
Five afterschool programs on a five-month journey to embed social justice into their programs
Million Girls Moonshot
Ignite Afterschool is coordinating Minnesota’s participation in this movement to break down barriers for girls in STEM