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Afterschool Educators participate in STEM activities. Professional development focuses both on how to complete an investigation and on how to best facilitate the activities in order to grow STEM skills in young people.

(ACRES) Afterschool Coaching for Reflective Educators in STEM is a professional development series for afterschool and out-of-school-time educators who want to build knowledge and skills so they can confidently facilitate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) experiences for the youth in their programs. At the heart of ACRES is coaching, where participants learn a skill and receive peer and expert coaching to help them reflect upon and strengthen their instructional practice.

Professional development for out of school time providers often consists of a single workshop with limited follow up. The ACRES approach to professional development involves working with a small group of participants over time, building skills, providing guidance, implementation support and resources around a specific STEM skill.

Bring ACRES coaching and STEM professional Development to your community by securing resources and connecting ACRES staff with potential coaches.

ACRES around the country

Afterschool Educators around the country have gained confidence and skills as a result of participating in ACRES training programs.

ACRES can be facilitated by external coaches or by program leaders who want to provide staff development to their teams. Each module guide provides detailed instructions for coaches to facilitate learning modules.

ACRES modules have built in flexibility, allowing them to be adapted to best meet the needs of afterschool educators. ACRES can be implemented fully online using video conferencing tools or in a blended format that combines face-to-face workshops with online video conferencing.

Learn more about the Model in this article about ACRES in AfterSchool Today FALL 2016 Professional Development or by emailing the development team at

Gather Support for STEM

Afterschool staff that have participated in ACRES are creating more engaging and inspiring spaces for learning outside of the traditional classroom.

STEM is important in afterschool. While ACRES is available at no cost to participants, if you need funding to cover staff time, the Afterschool Alliance’s STEM HUB has many great tips for making the case for STEM. Visit this page for data and ideas about how to determine your audience and to learn about current data you can use to pitch more resources for STEM programming. Use Fact Sheets, infographics and excellent presentations to build support for investment in STEM and professional development.

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