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The National Center for Quality Afterschool

Science After School (SAS) Consumers Guide  

List Resources by Cost

The cost categories below indicate what it would cost to purchase the materials reviewed for use with a group of approximately 25 students.

Click on a title to view a description of the resource and two reviews by an afterschool and a science expert.

Free
(9 items)
$1 - $40
(18 items)
$41 - $75
(1 item)
$76 - $100
(5 items)
More than $100
(18 items)

$1-$40

1.
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Astrobiology: Science Learning Activities for Afterschool
For five to 12 year old kids, the question of life beyond Earth is captivating.  These materials address that question through astrobiology through easily accessible, low-cost household items, and innovative lessons/activities from NASA and AMNH.
Subjects: astronomy, biology Grades: K to 6
2.
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Bottle Biology: The TerraAqua Column
Let your kids experience the scientific process, ecology and environmental degradation with a year’s worth of activities using recycled materials.  You can’t top it for ease and cost since all activities are housed in 2-liter soda bottles.
Subjects: life science Grades: K to 5, 6 to 8
3.
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Bubble Festival
From the GEMS series, this Bubble Festival combines true scientific exploration with highly engaging, fun bubble-based activities that appeal to children of almost any age.  It’s “good clean” fun and real, hands-on science happens every time.
Subjects: multiple science topics Grades: K to 6
4.
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Camp and Club Science Sourcebook: Activities and Leader Planning Guide for Science Outside School
This guide is for leaders/instructors contemplating adding an informal science program.  It’s full of fascinating activities, sound science, relevant health concepts, and practical advice--whether you seek new activities or are just starting.
Subjects: multiple science topics Grades: 5 to 8, 5 to 9 Target Audience: Starter Programs
5.
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Environmental Detectives
Kids experience the interconnectedness of the natural world using language arts, as they attempt to solve a mystery.  This rich mix of hands-on activities, role-playing, and group discussion promotes logical thought processes and research skills.
Subjects: chemistry, environmental science, life science, physical science Grades: 5 to 8
6.
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Exploratorium Afterschool Activities
This set includes 8 easy-to-lead activities that offer science, encourage creativity, and result in great fun. Designed for grades 3-8, most require one session and include introductory video-clips, and detailed instructions/background information.
Subjects: life science, physical science Grades: 3 to 5, 6 to 8 Target Audience: Starter Programs
7.
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Family Math
These guidebooks provide cross-disciplinary, creative, skill-oriented activities to foster home-school connections using household items.  They also focus on building equity in math since they are accessible to students and instructors of many levels.
Subjects: math Grades: K to 5, 6 to 8 Target Audience: Bilingual, Ethnically Diverse Audiences, Families
8.
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Family Science
These activities engage groups of kids and parents in hands-on science, experiments, discussions, and interactions with scientists that reveal science in daily life. Though designed for big group science events, these can be adapted for small groups.
Subjects: astronomy, biology, chemistry Grades: K to 5, 6 to 8 Target Audience: Girls, Families
9.
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Garden Mosaics
By pairing kids with elder gardeners/people of differing cultures, this program helps bridge cultural gaps through shoulder-to-shoulder gardening adventure.  It includes a curriculum and supplemental resources, but you must supply community members.
Subjects: biodiversity, cultural anthropology, horticulture, invasive species Grades: 5 to 8, 9 to 12 Target Audience: Bilingual
10.
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GEMS Paper Towel Testing
These four inquiry-based activities help kids design/conduct experiments to test/compare advertising claims about wet strength and absorbency of 4 paper towel brands.   These are well designed and the teachers guide is elegantly clear and concise.
Subjects: math, multiple science topics Grades: 5 to 8 Target Audience: Families
11.
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Math and Science Across Cultures, from the Exploratorium
This instructors guide includes math/science activities relevant to students of all backgrounds and hints to help those uncomfortable with science content promote deep thinking, questioning and experimentation through the lenses of diverse cultures.
Subjects: math Grades: 6 to 8 Target Audience: Ethnically Diverse Audiences
12.
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Science is Cool
“Cool” science and easy-to-use materials engage afterschool participants’ sense of wonder.  These inquiry-based frameworks/materials tap kids’ natural curiosity about how things work and spark discovery/ exploration through afterschool science. 
Grades: all Target Audience: Starter Programs
13.
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Science Sensors Activity Kit: Tune Up
Activities in this kit offer kids the chance to experience the relationship between vibration, energy, and waves using tuning forks.  The activities can be repeated under varying conditions and are a great way to spark curiosity about wave patterns.
Subjects: physical science Grades: K to 3
14.
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Square Wheels and Other Easy-To-Build, Hands-on Science Activities
Science content is expertly explained in this guide to constructing/learning new and classic science standards.  Kids construct odd phenomenon-like square wheels-using household supplies, then ask, “so what?” Engaging science follows.
Subjects: multiple science topics Grades: 5 to 8
15.
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The Brain Explorer—Puzzles, Riddles, Illusions, and other Mental Adventures
Using just pencil and paper, these “mental adventures” present easily implementable puzzles and exercises designed to expand memory, perception, and cognitive ability while providing instructors with resources to show kids how brains work.
Subjects: multiple science topics Grades: 4 to 5, grade 6
16.
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The Exploratorium Guide to Scale and Structure—Activities for the Elementary Classroom
Activities stress exploration and links to real life so kids can explore big ideas in physics using simple materials. Leader guides include thorough, research-based chapters, pedagogy and management tips for each activity, but do require prep time.
Subjects: multiple science topics Grades: K to 5
17.
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The Science Explorer —Family Science Experiments from the World's Favorite Hands-On Museum
Emphasizing exploration and curiosity, this guidebook promotes examination of the science behind each activity. Designed for young children, its activities are accessible for kids and instructors at all levels of scientific knowledge.
Subjects: multiple science topics Grades: K to 5 Target Audience: Families
18.
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Wonderwise: Women in Science Learning Series
These kits feature contemporary women scientists as positive role models.   Kits also contain short videos profiling the scientist and her work, hands on activities, printed material, and motivation for girls to pursue science.
Subjects: multiple science topics Grades: 5 to 8 Target Audience: Girls