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The National Center for Quality Afterschool

Science After School (SAS) Consumers Guide  

List Resources by Grade Range (Early Elementary)

Click a grade range to view a list of resources that support that general grade area, or click here to view a grade matrix displaying the grades supported by each resource.

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

Early Elementary
(K-2)

(30 items)
Upper Elementary
(3-5)

(49 items)
Middle School
(6-8)

(42 items)
High School
(9-12)

(14 items)

Early Elementary

1.
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4-H Wildlife Stewards
This program provides a useful framework programs with access to outdoors and instructors new to, but interested in, offering outdoor experiences that develop scientific perspectives about nature through real interaction with it.
Subjects: environmental science Grades: K to 5, 6 to 8
2.
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After-School Science PLUS —Activity Guide and Planning Guide
These units permit busy instructors of limited scientific backgrounds to engage female, minority, or bilingual students in science through oral/literacy-based activities that feature biographic vignettes of demographically diverse scientists.
Subjects: multiple science topics Grades: K to 5, 6 to 8 Target Audience: Bilingual, Girls, Ethnically Diverse Audiences
3.
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APEX Science
Eight separate units/topics that include four sessions each and provide kids with sufficient depth within a structure appropriate for typical after school program needs.  Each unit includes clear instructor binders and consistent unit features.
Subjects: astronomy, biodiversity, biology, earth science, engineering, environmental science, life science, mechanics, physical science Grades: K to 3, 2 to 6
4.
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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
5.
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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
6.
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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
7.
Community Reviews: 1
***** 5.0 out of 5
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Camp in a Can Insect Adventures
With this kit, instructors guides, instructional dvd and access to outdoor space, any interested instructor can lead entertaining activities that enable kids to learn, through direct experience, about insects and their habitats.

video available
Subjects: life science Grades: 1 to 5
8.
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Celebrate Urban Birds/Project Pigeon Watch
An easy and fun Web-site with bright visual layout and information in both English and Spanish that offers information about birds plus guides you through collecting/submitting local data crucial for scientific research by Cornell Univ. ornithologists. 
Subjects: biology Grades: all Target Audience: Bilingual
9.
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Club Invention
This research-based kit/instructor guide with all necessary to immerse kids in realistic problem-solving scenarios including design, building, testing, and redesign of tents, bridges, etc.  Fun science is repeatable with replacement of consumables.
Subjects: physical science Grades: 1 to 6
10.
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Design It! Engineering in After School Programs
In this field-tested, engineering-focused set of afterschool activities kids build simple models of familiar technology, then improve their designs.  Guides offer interesting extensions and tips for leading discussions to simplify implementation.
Subjects: physical science Grades: 2 to 6
11.
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DragonflyTV
This combined t.v. series/website attempts to "foster a greater interest in science and the process of scientific inquiry.” Elements are designed to engage minority & underserved learners by offering fun, attractive images and appealing activities.
Subjects: biodiversity, earth science, life science, multiple science topics, physical science Grades: K to 3, 4 to 5, grade 6 Target Audience: Girls, Ethnically Diverse Audiences, Families
12.
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EarthBox
Available at elementary, ms or hs levels, these kits offer refined growing environments that permit in-or out-door gardening. The ms kit (reviewed here) includes the growing unit, standards-based lessons and a guide kids use to engage in gardening.

video available
Subjects: biology, environmental science, horticulture, physical science Grades: all
13.
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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
14.
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Explore It! Science Investigations in Out-of-School Programs
These 13 projects give 8-12 year olds a chance conduct true scientific investigations.  Instructors can draw on a thorough instructor's guide to prepare to lead these explorations of physical science and engineering concepts behind each project.
Subjects: physical science Grades: 2 to 6
15.
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Family ASTRO
These clear, flexible, easy to lead activities let kids become scientists.  Each one is innovative and conceptual-revealing astronomy without factoids or complex jargon by simplifying overwhelming subjects without masking science’s ambiguities.
Subjects: astronomy Grades: 2 to 6, 6 to 8, 9 to 12 Target Audience: Families
16.
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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
17.
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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
18.
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Field Trip to the Moon
This highly structured one-time activity lets kids work together to solve problems and prepare for a trip to the Moon.  The educator guide and DVD provide instructors with ideas and data to help plan a lunar station and trip to the Moon.
Subjects: astronomy, multiple science topics Grades: 3 to 5, 6 to 8, 9 to 12
19.
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Kinetic City
For afterschool programs with online computer access, these activities address a range of fundamental scientific concepts in a virtual world structured as a computer adventure game through a variety of online “missions.”
Subjects: multiple science topics Grades: 3 to 5
20.
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NASA Educators Guides
These web-based educator guides include many materials for a variety of topics.  Some masterfully combine scientific content and engaging activities with clear guidance for instructors, but the quality varies so it’s best to check them out/decide.
Subjects: multiple science topics Grades: K to 5, 6 to 8, 9 to 12
21.
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Science Court Explorations - Tom Snyder Productions (Scholastic)
Through multimedia CD-ROM graphics and hands-on activities, kids are the jury in a court case that requires scientific understanding and investigation, verbal skills, and teamwork.  This activity helps afterschool programs promote real world science.
Subjects: multiple science topics Grades: 2 to 4
22.
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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
23.
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Science Sensors Activity Kit: Hot or Not
Featuring an elegant set of experiments this kit permits users to “see” temperature changes in liquid crystal thermometers. These visceral activities offer immediate results and an engaging way to for kids to experience scientific experimentation.
Subjects: physical science Grades: K to 5
24.
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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
25.
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Sunflower/Girasol
Thematic, grade 3-5, activity-based units in English and Spanish focus on plants, water, air, trash, sound, and the human body and enable students to make connections between science, their lives, families, and environments.
Subjects: multiple science topics Grades: 2 to 5 Target Audience: Bilingual
26.
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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
27.
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The Private Eye®: (5X) Looking/Thinking by Analogy
With little advanced prep/materials, program leaders using the program manual can offer kids a way to investigate the world using the Private Eye, a program based on visual investigations with an inexpensive jeweler’s loupe and their curiosity.

video available
Subjects: multiple science topics Grades: K to 5, 6 to 8, 9 to 12
28.
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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
29.
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The Youth Experiences in Science Project (YES) from 4-H
These activities make “doing science” lively and fun by including disciplines rarely associated with science, like song, dance, poetry, visual arts. In the model teen mentors lead younger kids so both teens and mentors grow and learn science.
Subjects: multiple science topics Grades: K to 3
30.
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ZOOMsci
ZoomSci’s website supports the PBS hands-on, youth-focused TV series, ZOOM by providing instructors everything necessary to lead the program’s science experiments for kids 8 to 11.  With this support, doing science activities is a breeze.
Subjects: multiple science topics Grades: 3 to 5, grade 6 Target Audience: Starter Programs
 

Photo of children reading.