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Science After School (SAS) Consumers Guide  

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Techbridge

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  Afterschool Expert   Science Expert  

Review Synopsis: by afterschool program expert Shawonda Swain

I found the Techbridge program to be a viable, easily reproducible afterschool curriculum. The curriculum was well thought out, easy to follow and challenging enough to fit a variety of science enthusiast. I would recommend the program for afterschool programs as a great tool to encourage more girls to choose science careers.
Full Review:
I. Science quality and accuracy

The toy making curriculum seemed cost effective, user friendly and fun. I thought the concepts were easy to understand and could be used easily in an afterschool setting.

II. Social and entertainment value

The material in the Techbridge program has great simple and cheap projects as well as more complex projects that can motivate girls to stay with the program. I was unable to use the "Explore it Afterschool!" CD so it may need to be checked. However, I thought the sample curriculum CD was easy to follow, colorful and unintimidating for the nonscientific instructor. I could see this program being very useful in an afterschool program and I think the girls would be interested in participating. I like the science experiments, the top ten gift list for girls in technology and the use of role models. I think the role models would help to keep girls interested as well.

III. Outstanding Features

I think the approach itself is outstanding. Using hands on science activities, coupled with real life women in science as well as incorporating parents is a great way to maintain consistency and foster encouragement to girls in the program.

IV. Ease of Use

I thought the toy making and car and engine curriculums were very easy to read, use and obtain materials for. This ease will provide motivation for afterschool staff to use the curriculum.

V. Value to User

There are so many spin-off activities and trips that can take place with this curriculum that it go easily go on for at least a year. I think the curriculum is well thought out and easy to manipulate which will make it valuable to most afterschool staff. The fact that the science is clearly understandable by all makes it more approachable.

VI. Suitable for Repeat Usage

The curriculums can be repeated and built on with ease. Since the concepts are easy to understand an afterschool educator would be able to use the format to add new experiments and new opportunities to include women in science. I could see an afterschool program developing their own summits and retreats around science for girls based on this program.