Consumer's Guide to Afterschool Science Resources Now Available Online From SEDL's National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning

August 14, 2006
Austin, Texas

Laura Shankland
Communications Associate
Phone: 512-391-6556

Afterschool programs are great places to nurture a budding Sally Ride or encourage a future George Washington Carver. After all, it has been reported that 75% of Nobel Prize scientists say they became interested in science due to environments outside of school, and afterschool programs offer the flexibility to offer hands-on experiences in a variety of settings outside the classroom. Finding the right materials for an afterschool program, however, can be tough.

To help afterschool programs find high-quality science resources, the National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning at the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) teamed up with The Coalition for Science After School and the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley, to develop the Consumer’s Guide to Afterschool Resources.

To begin the project, the Lawrence Hall of Science issued an open call for nominations of materials and coordinating the review process. Coalition members nominated science and afterschool experts to review the materials; every entry has a review from both science and afterschool perspectives. The end result is a searchable database of curriculum materials that allows the user to search by topic area (e.g., astronomy, chemistry, biodiversity) or by title, grade level, or cost.

SEDL program manager Catherine Jordan, who is director of the National Partnership, says, “The Consumer’s Guide is just one way the National Partnership and the U.S. Department of Education hope to promote readily available, reliable resources that afterschool programs can use to help boost student learning in science. It also helps afterschool educators choose activities just right for their program given their resources, partners, students’ ages, and physical space.”

To use the Consumers’ Guide, please visit Similar searchable databases of literacy and mathematics materials will be available soon.

About the Partnership

The National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning provides assistance, training, and tools to help local afterschool programs build capacity to strengthen learning. It is supported by the Department of Education's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education under contract number MRED-03-CO-0048 and includes the following partners:
  • Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL), primary contractor
  • National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST)
  • Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning
  • Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL)
  • SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • WGBH Educational Foundation
  • U.S. Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
For more information about the Partnership, visit

About SEDL

The Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) is a nonprofit corporation based in Austin, Texas. SEDL is dedicated to solving significant education problems and improving teaching and learning through research, research-based resources, and professional development. For more information about SEDL, visit