ARCHS is partnering with Monsanto to promote science in after school as an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education continues to grow.

Monsanto's Science Education Outreach Program will offer hands-on demonstrations for After School for All Partnership for St. Louis (ASAP) students. ASAP students in 34 schools will benefit greatly from the expertise of Monsanto's scientists to encourage STEM learning. Monsanto plans to visit all ASAP sites by December 2013.

ASAP is a community effort to increase the quality and access to after school programs in the Greater St. Louis area.

"We are very excited that ASAP students will receive this great opportunity to learn from science professionals at Monsanto," said ARCHS' Vice President of K-12 Programs Kristy Kight. "There is a growing focus on STEM learning in the school day environment, so for after school students to be further engaged in science by experts such as Monsanto staff is a great benefit for ASAP programs."

The Monsanto Science Education Outreach offers 10 programs focused around STEM education, such as States of Matter & Chemistry Fun, Chromatography, Black Light Fun, Chlorophyll: The Power of Plants, How Fast Does that Plant Grow, and more.

Maggie Cole, a member of ARCHS' Board of Directors and the Global Manufacturing Sustainability Lead at Monsanto, assisted in bringing the two organizations together to provide the STEM educational opportunities for ASAP.

"Being on the Board of Directors for ARCHS has given me another avenue to link this community resource where there could be value," Cole said. "The ASAP program provides a great way for Monsanto to reach future scientists in the St. Louis region."

According to a recent After School Alliance Report published in Afterschool Today Magazine, STEM learning in after school is expected to become increasingly important with the arrival of the Common Core Standards for Mathematics and Language Arts and the Next Generation Science Standards.

The report strongly recommends that youth develop interest in STEM-related activities, and that they come to appreciate the goals of STEM learning.

"I hope that the Monsanto activities provide a way to light a fire for students with an interest in science. If that's their passion, I hope to fuel it," Cole said. "I hope these outreach activities allow the students to see that science can be fun, and by providing hands-on activities to demonstrate concepts will allow students to to tie concepts they may learn in school with the physical examples of these biology, chemistry, or physics topics."