The ASAP after school program at Dunbar Elementary is combating the notion that science is just an abstract concept in a textbook by expanding its learning of the subject for students through a grant from Monsanto.

This past May, Monsanto presented the ASAP program at Dunbar with a $1,000 Dannette Ward Science Education grant. The grant will be used to support the science and literacy based program Quirkles for after school students, which uses funny characters to explain scientific concepts through short stories and teach fun and engaging science experiments. Students will make slime and Play-Doh, and read stories that help with their phonics.

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

“The program is great for students and facilitators because you don't have to be a science teacher to help students learn,” said Dunbar Site Director LaKesia Richmond-Brooks. “The story I was introduced to was Gilbert Gas; he talked about how much he liked grape soda and how they used carbon to make it.  One of the experiments demonstrated was how carbon dioxide in an Alka-Seltzer tablet can make a top pop off a film canister; this experiment was even fun and engaging for the adults in the ARCHS training.”

The grant will also cover materials for a classroom garden, small magnifying glasses, and a fish tank. The ASAP program is planning several educational field trips to places such as the Missouri History Museum. The ASAP after school program at Dunbar Elementary is operated by Provident, Inc.

ASAP Program at Woerner Wins Video Contest

Another ASAP after school program recently receiving special recognition is at Woerner Elementary, which was one of three $500 winners in The Missouri AfterSchool Network’s video contest “What do you do afterschool?”

The video contest invited youth in after school to create a short film about why educational after school programs are both necessary and beneficial. The video at Woerner Elementary was written, directed, shot, and edited entirely by after school students -who were judged on creativity, impact, and production value.

ASAP after school provider Northside Youth and Senior Service Center received honorable mention in the contest.