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Statewide Afterschool Networks STEM Sustainability Planning

Project Snapshot

STEM Next, Center for Education Policy and Law at University of San Diego (now STEM Next Opportunity Fund)


Facilitate planning processes with six statewide afterschool networks (Iowa, Maryland, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Washington) focused on sustaining and scaling their STEM-related programs and activities.


October 2016 – May 2017

What We Did

STEM Sustainability Planning

In October 2016, STEM Next engaged GPG to provide sustainability planning support to a cohort of statewide afterschool networks that had received STEM System Building grants from the Noyce Foundation and STEM Next. This planning work was intended to focus on the networks’ STEM-related work, in particular their efforts to develop and strengthen systems in support of STEM in out-of-school time (OST) in their states.

Between October 2016 and May 2017, GPG supported the following statewide afterschool networks to develop STEM sustainability plans: Iowa Afterschool Alliance (IAA), Maryland Out of School Time (MOST), Oregon After School for Kids (OregonASK), Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool and Youth Development Network (PSAYDN), South Carolina Afterschool Alliance (SCAA), and School’s Out Washington (SOWA).

GPG hosted an initial video call with representatives from all participating networks to introduce the planning process and provide an overview of the timeline. Over the next six months, GPG reviewed background materials provided by the network leads and facilitated three video meetings with each statewide afterschool network to clarify and prioritize the network’s STEM work. For each priority project or program, GPG worked with network representatives to identify sustainability strategies, potential sources of funding, and specific challenges to sustaining the work. GPG provided a sustainability planning table template to help organize this information.

In addition to supporting each network to develop a sustainability plan using the table template, GPG produced a context brief for each state that summarizes the state’s STEM political and industry/business contexts as well as existing STEM education infrastructure and efforts.

Meeting Facilitation In February 2017, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation (the Mott Foundation), STEM Next, and the MOST Network hosted the annual Afterschool STEM Institute in Silver Spring, MD, bringing together representatives of statewide afterschool networks to share their strategies, challenges, and goals for promoting STEM education in Out-of-School Time (OST) programs within their state. GPG opened the Institute with a session to engage meeting participants in thinking about the sustainability of their STEM efforts and assessing the extent to which STEM is integrated into their core work and how successfully they have identified and engaged STEM partners and funders.


  • STEM sustainability plans and state-specific context documents for six statewide afterschool networks
  • A project website containing network-specific plan and context documents, as well as templates and other resources developed throughout the project
  • Design and facilitation of a half-day session at the 2017 Afterschool STEM Institute for all meeting participants to consider the sustainability of their STEM efforts
  • A Project Report that summarizes the work undertaken and identifies common challenges and strategies across multiple networks
  • A Lessons Learned memo that details aspects of this planning process that worked well, as well as opportunities for improving the process for potential future rounds of support