Curriculum

After School Athlete Curriculum

 

The focus of After School Athlete’s curriculum is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) based learning.  We also provide discussion groups on philosophy for kids and daily physical education focused on teamwork, strategy, and sportsmanship.   Finally, we foster students’ curiosity by exploring their “Curious Questions.”  Curious Questions is designed around the “why” and “how” questions kids so often ask in an attempt to better understand the world around them.  In the same way kids are smart enough to ask, they are smart enough to learn.  Most such questions are STEM-based learning so these are the ones we in turn answer or find audiovisual media to answer more adequately than our teachers can themselves.  Our curriculum is loosely scheduled as much of it is more ideal in one environment than another and we have little control on a day-to-day of which of the environments we have access to as it relates to weather or school functions and prior reservations (e.g. gym, cafeteria, library, or outside in nice weather).  None of our curriculum, however, is ad hoc because it all requires proper equipment and preparation to present, explore, or create.  We have no “free time” for kids but rather have scheduled curriculum throughout their time at After School Athlete.  To be very clear, we do not accept custody of children and parents are responsible for their kids coming to After School Athlete and for their plans on getting home just as is the case for any other school.

 

STEM-based Learning:

Led by neurologist, sleep doctor, and University of Washington Assistant Professor, Craig Brooker, After School Athlete provides mostly STEM-based learning.

STEM-based Curriculum to date includes:

-Gamified learning on tablets via apps in Science, Tech, Engineering, Math, phonics, reading, astronomy, geography,

-Brain Games: checkers, chess, Othello (aka reverse), Connect 4, (learning rules, understanding strategy)

-Competition Engineering paper airplanes with small motors to fly the farthest

-Explore Earth via Virtual Reality with Google Cardboard via Google Earth app

 

“Curious Questions.”  Some favorites thus far include:

“How are rainbows made?,”

“How do refrigerators work?,”

“Why don’t humans have tails?,”

“How do they know where the earth came from when no one was alive then?,”

“Why don’t animals need to brush their teeth?,”

“How to caterpillars turn into butterflies?,”

“Why are there 2 genders and not 1 or 3?,”

“Why do our teeth fall out and why can’t we regrow teeth like sharks?,”

“Why do cats land on their feet?,”

“Why do some animals lay eggs and others give live births?,” and

“Does red looks the same to everyone?”

Additional questions answered include: “Why do we laugh, cry, sweat?,” “What causes the northern lights?,” “How big is the sun compared to other planets and other suns?,” “What is fire?,” “Why can’t we remember being babies?,” “How are insects like engineers?,” “What is bioluminescence how does it work?,” “Can we genetically engineer plants and/or animals to glow?,” “How big is the universe and how was it formed?,” and “What is time?”

 

Philosophy Curriculum to Date: (mostly taught via Socratic Method)

What is morality and ethics?  What is right and wrong and how does one know?  Is this absolute or relative?  What are “rights?”  Who has them and why?  Are some more important than others?  Is what is legal and what is moral necessarily the same?  How did we come up with the idea of morality and is it based on nature or nurture?

 

Physical Education Curriculum to date:

Strong emphasis on teamwork (how being a team player is better than a great individual), sportsmanship, fitness (strengthening and stretching), technique, rules, and strategy.

-Soccer technique (how to use the instep to pass, shoe laces to shoot, passing, dribbling drills, chipping, etc)

-Olympic handball (rules, required teamwork (can only hold ball 3 seconds), timing, strategy, etc)

-Foursquare strategy (low center of gravity, facing person with the ball, anticipating angle of attack, effects of spin, etc)

-Dance (instructional videos on Zumba, maintaining a beat, coordination, coupled with the arts of music appreciation)

-Gymnastics: how to stand on head, how to stand on hands, how to do cartwheels, etc.