Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence (AzCASE) — (NAU) ROADS On Mars Program

| January 7, 2020
Wishing you and the youth in your program a Happy & Safe Holiday!
Our offices will be closed Dec 24-Jan 2nd. We will check emails and phone messages between glasses of eggnog and promise to get back to you as soon as we can.
A Message on Arizona Afterschool
from our Executive Director,
Courtney Sullivan
As another decade draws to a close, I am struck by the work and progress that has happened in the field of out-of-school time. A growing body of research confirms what we already knew—that afterschool and summer programming are a vital part of youth success, social-emotional learning, 21st century skill building and resilience. Here at the Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence (AzCASE) we like to think we have played a part in improving quality and access to out-of-school time programming in our state.
Nominations for the Youth Development Champions Program
AzCASE is currently seeking a group of passionate leaders to be a part of the very first 2020 cohort of Youth Development Champions!
A successful Champion should be:
  • Interested in increasing access to high-quality afterschool, summer, and expanded learning programs
  • Committed to advocating for out-of-school time programs and the young people and families they serve.
  • Involved and informed in current trends in youth development, social and emotional learning, trauma informed care, informal STEM/STEAM education, or related areas of out-of-school time programming.
If you know someone who is passionate about afterschool, summer, and other expanded learning programs and want to advocate for Arizona’s children and families and who might be interested in becoming one of our Champions, please go ahead and submit their nomination.

ROADS On Mars Program

NAU has a fantastic opportunity for out-of-school time programs to take part in a national NASA Challenge called ROADS on Mars. It is a great way to get kids 3rd-12th grade excited about STEM education, NASA, and technology. Schools and coaches need no prior experience and there are opportunities for free professional development and materials support.
There is a sequence of free workshops coming up in January. 
The workshops will take place as follows:
  • January 4th – Flagstaff, AZ, time TBD*
  • January 10th – Miami, AZ – 9-5PM
  • January 11th – Tucson, AZ – 9-5PM
  • January 17th – Tuba City, AZ – 7:30-3:30 (Must register by Jan 13)
*This challenges uses Lego EV3 Mindstorm Robots, so programs that have FIRST Lego League teams may also be good candidates to take part in this national NASA Challenge.
Additional Information From NAU:
ROADS on Mars is a science, engineering, and technology challenge for students in grades 3-12 designed to follow the objectives of the next Mars Rover launching in summer 2020. It includes scientific investigations as well as a Rover Observation And Drone Survey (ROADS).
Schools and coaches need no prior experience and there are opportunities for free professional development and materials support. ROADS on Mars uses introductory robotics* and a safe, easy to operate drone good for students of many age groups. Teams can participate by completing the challenge at their home location, or can apply to take part in the Arizona Regional Challenge, which will take place on May 2nd in Flagstaff, AZ. 
Finally, we strive to support STEM education in high needs, diverse programs. There is an opportunity for additional materials support for qualifying programs while supplies last. Educators and administrators can apply for these resources when they attend one of the workshops.
For questions, or to sign up, please email and
Please forward this information to others in your network, and specifically to individuals who you think may be good candidates to support robotics and STEM in their programs.
We’ll see you back here in January. Stay tuned for some exciting announcements!
Arizona OST Quality Program
Need help or have questions about the Arizona Quality Standards? Just give us a call! 602.734.5434
Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence


Category: Education, Events, Programs

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