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K-State Today Student Edition

January 29, 2013



After-school alliance draws community organizations together for change at K-State Olathe

By Kristi Northcutt

Junk-Drawer Robotics and Balloon-Powered Cars are among the sessions being offered at the Kansas City Metro Afterschool Alliance Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, at Kansas State University Olathe.

K-State Olathe and One Health Kansas are teaming up with the Kansas Enrichment Network at the University of Kansas, the YMCA of Greater Kansas City and Johnson County Parks and Recreation District to present the conference. The purpose is to train after-school program leaders in activities in science, math, engineering and technology, or STEM, physical activity, health, food safety, environmental service and quality afterschool programming best practices. 

“We look forward to joining our regional partners to provide high quality resources to area out-of-school time educators,” said Micheal Strohschein, director of K-12 science education partnerships at K-State Olathe. “We hope to excite and engage youth with activities related to emerging careers in our region.” 

Conference presenters include experts in youth development from K-State and KU, along with program directors from the YMCA, Johnson County Parks and Recreation District, Camp Fire national headquarters, Science Pioneers, Kansas PTA, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and BRR Architecture/U.S. Green Building Council. Two extended sessions will be offered from the National Partnership for Afterschool Science NPASS2 curriculum.

K-State faculty presenters include Gary Gerhard, 4-H youth development professor, and Elaine Johannes, associate professor and extension specialist from the School of Family Studies and Human Services. Other K-State presenters include Peggy Berrier Boyd, Wyandotte County extension agent; Bryan Severns, K-State Olathe manager of food programs and services; and Joan Leavens, outreach/integration leader for One Health Kansas.

“The Kansas Enrichment Network at the University of Kansas has been pleased to develop a new partnership with Kansas State University through the Johnson County Education Research Triangle project,” said Marcia Dvorak, executive director of the network. “K-State Olathe's educational programs in animal health, food safety and security blend well with the Kansas Enrichment Network's desire to increase science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, opportunities for children and youth both in school and in expanded learning time.”

For more information about the conference, including session topics, presenter biographies and registration, visit http://www.olathe-k.state.edu/k-12/after-school-alliance.html