For Youth Inspired Participants

Participate in the Challenge

How to get involved

Maximum participation of ASTC members is essential for meeting the goals of the Challenge. ASTC member institutions that offer programs meeting ANY of the following criteria can sign up today by filling out the online registration form:

  • Programs should serve youth ages 10–19.
  • Programs must provide at least 6 hours of hands-on STEM learning and/or skills development.
  • STEM professionals or educators should be involved as mentors.
  • Programs should focus on encouraging participants to pursue STEM studies and/or careers.
  • Limit student-to-staff ratio to 25:1 to maximize program impact

The Youth Inspired Challenge places a particular priority on programs that target youth from backgrounds that are underrepresented in STEM studies and professions, including:

  • Girls,
  • Youth from racial/ethnic minority backgrounds,
  • People with disabilities, and
  • Youth from socioeconomically strained communities.

For more information, read the Youth Inspired Challenge Frequently Asked Questions for ASTC members.

Questions? Contact ASTC Professional Development at

Resources for Participating Institutions

Youth Inspired Challenge Media Kit

ASTC has developed a Media Kit for participating institutions, including YIC-branded letterhead, press release templates, and more.

  • Distribute the YIC one-pager to potential sponsors, partners, and other interested parties so they know exactly what the Youth Inspired Challenge is all about and why your program deserves support.
  • Use the sample press release to create your own announcement for local news outlets, community websites, and blogs.
  • Draft a letter to the editor of local newspapers using the sample editorial.
  • Raise the visibility of your program by asking for the support of local elected officials using the sample letter.
  • When writing letters and press releases, use the Youth Inspired Challenge letterhead.
  • Are you creating materials for a program? Use the Youth Inspired Challenge logo.

Resources for Youth Programs

Science centers and museums have a long commitment to developing and implementing STEM-based programming that effectively engages youth in the wonder of science learning.  The sites listed below contain resources, research, and models to support high-quality youth programming in science centers and museums.

  • ASTC Youth Programs Resource Area: Includes resources on components of successful programs and links to regional youth program networks.
  • Girls RISEnet: This NSF-funded project works to increase the capacity of informal science education institutions to engage girls, especially minority girls, in science and engineering. Site includes program models, research, professional development opportunities, and girl-friendly engineering activities.
  • SMILE: SMILE is the Science and Math Informal Learning Educators pathway of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL).  It is an online collection of the best educational materials on the web and creating learning activities, tools, and services – all designed especially for those who teach school-aged kids in non-classroom settings.
  • Coalition for Science After School Program Resources: Through its network of members, the Coalition has compiled resources that support the creation and growth of afterschool STEM learning activities, including activities, curricula, staff development, and evaluation resources.
  • The HistoryMakers – ScienceMakers: The HistoryMakers is a non-profit video oral history archive headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. The HistoryMakers is dedicated to preserving African American history as the missing link in American history.  Visit the ScienceMakers section for biographies of influential African American scientists.
  • Understanding Ourselves and Each Other: From the YouthALIVE! initiative, this handbook focuses on diversity and inclusion in youth programs.
  • Build It and They Will Come – A Handbook for Youth Programs in Science Centers and Museums: Also from the YouthALIVE! initiative, this handbook is a compilation of information, suggestions, and tools for museum staff wishing to start or enhance a youth program or a museum-based afterschool program for teens.
Youth Inspired Showcase
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