Using Screen Time to Promote Green Time

Outdoor STEM Education in OST Settings
By Christine Andrews Paulsen and Jessica Rueter Andrews

Addressing the myriad developmental and academic needs of young children is no “walk in the park.” But what if it could be? Too many of today’s children spend too much time indoors, often interacting with screens. They don’t get enough physical exercise. Their learning about nature comes from books and teachers rather than from firsthand exploration of natural phenomena. These issues affect most modern American children, but they are particularly prominent among lowincome children in high-need neighborhoods. Walks (and other activities) in the park, if properly designed, could go a long way toward improving children’s health and developing their cognitive skills.

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The Afterschool Matters Initiative is managed by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time, a program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College

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