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Full STEM ahead: Afterschool programs step up as key partners in STEM education

Description:
The America After 3PM survey has been conducted in 2004, 2009, and 2014, revealing changes over a decade in availability and access to afterschool programs during the critical hours of 3 to 6 p.m.--the hours after school ends and before parents typically return from work. Building on the 2004 and 2009 surveys and recognizing the growing emphasis on STEM learning in afterschool programs, the 2014 America After 3PM survey included several specific questions about afterschool STEM programming. In this survey, we defined the constituent topics in STEM as follows: (1) science learning opportunities; (2) technology and engineering learning opportunities (such as building robots, designing bridges or solving environmental problems); and (3) math learning opportunities (such as math games, puzzles or working with geometric shapes). Our goal was to probe for respondents' views on programs that went beyond homework help, especially in mathematics. However, we recognize that parents and providers may define STEM in subjective ways and it is difficult to enforce a rigorous and consistent definition of STEM in a household survey. Therefore, some of the findings about the nature of programming and the frequency might be not as cleanly demarcated from homework-related programs as we might wish. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
Publisher(s):
Country:
United States

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