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Why STEM?

There is an urgent need to improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills among U.S. students.

 

Nearly 80% of future careers will require some STEM skills. A stimulating STEM education is essential for developing the basic analytical, problem-solving and critical thinking skills central to academic achievement and workforce readiness in the 21st century.

Schools can't tackle this issue by themselves.

Children spend less than 20% of their waking hours in school. Afterschool programs offer both additional time and the opportunity to diversify the ways that students experience STEM learning.

Afterschool programs complement and supplement school-day learning and are well-positioned to engage and motivate participants. By offering innovative hands-on, project-based learning, STEM fields come alive for youth.

High-quality STEM afterschool programs produce positive outcomes:

  • Improved attitudes toward STEM fields and careers
  • Increased STEM capacities and skills
  • Higher likelihood of graduation and pursuing a STEM career

The Afterschool Alliance is committed to advancing afterschool STEM education opportunities for young people across the country. Our work is focused around field-building; research; and advocacy, policy and communications. Explore our resources for more information on all things STEM and afterschool! Our STEM education work is focused on providing young people, especially those from populations under-represented in STEM fields, with opportunities to explore and engage in these fields.