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A statewide evaluation of Maine’s 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) programs during the 2015-2016 school year examined academic and behavioral outcomes associated with regular participation in the program among students who were designated as low-performing in school. The evaluation found that a majority of regularly attending low-performing students increased both their math and English language arts/literacy test scores. Teacher surveys showed that the majority of regularly participating low-performing students improved in-class behavior from the fall and spring semesters. Student surveys showed that the majority of students learned something new at their 21st CCLC program and enjoyed attending their program.
A total of 1,599 students participating in afterschool programs with a STEM focus in grades 4-12 from 11 states completed retrospective self-report surveys measuring STEM-related attitudes and 21st century skills. Facilitators completed a survey about their experiences leading afterschool STEM, and the programs’ STEM activities were observed and evaluated to establish levels of quality. The evaluation found that students that participated in STEM-focused afterschool programs led to positive changes in students’ attitudes toward science, STEM interest, STEM identity, STEM career interest, career knowledge, 21st century skills, and critical thinking. Larger effects were seen in students who participated in programs for a minimum of four weeks. Higher quality STEM programs reported more positive gains than lower quality programs.
An evaluation of 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) programs in Pennsylvania using federally reported 21APR data (where APR stands for “Annual Performance Report” and the 21APR system collects information on 21st CCLC grantees and centers) and PA Grantee Reports to examine attendance and behavior; academic achievement in reading, math, and credit completion; and student and parent program satisfaction. The evaluation found that among students who regularly attended the program, 44 percent improved their reading grade from fall to spring and 43 percent improved their math grade from fall to spring. Based on teacher reports, 47 percent of regular program attendees improved their in-school behavior, and 56 percent of attendees improved homework outcomes. Overall, parents and students were both overwhelming “very satisfied” with their, or their child’s, experience in the program.
This non-experimental evaluation focused on pre- and post-program survey results distributed to girls enrolled in Girlstart After School and Summer Camp programs throughout Texas. The study evaluated whether program participants showed an increase in confidence, ability, and desire to pursue and accomplish STEM related opportunities and future careers. The survey results for Girlstart’s After School program met or exceeded all goals set by the program prior to the post-program survey, showing a majority of girls interested in STEM, pursuing STEM careers, and feeling more confident in their abilities to complete STEM related tasks. Summer Camp evaluation results showed a similar pattern, however, results were not compared to pre-survey goals.
A statewide evaluation of 21st CCLC programs in Arkansas examining student achievement and social emotional skills and parents’ satisfaction with the program. The evaluation used student, parent, and staff surveys, as well as annual performance reports and found that programs provided an environment where students felt that they were supported academically and were able to develop positive social and emotional skills and good work habits. Similarly, parent satisfaction with Arkansas’ 21st CCLC programs was high. Parents felt as though their children were safe when they were at the program and felt that their child’s participation in the program encouraged better communication with the schools. Program staff felt as though they related content of the program to school-day academics and that they had effective communication between supervising staff directing student youth workers. Overall, staff at Arkansas 21st CCLC programs came to the program with sufficient training, were trained sufficiently upon start at programs, and stayed at the program for a reasonable time.
Project GUTS (Growing Up Thinking Scientifically) is an afterschool program in which middle school students design, create and test computer models to simulate “what if” scenarios for real-world questions of community and societal concern. In this selection of evaluation data from the 2010-2011 school year, participants demonstrated gains along three major categories of youth outcomes—interest in STEM, capacity to engage in STEM, and finding value in STEM.
Science Minors Clubs is an outreach initiative of the Museum of Science and Industry aimed at increasing interest in science in underserved neighborhoods by engaging students in places where they already spend their time after school, such as community-based organizations and schools. In this selection of evaluation data from the 2013-2014 school year, participants demonstrated gains along three major categories of youth outcomes—interest in STEM, capacity to engage in STEM, and finding value in STEM.
The Clubhouse Network provides a creative and safe out-of-school learning environment in which youth from underserved communities work with adult mentors to explore their own ideas, develop new skills and build self-confidence through the use of technology. In this selection of evaluation data spanning 2013 to 2016, participants demonstrated gains along three major categories of youth outcomes—interest in STEM, capacity to engage in STEM, and finding value in STEM.
Build IT is an afterschool and summer curriculum for middle school youth to develop fluency in information technology (IT), interest in mathematics and knowledge of IT careers. In this selection of evaluation data from the 2012-2013 school year, participants demonstrated gains along three major categories of youth outcomes—interest in STEM, capacity to engage in STEM, and finding value in STEM.
4-H Tech Wizards is an evidence-based afterschool mentoring program that trains youth on various technologies within a bilingual, bicultural learning environment. In this selection of evaluation data from the 2012-2013 school year, participants demonstrated gains along three major categories of youth outcomes—interest in STEM, capacity to engage in STEM, and finding value in STEM.