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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.
STEM 3D: Integrating Science Afterschool, a project of The Franklin Institute, engages underserved youth and families in year-round STEM learning and career awareness through a combination of afterschool, home and community activities. In this selection of evaluation data from the 2014-2015 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.
School’s Out New York City (SONYC) is New York City’s city-wide afterschool program for middle school students, developed as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign commitment to expand afterschool opportunities in 2014. According to surveys, program and school staff report improvements in youth social and emotional development and leadership skills. Families reported high levels of satisfaction with their program, with 97 percent saying they would recommend it to other families.
A randomized controlled study following 5,000 low-income, predominantly African-American and Hispanic students from third to seventh grade in five urban school districts located in Boston, MA; Dallas, TX; Duval County, FL; Pittsburgh, PA and Rochester, NY, assessing the impacts of no-cost, voluntary summer learning programs on academic performance and social and emotional skills. Students who had high attendance in the summer programming saw significant near term benefits (gains in the fall after the summer program) and long-term benefits (gains seen through the following spring after the summer program) in math after summer programming in 2013 and 2014, near and long-term benefits in language arts after summer 2014, and positive benefits to their social and emotional skills after summer 2014.
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.
Science Club is a partnership between Northwestern University and the Boys & Girls Club of Chicago, utilizing long-term mentoring relationships to engage low-income urban youth in science. 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.
This evaluation found that during the 2014-15 school year, students participating in Baltimore Community Schools’ out-of-school time programs saw improvements in their school day attendance and a significant decrease in being chronically absent from school. However, no effect was found on students’ reading or math Partnership Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) scores.
This evaluation examines if during the summer of 2016, the Young Audiences Summer Arts and Learning Academy’s (YA Academy) program goals were met in the following areas: program attendance, improvement in math and writing skills, growth in social-emotional development, student enjoyment of the program, and parent satisfaction. Students who had high levels of participation in YA Academy saw gains in their math and writing skills and knowledge, as well as improvements in their social-emotional growth. Overall, this evaluation found that YA Academy was able to meet the majority of the goals they had set for summer 2016, meeting or exceeding their goals set for academic achievement in math and writing, students’ social-emotional growth, and parent satisfaction with 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.