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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.
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.
Frontiers in Urban Science Exploration (FUSE) is a strategy to institutionalize engaging, inquiry-based, informal STEM education nationally. 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.
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.
Academic results from year two of a five-year randomized controlled study that follows 5,000 low-income, predominantly African-American and Hispanic students from third to fifth grade in five urban school districts located in Boston, MA; Dallas, TX; Duval County, FL; Pittsburgh, PA, and Rochester, NY. Evaluators compared student success on math tests in the fall following their summer learning programs with the success of students who did not participate in summer programming. Key findings indicate that students who participated in summer programming performed significantly better on their math tests in the fall following the programs.
This Public/Private Ventures evaluation studied the Communities Organizing Resources to Advance Learning (CORAL) project, an eight-year, $58 million afterschool initiative in cities across California designed by the James Irvine Foundation aimed at providing academic enrichment and support to primarily elementary school students in the lowest performing schools, who are often living in low-income families. The evaluation found that students participating in the CORAL program, a majority of whom were English language learners and reading below grade level, saw literacy-related gains. CORAL participants who were English language learners and those who were furthest behind in reading experienced greater gains in their reading performance while in the program compared to their peers who entered the program reading at grade level or who were English proficient. Children who began the CORAL program two or more grade levels behind in reading, based on the individualized reading assessments, gained just as much as their higher-achieving counterparts over the same period of time. The study also found that CORAL students reported having a positive experience in the program. Close to 90 percent of CORAL students reported that they felt safe in the program, and 71 percent agreed that they felt that they belonged in the program. Parents of students in the program also reported a positive experience for their children, with more than 90 percent of parents reporting that the program helped their child to do better in school.
This evaluation looked at elementary students in Foundations, Inc.'s After School Enrichment Programs at 19 schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Florida. The evaluation found that students participating in the afterschool program experienced greater academic gains compared to non-participating students, where Foundations students scored higher on math and reading standardized tests than their peers who did not participate in the program.