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Year Published: 2016
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.
Program Name: Girlstart
Program Description: Girlstart operates afterschool and summer programs designed to engage girls in informal, hands-on STEM learning opportunities. Girlstart also sponsors an annual Girls in STEM conference, various community events, and professional development that reaches over 8,500 students, community members, and school-day teachers. Girlstart After School is a free, weekly STEM afterschool program that reaches 1,441 girls annually, through 35 schools in Central Texas, and in 20 communities outside Central Texas. Girlstart Summer Camps are week-long day camps for students entering the 4th through 8th grades that reach 719 students annually. Both the summer and afterschool programs operate with the goal of increasing girls’ interest in STEM and STEM careers.
Scope of the Evaluation: Local
Program Type: Summer, Afterschool
Community Type: Urban, Suburban
Grade level: Elementary School, Middle School
Program Demographics: 74 percent of Girlstart After School participants qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, 20 percent of participants’ parents did not graduate from high school, and 35 percent of students speak a language other than English at home. 64 percent of students in 2016 were Latina, 13 percent were white, 11 percent were African-American, 4 percent were Asian-American, and 8 percent identified as multiethnic or of another self-identified ethnic group. Compared to participant demographics in Girlstart’s afterschool programs, fewer summer camp participants qualified for free or reduced-price lunch at school, and fewer participants were students of color.
Program Website: http://www.girlstart.org/