The best STEM-focused after-school programs increase students’ enrollment and interest in the subjects and their pursuit of careers in science, technology, engineering, and math later, according to a new report from the Afterschool Alliance.
The brief draws conclusions about what makes a high-quality STEM after-school program based on evaluations of programs around the country. The authors stress the importance of improving STEM curricula in after-school programs, as many of the programs provide underserved populations with access to experiences they might not typically have.
They say the highest quality programs can potentially shift attitudes about STEM-related careers, increase knowledge of STEM subjects, and improve the likelihood of high school graduation and college readiness.
A version of this article appeared in the September 28, 2011 edition of Education Week as After-School STEM