This summer, the National Research Council (NRC) released Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings, identifying three criteria for programs to result in strong outcomes for students: 1) engage young people intellectually, academically, socially and emotionally, 2) respond to young people’s interests, experiences and cultural practices, and 3) connect STEM learning in out-of-school, school, home and other settings. The report, authored […]
STEM learning ecosystems harness contributions of educators, policymakers, families, businesses, informal science institutions, afterschool and summer providers, higher education, and many others towards a comprehensive vision of STEM learning for all children. This paper offers evidence of the impact of cross-sector partnerships on young people, and a logic model template for communities so they may further develop the attributes, strategies, […]
This briefing, video and infographic from the Frameworks Institute explains how to communicate to a variety of audiences about STEM education, informal STEM and STEM ecosystems, to a general audience, including media, the public, parents and families. Page 21-22 of the PDF specifically discuss ecosystems, but the whole brief (although long) is valuable reading for anyone who writes and speaks […]
The Common Instrument is a survey developed by PEAR for youth 10 years or older that includes 10 self-report items to assess child and adolescent interest and engagement in science. The Common Instrument is simple and quick to administer, easy to receive feedback on, and useable for pre-post analysis.
This Guide is designed to help principal investigators and other leaders of informal STEM education projects integrate evaluation into all phases of project design, development, and implementation. Such projects include exhibits, media projects, websites, community science projects, afterschool programs, festivals, family activities, online games, citizen science projects, and other efforts to help people learn about science in the course of […]
The Dimensions of Success observation tool (DoS), defines twelve indicators of STEM program quality throughout 4 broad domains: 1) Features of the Learning Environment, 2) Activity Engagement, 3) STEM Knowledge and Practices, and 4) Youth Development in STEM. While primarily developed for after-school, it can be used to observe activites led by teachers, private sector scientists, after-school workers, and more. […]
The STEM Educators Academy trains community educators and teachers together to build design thinking and scientific inquiry.
Click2SciencePD is an interactive professional development site for trainers, coaches, site directors and frontline staff/volunteers working in out-of-school time STEM Programs, serving children and youth. Sections on sparking youth interest, giving youth control, and developing identity are useful beyond informal science.
This research by synthesis by William Penuel, Tiffany Lee, and Bronwyn Bevan provides a set of design principles that emerge from a review of the research literature addressing equity-oriented programs that support learning across settings. The authors also identify key infrastructure elements that support programs successes.
This site offers Girlstart Online STEM Modules, icebreakers, board games and quick hands-on STEM activities for educators, including 31 days of STEM activities in DeSTEMber.