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Report Indicates Afterschool Programs Are Becoming an Integral Part of STEM Education

Report Indicates Afterschool Programs Are Becoming an Integral Part of STEM Education

Afterschool Alliance released the results of a new study today that took a look at 30,000 households throughout the country and found wide support for STEM learning in afterschool programs—of which seven in 10 children are part of already, the study found.

"From observations of the afterschool field over the past decade, many people have concluded that STEM programming in afterschool has become increasingly prevalent and many afterschool providers are offering STEM activities as part of their overall portfolio of programming. The data from this survey confirm the observations," the study said.

The study found that not only do most parents support STEM learning in their child's afterschool program, but 53 percent said they sought it out when initially selecting the program.

Afterschool Alliance is calling its report, Full STEM Ahead: Afterschool Programs Step Up as Key Partners in STEM Education "the most comprehensive survey ever to ask parents about their children's participation in afterschool STEM programs:"

In addition to finding widespread support for STEM after school, the study also found that minorities were more likely to report STEM education opportunities in their child's afterschool program, with STEM opportunities being reported by 74 percent of Hispanic parents, 73 percent of low-income parents and 72 percent of African-American parents.

Afterschool Alliance also made several recommendations the public can do to support funding afterschool and therefore more STEM initiatives.

"They include engaging and educating parents about the important role afterschool programs can play in supporting STEM learning; increasing technology and engineering programming in afterschool programs; and increasing investment in afterschool programs so many more children can access the STEM learning opportunities these programs can provide," the organization said in a statement.

Read the full report here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

09/30/2015

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