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Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings (Prepublication)

Abstract

More and more young people are learning about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in a wide variety of afterschool, summer, and informal programs. At the same time, there has been increasing awareness of the value of such programs in sparking, sustaining, and extending interest in and understanding of STEM. To help policy makers, funders and education leaders in both school and out-of-school settings make informed decisions about how to best leverage the educational and learning resources in their community, this report identifies features of productive STEM programs in out-of-school settings. Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings draws from a wide range of research traditions to illustrate that interest in STEM and deep STEM learning develop across time and settings. The report provides guidance on how to evaluate and sustain programs. This report is a resource for local, state, and federal policy makers seeking to broaden access to multiple, high-quality STEM learning opportunities in their community.

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