National Research Council releases long-awaited report on successful out-of-school STEM

The National Research Council (NRC) recently released a long-awaited report, Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School SettingsThe National Science Foundation (NSF) sponsored this report as a follow-up companion study to the Successful K-12 STEM Education report that examined effective approaches to STEM education in schools. 

As afterschool and other out-of-school-time STEM programs have grown in number over the past decade, the interest in measuring their effectiveness and impact has also grown. The recent America After 3PM study revealed that 10.2 million children participate in afterschool programs in the United States, up from 6.5 million a decade ago.  Further, 69% of parents with children in afterschool programs say that some form of STEM activities are included in these programs.

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Afterschool Helps to Close the Opportunity Gap

The achievement and opportunity gaps are a growing concern for educators, policy makers, and community members across the country. Research has shown that consistent participation in high-quality afterschool programs helps close the gaps between students from lower- and higher-income families —but many stakeholders aren’t yet familiar with the transformative effect afterschool can have. 

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