Connected Science Learning: Call for Contributions for the 8th Issue
Theme for Eighth Issue (to be published in fall 2018):
STEM Learning Connected to Afterschool Settings
Contributions are due April 15, 2018
The America After 3PM special report, Full STEM Ahead: Afterschool Programs Step Up as Key Partners in STEM Education (produced by the Afterschool Alliance, October 2015) clearly states the important role that afterschool programs play in advancing STEM learning:
Afterschool programs provide an ideal environment to engage in hands-on design, building, coding, and programming by providing a venue where students can apply science and math principles to design and implement solutions to real-world problems.
A majority of parents believe that children can benefit from afterschool programs by gaining interest and skills related to science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. A majority of parents also believe that afterschool programs should offer opportunities for children to explore and engage in hands-on STEM learning.
The report makes it clear that much STEM learning currently occurs in afterschool programs, and it is especially beneficial for low-income families:
A majority of children in afterschool programs are offered STEM learning opportunities. Seven in 10 parents (69%) report that their child is offered STEM learning opportunities in their afterschool program, which equates to approximately seven million children who have access to afterschool STEM.
Parents of children from low-income families express higher support for afterschool STEM programs than more affluent parents. Low-income families place a higher emphasis on STEM when selecting their child’s afterschool program.
The report, however, also notes that more connections and partnerships in the community are needed:
The list of the most commonly attended afterschool programs makes it clear that most children attend afterschool programs in schools or youth-serving organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs and the YMCA. It is vital that leaders in STEM-rich institutions, such as museums, science centers, universities, and industry, recognize the importance of partnering with community-based organizations to offer STEM programs. This will extend the reach of the STEM-rich institutions, as they can provide STEM opportunities at sites where children already attend afterschool programs rather than creating new programs at their locations. It will also benefit afterschool program providers, as robust partnerships will strengthen their STEM programming.
The goal of Connected Science Learning's eighth issue is to highlight programs and research that demonstrate how STEM learning in afterschool settings impact youth via partnerships with schools and community resources (e.g., businesses, museums, homes, media, technology).
Contributions for the seventh issue are due April 15, 2018.
For submission guidelines, contribution review form, and FAQs, visit: http://www.nsta.org/publications/csl/call.aspx