An 11-state study showed that participation in STEM-focused afterschool programs leads to increases in youth STEM interest, identity, career knowledge, and 21st-century skills, such as critical thinking.
Even more importantly, these gains were higher in youth who participated in higher-quality programs, as assessed using the Dimensions of Success (DoS) observation tool, which includes key facilitation practices such as encouraging youth to engage in STEM inquiry and explaining their new understandings
Allen, P. J., Chang, R., Gorrall, B. K., Waggenspack, L., Fukuda, E., Little, T. D., & Noam, G. G. (2019). From quality to outcomes: A national study of afterschool STEM programming. International Journal of STEM Education, 6(1), 1-21. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40594-019-0191-2