Research and Ideas

Research Guiding Our Work

Everything we do is evidence-based. From placing big bets, to growing STEM leaders, we use the research to scale impact. Here is some of the significant research that shows afterschool STEM matters. 

Afterschool Helps Students Develop a STEM Identity

When youth feel a connection and belonging within STEM, they are more likely to develop …

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Afterschool STEM Improves Academic Performance

Active learning, like the types found in afterschool and summer programming, has been shown to …

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Afterschool STEM Increases Interest in STEM Careers & Skills

An 11-state study showed that participation in STEM-focused afterschool programs leads to increases in youth …

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Afterschool STEM is Highly Effective

Research demonstrates informal learning programs are highly effective for STEM learning and engagement early and …

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Afterschool STEM to Improve STEM Equity Issues

Systemic barriers exist for girls and youth of color to pursue STEM interests across the …

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Role Models & Mentors Inspire Career Awareness

Role models and mentors inspire career awareness and increase youth interest in, positive attitudes toward, …

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Students Pursue STEM if Introduced to Topics Early

Studies report that students are more likely to pursue STEM majors at universities and colleges …

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Youth Spend 80% Outside the Classroom

Youth spend the majority of their time – more than 80% of their waking hours …

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STEM Ready America

STEM Ready America is a compendium from 40 authors presenting bold and persuasive evidence—as well as real-world examples of effective practices, programs, and partnerships—on how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) knowledge and skills are preparing young people to be successful in school today and the workforce tomorrow.

boy on playground

STEM learning is key to breaking the generational cycle of poverty and to reducing income inequality. It greatly enhances educational opportunity and has been particularly effective at advancing children of color and girls. All children, regardless of zip code, race, ethnicity, national origin or gender have a basic right to the opportunity to prepare for the knowledge-based economy.

STEM Learning in Afterschool Works

Evaluating results from 160 programs in 11 states, The Afterschool & STEM System-Building Evaluation 2016 revealed important results: Participating in afterschool STEM programs improves students’ reported attitudes, knowledge, and skills.

The PEAR Institute and IMMAP: Institute for Measurement, Methodology, Analysis & Policy at Texas Tech University conducted an analysis of student self-reported change shows that participation in a STEM afterschool program greatly increases positive attitudes towards STEM. 

Reimagining Family Engagement : How Out-of-School Time STEM Programs "CARE"

The Institute for the Study of Resilience in Youth (ISRY) at McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School, in partnership with the STEM Next Opportunity Fund, created and studied a virtual national learning community to understand how out-of-school time (OST) programs in the U.S. are choosing, adapting, and applying strategies from the STEM Family Engagement Planning Tool

This report describes the rationale, methodology, and findings of CARE (Connect-Act-Reflect-Empower) strategies to increase family engagement.  

father and child

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