Measuring STEM Learning in After-School Summer Programs: Review of the Literature
Keywords:out-of-school time, program evaluation, STEM learning, literature review
After-school and summer programs provide important opportunities for youth to learn STEM practices and form STEM-related identities. However, there has been limited coordination across these programs to measure effectiveness toward learning outcomes. To better understand the constructs that are used to evaluate these programs, we searched key terms related to out-of-school time STEM learning on several education research databases. Our search uncovered 36 different tools. Across these tools, we discovered 76 measures, which were then grouped into 10 constructs based on similar themes. Constructs included: attitude toward science, career awareness and career interest, curiosity, engagement, home/school environment, interest, motivation, nature of science, self-efficacy, and STEM practices. Each construct is defined and clarified with examples from the tools. The review also considers tensions between attempts to standardize measures for evaluating program success and the need to account for equitable STEM learning pathways and adaptability across diverse communities.
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