Wednesday, January 30, 2013

STEM Outcomes for Youth in Afterschool Programs

The Afterschool Alliance recently concluded a 10-month study, "Defining Youth Outcomes for STEM Learning in Afterschool." In the study, a panel of expert afterschool providers and supporters were asked to identify appropriate and feasible outcomes for STEM education in afterschool settings.

Coalition Director Carol Tang and Steering Committee member Gabe Lyon of Project Exploration served on the advisory board for this report.

Watch Anita Krishnamurthi, director of STEM policy for the Afterschool Alliance discuss the report, joined by Ron Ottinger, executive director of the Noyce Foundation, and Mark Greenlaw, VP for sustainability and education affairs at Cognizant.

The big picture consensus among panel experts interviewed is that afterschool programs support young people to:

  • enjoy STEM learning
  • feel capable learning STEM
  • want to do more STEM learning

There are a number of more concrete indicators that afterschool professionals can look for to see if young people demonstrate progress towards those outcomes.  Panel experts ranked these in order of what they felt afterschool programs are best positioned to accomplish.  They reported that afterschool is best positioned to support young people's:

  1. Active participation in STEM learning opportunities
  2. Curiosity about STEM topics, concepts or practices
  3. Ability to productively engage in STEM processes of investigation
  4. Awareness of STEM professions
  5. Ability to exercise STEM-relevant life and career skills
  6. Understanding the value of STEM in society
One of the implications of the report is that afterschool is well positioned to support the 'doing' science and STEM.  Another implication of the study is that afterschool is well positioned to support realistic scenarios of how science is actually performed in the field, as afterschool is a learning environment suited for collaborative group work and other 21st century skills.

Panelists were also asked if they believed there are assessment tools to document the kinds of impacts they felt confident delivering.  While the funder group reported that yes, assessment tools are available, the practitioner group reported no, they don't have access to assessment tools.  In the video above, Anita offers a possible explanation of this result which is that practitioners may be aware of assessment tools for STEM in afterschool, but those tools may not be effective for one reason or another.

This report offers a great foundation for further conversation about outcomes of STEM learning in afterschool and we look forward to hearing what you think!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

ASTC Recognizes Coalition Director Carol Tang

This month the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) recognized Coalition Director Carol Tang for being chosen as a role model for California women and girls in STEM.  

This article originally appeared in Dimensions magazine, January/February 2013. Reposted with permission from the Association of Science-Technology Centers Incorporated,

Monday, January 07, 2013

50 Resources to Advance Women in STEM

The Coalition for Science After School is thrilled to top the National Girls Collaborative Project's 50 Resources to Advance Women in STEM list!  The NGCP distributed their list via Twitter throughout the last few days of 2012.  Here's a great opportunity to make sure you are following these organizations, which strive for gender equity in science learning and the STEM fields!

The Coalition would like to thank the NGCP for including us - we are in very good company on this terrific list!  

#1 Afterschool Alliance @afterschool4all 
#2 The Coalition for Science After School @sciafterschool 
#3 Girl Scouts @girlscouts 
#4 Blacks in Technology @blkintechnology 
#5 Black Girls Code @blackgirlscode 
#6 FabFems @Fabfems 
#7 Techbridge @Techbridgegirls 
#8 GirlTech 
#9 Girls RISEnet 
#10 Carnegie Mellon Project on Gender and Computer Science  
#11 National Society of Black Engineers @NSBE
#12 Harvard Fam Research Project @HFRP 
#13 !Excelencia! in Education @EdExcelencia 
#14 Culturally Situated Design Tools 
#15 CompuGirls 
#16 Coalition to Diversify Computing 
#17 The American Indian Science and Engineering Society @AISES 
#18 Alaska Native Knowledge Network 
#19 SciGirls @SciGirls
#20 Binary Girl 
#21 The Work4Women Project
#22 Women@NASA 
#23 National Institute for Women in Trades, Technology and Science @IWITTS 
#24 Diversity/Careers Magazine @divcar
#25 Women in Cable & Telcommunications @WICT 
#26 Women in Aviation International @WomenInAviation 
#27 Women Chemists Throughout History
#28 Women Chemists Committee 
#29 New Scientist 
#30 Association for Women in Computing 
#31 Association for Women in Science @AWISNational 
#32 Association for Women in Mathematics
#33 Engineer Your Life
#34 Women in Engineering ProActive Network 
#35 Society of Women Engineers @SWETalk 
#36 Engineer Girl  
#37 Women in Engineering
#38 American Society of Mechanical Engineers @ASME 
#39 Women Tech World 
#40 Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology @anita_borg
#41 Women in Visual Arts/#Tech 
#42 Women in Technology International @WITI  
#43 Webgrrls @Webgrrls  
#44 TechDivas 
#45 National Center for Women and Information Technology @NCWIT 
#46 IGNITE: Inspiring Girls Now in Technology Evolution  
#47 GirlGeeks 
#48 Cisco Learning Institute Gender Initiative
#49 Center for Women and Information Technology 
#50 ACM's Committee on Women in Computing  

Friday, January 04, 2013

#SciMentor Twitter Chat

Did you know that January is National Mentoring Month?

To celebrate, the Coalition is hosting a Twitter chat:

Wednesday January 23 
12-1 Pacific Time

During this chat we will discuss the importance of mentors and role models in science education and STEM careers.  We're interested in hearing your tips, best practices, resources and stories, so please join us on the chat!

Here are the questions we will be posing on the chat:

Q1: Why are mentors and role models important for youth?

Q2: What is special about afterschool and summer mentoring opportunities?

Q3: How can mentors and role models support science education?

Q4: What resources can STEM mentors look to for support and inspiration?

Q5: What makes for high-quality mentoring experiences?

Q6: What can STEM professionals expect to give and get out of mentoring youth?

Q7: What topic related to science in after school would you like to discuss in our next chat?

To join the chat and see what others are saying:

1. Go to and search for the hashtag #SciMentor

2. You do not need a Twitter account to follow the chat, but you do need one to comment or ask questions.  If you need to set up a Twitter account you can sign up at  It's free to join and only takes a minute.

3. To join the discussion, sign into TweetChat using your Twitter account and enter your tweets in the box at the top of the page. TweetChat automatically includes the hashtag for you.

4. Each tweet is limited to 140 characters (including the hashtag #SciMentor) but feel free to use multiple tweets to pose a question or respond to a comment.

The Coalition's Twitter handle is @sciafterschool.  Feel free to submit questions in advance by sending us a message on Twitter.

Looking forward to seeing you on the chat!