Integrating Science into Afterschool: A Three Dimensional Approach to Engaging Underserved Populations in Science
Integrating Science Into Afterschool: A Three-Dimensional Approach To Engaging Underserved Populations In Science, or STEM 3D, was a five year project led by The Franklin Institute. The project was created with three major goals: to (1) increase youth engagement in hands-on, inquiry based, science projects; (2) cultivate intergenerational/parental support for science learning; and (3) evaluate the effectiveness of this 3-D (afterschool, home, and community) approach in engaging children, families, afterschool facilitators, and community-based organizations in science learning and the promotion of science learning and STEM professions.
Three cohorts of out-of-school time (OST) facilitators integrated informal, project-based, STEM activities into their programs at nearly 50 sites. Through working with OST facilitators to incorporate career exposure and exploration into STEM activities and to develop family-oriented STEM activities, Franklin Institute staff created lasting impacts on under-resourced communities across Philadelphia. A total of 1,200 children in upper elementary grades participated in these collaboratively developed activities at their afterschool and summer camp sites, and dozens more led activities for other students and families though Philadelphia Science Festival events.