Out-of-school-time Programs Encourage and Empower Underrepresented Youth to Pursue STEM Interests

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The newest edition of Afterschool Matters, the national, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to promoting professionalism, scholarship, and consciousness in the field of afterschool education, has been recently published by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time at the Wellesley Centers for Women, with support from the Robert Bowne Foundation and the NOYCE Foundation.

Newest issue of Afterschool Matters Journal, Fall 2012

Project Exploration’s Youth-Science Matrix offers a unique STEM engagement model.

The newest edition of Afterschool Matters, the national, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to promoting professionalism, scholarship, and consciousness in the field of afterschool education, highlights an out-of-school-time (OST) organization, Project Exploration, which encourages and empowers underrepresented youth to pursue STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) interests. The issue also features articles on how quality interventions change afterschool programs; guidelines on how to measure girls’ self-esteem in sports programs; what OST programs can do to help youth prepare for careers; how to support youth with special needs in OST programs; what it takes to staff OST programs today; and developing effective afterschool computer science programs for girls.

“Project Exploration’s Youth-Science Matrix offers a unique STEM engagement model,” said Georgia Hall, Ph.D., senior research scientist at the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW). “It values multiple entry points and promotes a continuum of opportunities throughout a young person’s social and intellectual development.”

Articles included in the current issue include “Understanding the ‘How’ of Quality Improvement: Lessons from the Rhode Island Program Intervention,” “Exploring Self-Esteem in a Girls’ Sports Program: Competencies and Connections Create Change,” “Helping Youth Prepare for Careers: What Can Out-of-School Time Programs Do?” “Supporting Youth with Special Needs in Out-of-School Time: A Study of OST Providers in New Jersey,” “Human Resources: Staffing Out-of-School Time Programs in the 21st Century,” “Beyond the Pipeline: STEM Pathways for Youth Development,” and “Build IT: Scaling and Sustaining an Afterschool Computer Science Program for Girls.”

Afterschool Matters is published by NIOST with support in this issue from the Robert Bowne Foundation and the NOYCE Foundation. It serves those involved in developing and managing programs for youth during the out-of-school time hours, in addition to those engaged in research and in shaping youth development policy.

For more than 30 years, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time has been dedicated to moving the afterschool field forward through its research, education and training, consultation, and field-building. Much of NIOST’s work has encompassed projects of national scope and influence, several representing “firsts” for the field and many focusing on building out-of-school time systems. NIOST is a program of the Wellesley Centers for Women. Since 1974, scholars at WCW have helped shape a better world through their social science research projects and training programs.

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Donna Tambascio
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