Afterschool STEM in West Virginia
Why STEM in Afterschool?
Afterschool programs activate learning in science, technology, engineering, and math—what is called “STEM.” Afterschool and summer programs spark learning by letting children and youth experiment with STEM ideas in real-world, hands-on situations. Such opportunities help spark curiosity, especially for those who might not think of themselves as “math and science kids.”
Impact of STEM Programs
Afterschool programs play a major role in providing meaningful science, technology,
engineering, and math (STEM) learning experiences to diverse groups of youth. These
subjects help students succeed in school and prepare them for careers that are
driving global economic growth.
Nationwide, states and schools are engaging diverse partners like afterschool programs, libraries,museums, universities, and businesses to ensure that students have access to high-quality STEM education. By fully utilizing the hours outside of school, and taking an all hands on deck approach to maximize collective impact, we can ensure that our students are prepared for the future. Afterschool and summer programs spark learning and ignite interest by letting youth experiment with STEM ideas in real-world situations.
Afterschool STEM Offers Unique Benefits
Extra exposure: Children spend less than 20 percent of their waking
hours in school. Afterschool. STEM can almost double the amount of time some
students have to question, tinker, learn, and explore STEM topics.
Change of scene: Afterschool STEM engages students in hands-on, real-world
projects. These programs offer innovative ways for students to practice STEM
skills in an informal space. This makes STEM more accessible, more interesting,
and helps to build fluency, much like immersing oneself in a new language.
A chance to follow their spark: High-quality afterschool STEM cultivates
interest, builds real STEM skills, and helps students connect STEM to their lives
Opportunity for all: The wealthiest 20 percent of families spend almost
seven times more on enrichment activities outside school for their children than
do the poorest 20 percent. Afterschool STEM helps to close this gap by offering
engaging learning programs to a diverse range of students.
STEM in West Virginia
According to the America After 3PM survey, 30,666 children in West Virginia participate in an afterschool program and 22,277 children have opportunities to participate in STEM learning in those programs.
West Virginia parents value STEM learning in afterschool and summer programs
73% of parents agree that STEM learning in afterschool helps kids gain interest and skills related to STEM
78% of parents report that STEM and computer science are an important factor when selecting their child’s afterschool program
Our Current WVSAN STEM Projects
- The Million Girls Moonshot seeks to re-imagine who can engineer, who can build, who can make. It will inspire and prepare the next generation of innovators by engaging one million more girls in STEM learning opportunities through afterschool and summer programs over the next 5 years.
- WV Girls Collaborative Project
- The West Virginia Girls Collaborative (WVGC) is a statewide network of support for girl-serving STEM organizations, working to strengthen capacity, increase continuation of girl-serving STEM programs, and create more champions for gender-equity in STEM education and careers. As part of the National Girls Collaborative, we have access to thousands of programs and resources that are focused on providing high quality STEM experiences for girls.
- Leap into Science
- A four-year initiative is led by The Franklin Institute, the National Girls Collaborative Project, and the Institute for Learning Innovation, the national Leap into Science network initiative is a nationwide program that integrates open-ended science activities with children’s books, designed for children ages 3-10 and their families.