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Washington Parents Value STEM Learning Opportunities Provided by Afterschool Programs

by School's Out Washington | | Posted under STEM

News Release: New Report on STEM in Afterschool 

Visit Afterschool Alliance website for access to full report: http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/AA3PM/ 

Today, the Afterschool Alliance released a special report, Full STEM Ahead: Afterschool Programs Step Up as Key Partners in STEM Education, which finds broad support among Washington parents for providing STEM learning in afterschool, and high satisfaction with afterschool STEM offerings among parents of children in afterschool programs.

Findings from the new report are based on responses collected for America After 3PM from 30,000 U.S. households, including in-depth interviews with more than 13,000 parents and guardians, and 293 parents in Washington.

“Afterschool is a dynamic, effective setting for innovative STEM education,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “With their focus on hands-on learning and youth development, and the time they can give students to experiment, afterschool programs are well positioned to help increase STEM skills. These new data make clear that parents in Washington recognize the value of the STEM education afterschool programs can provide. Washington and the nation will be better positioned to succeed in tomorrow’s economy if we make afterschool STEM education offerings even more robust.”

Key findings from Full STEM Ahead, which is based on America After 3 PM, the most comprehensive survey ever to ask parents about their children’s participation in afterschool STEM programs:

“In the next decade, most of the fastest growing jobs will require STEM skills,” said Patrick D’Amelio, CEO of Washington STEM. “Quality after school STEM programs offer an outstanding opportunity for children to dig into STEM subjects, practice STEM skills thorough hands-on learning, and become excited about STEM topics. It’s great to see so much energy in after school around these critically important areas of learning.”

Full STEM Ahead offers recommendations to reduce missed opportunities in afterschool STEM education. They include engaging and educating parents about the important role afterschool programs can play in supporting STEM learning; increasing technology and engineering programming in afterschool programs; and increasing investment in afterschool programs so many more children can access the STEM learning opportunities these programs can provide.

In October 2014, the Afterschool Alliance released findings from America After 3PM, revealing a dramatic increase in participation in afterschool over the past decade, from 6.5 million to 10.2 million children. The survey also documented a vast and growing unmet demand for afterschool, with the parents of 19.4 million children reporting that they would enroll their child in a program if one were available. One in five students in the United States today is unsupervised after the school day ends. National and state results from that report are available at www.afterschoolalliance.org/AA3PM/.

The America After 3PM survey was conducted by Shugoll Research; it is based on in-depth interviews with 13,709 households with children, completed via an online survey using a blend of national consumer panels. In order to participate, respondents had to live in the United States and be the guardians of a school-age child living in their household. All interviews were completed between February 28 and April 17, 2014.

Full STEM Ahead is sponsored by Comcast Tech R&D Fund, the Noyce Foundation and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The Comcast Corporation’s Internet Essentials program is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive program to close the digital divide. Internet Essentials has connected more than 500,000 low-income families with school-aged children, or more than 2 million low-income Americans, to the power of the Internet at home.

America After 3PM is funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Wallace Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the Noyce Foundation, with additional support from the Heinz Endowments, The Robert Bowne Foundation and the Samueli Foundation.

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The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality afterschool programs. More information is available at www.AfterschoolAlliance.org.

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