Mapping the Field: Out-of-School-Time STEM Programs for K-12 Females
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Out-of-school-time (OST) STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programs for females serve as one strategy to increase females’ interest and dispositions in STEM and as a proposed intervention to address the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields. The purpose of this study was to extend previous OST research by investigating OST STEM programs for the subpopulation of females in grades kindergarten through 12. This research contributes to efforts to investigate OST programming by mapping a national sample of OST STEM programs for K-12 females. To determine common features and practices of programs the researcher analyzed 115 websites, 51 survey responses and six interviews with program directors from 38 states. Additionally, it represents all grade levels K-12 and a variety of residential and day-only programs. The findings from this study elaborate on aspects of program design, structure, content, evaluation, funding, staffing and youth audience and thus strengthen knowledge of effective OST practices and the research base on OST STEM programming for females.