A recently updated Harvard report credits out-of-school time (OST) programs for increasing middle school and high school girlsâ€™ interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) â€“ areas that are a part of many career technical education programs.
The study evaluates six OST programs that engage female students (some also include male students) in STEM subjects through mentoring, field trips, afterschool programs, and other activities. Initial evaluations of the six OST programs reveal positive academic and behavioral outcomes for girls. The researchers conclude that female participants thrive in a “non-threatening and non-academic environment for hands-on learning that is collaborative, informal, and personal.” They also suggest that these and similar OST programs may be an effective way to lead more females into STEM careers.
To read the report, visit the Harvard Family Research Projectâ€™s Research Update 5: STEM Out-of-School Time Programs for Girls.