Creating an Ecosystem for Science Learning In and Out of School

Friday, 14 February 2014: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Columbus CD (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Improvements in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education have been slow and have not benefitted all equally. The Next Generation Science Standards try to address this problem by stipulating that core ideas in science be learned through eight science and engineering practices. These reform ideas align the U.S. with other countries, but pose significant challenges for classrooms. However, there is a rich array of learning experiences outside the classroom (e.g., museums, science centers, afterschool programs), and recent reports that summarize best practices in STEM education have highlighted the role of out-of-school or informal learning for achieving success in STEM. The growing recognition that successful STEM education is achieved in communities that offer rich STEM learning opportunities outside of schools, and that youth spend less than 20 percent of their waking hours in school, presents a radical shift in thinking and may necessitate equally radical policy shifts, away from trying to “fix schools” and toward creating community-based opportunities for learning. This session discusses the evidence for including informal science education as a key partner in STEM education. Panelists will discuss the rapidly expanding infrastructure for STEM learning in afterschool programs and describe opportunities for partnerships with such settings. They will also describe appropriate and feasible outcomes for learning in these settings that complement and supplement school-day learning.
Martin Storksdieck, National Research Council
Dennis Schatz, NSF
Martin Storksdieck, National Research Council
Dennis Schatz, NSF
Anita Krishnamurthi, Afterschool Alliance
Role, Goals and Measures for Afterschool STEM
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