Afterschool Matters Spring 2021

Disconnecting and Reconnecting

A Photovoice Workshop on Healthy Social Media Use

By Linda Charmaraman, Catherine Grevet Delcourt, Cynthia Serrano Najera, Emily Vargas, Alyssa Gramajo, Amanda M. Richer, and Anna M. Adachi-Mejia

Educators, parents, practitioners, and mainstream media often raise concerns about the dangers of social media for teenagers. Frequent social media use and exposure to sites that emphasize anonymity may be risky for young adolescents (Charmaraman, Gladstone, & Richer, 2018). However, with healthy limits, social media can improve social connectivity, enhance a sense of belonging, and provide forums for self-disclosure and identity exploration (James et al., 2017).

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Integrating Arts with STEM to Foster Systems Thinking

By Elizabeth Grace, Molly L. Kelton, Jeb P. Owen, AnaMaria Diaz Martinez, Alison White, Robert W. Danielson, Patricia Butterfield, Michaela Fallon, and Georgia Schafer Medina

Interest is growing among out-of-school time (OST) educators in integrating the arts into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) programming (e.g., Kelton & Saraniero, 2018). Arts-integrated STEM—or STEAM—programming now takes place in a wide variety of OST environments, from relatively institutional learning settings, such as a library, to emergent or fluid settings, such as a pop-up program in a housing development community room.

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Undergraduate Motivations for Participating in Afterschool Programs

A Case Study of The STEMinist Program

By Alexandria Muller, Devon M. Christman, Mallory M. Rice, Fatima Soto-Apolinar, Sarah Hirsch, and Diana J. Arya

Undergraduate students are a critical resource for university-community programs that provide enriching learning opportunities for school-age youth who have limited exposure to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Many universities offer afterschool outreach programs that enable youth to interact with science faculty, and many such programs depend on undergraduates as facilitators. However, education research has focused on the youth served rather than on the undergraduates who facilitate the outreach programs.

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Designing Professional Development Resources to Meet the Needs of OST STEM Educators

By Joëlle Clark, Nena Bloom, Lori Rubino-Hare, Courtney Barnes, and Sean Ryan

Flexibility, opportunities for exploration, and a focus on 21st century skills make out-of-school time (OST) programs an ideal environment for authentic learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM; Committee on STEM Education, 2013; Noam & Shah, 2014). In addition, because OST programs serve significant populations of young people who are underrepresented in STEM, they may be able to reduce the opportunity gap for these youth and help to enhance youth learning and engagement.

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Black Girls Create

Developing a Culturally Responsive Maker Program for Black Girls

By LaShawnda Lindsay

Afterschool programs are a significant vehicle for increasing STEM interest, confidence, and capacity in underrepresented students (National Research Council, 2009). According to the Coalition for Science After School (2007), effective afterschool programs provide relevant, hands-on opportunities for underrepresented youth to interact with relatable scientific role models, content knowledge, and resources.

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Exploring STEM Engagement in Girls in Rural Communities

Results from GEMS Clubs

By Kathryn A. Wheeler and Georgia Hall

Creating enriching and encouraging programs to engage girls in STEM is critical because girls and women bring unique experiences, perspectives, and ideas to scientific work. Besides benefiting the women themselves, having more women in STEM occupations will enable society to benefit from women’s expertise by maximizing innovation, creativity, and competitiveness (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2016).

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Data Is Delicious!

Book Review

By Elizabeth J. Starr

Review of Measure, Use, Improve! Data Use in Out-of-School Time. C. A. Russell & C. Newhouse, Eds. Information Age, 2021.

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Mind the Gap

The Overlap Between Public Libraries and OST Learning

By Brittany R. Jacobs

On any given day you can find a revolving assortment of wildly eclectic items adorning my desk, including dinosaurs, arachnid specimens, sugar skulls, and galaxies. I’m not a paleontologist, entomologist, cultural scientist, or astrophysicist, but my job does require me to know a little about all those things and more.

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Overcoming Barriers Through Collective Impact

A Case Study

By José Mendez

With an increase in the number of enrichment options available in out-of-school time (OST), young people can explore topics generally passed over in a typical school day. Parent perception of afterschool programming is beginning to shift from a simple necessity of the work week to a conscious choice about the daily experiences of their children. Public school districts are leaning heavily on afterschool programs to complement the school day by incorporating academic components to help close the achievement gap.

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The Magic of Afterschool

Raising the Next Generation of Resilient Unicorns

By Katie Svaicer

As I was observing an afterschool program, I was struck with the ease of which a group of elementary-age children transitioned from one plan to another because of a last-minute room change. I myself had just experienced frustration with the same change merely because it meant I had to move my belongings to another space.

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The Intersection of Belonging and Equitable Outcomes

By Priscilla Parchia

Out-of-school time (OST) professionals seek the best ways to supplement and enhance young people’s experiences to achieve equitable outcomes for participants. Often this enhancement presents as academic support, arts or sports programming, job development, or project-based learning. OST professionals strive to create environments where participants feel they belong.

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The Afterschool Matters Initiative is managed by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time, a program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College

Georgia Hall, PhD, is Managing Editor of the Afterschool Matters Journal

Wellesley Centers for Women
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-8203 USA

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