Informal STEM Education 101: What We Mean when We Talk about Informal STEM Education

IMG_2262The STEM Education Coalition Policy Forum was proud to collaborate with the Afterschool Alliance, the Association of Science–Technology Centers, the Education Development Center, and the National Science Teachers Association to host the first of a series of briefings on informal STEM education. The briefing arose from comprehensive discussion on public policy issues related to “informal STEM education,” a term that is increasingly being used in connection with federal education policies and major legislation such as the America COMPETES Act, Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and other education and workforce bills.

The briefing was possible through Honorary Congressional Hosts Rep. Lamar Smith (TX21) and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX30). Moderated by the Coalition’s Executive Director, James Brown, the event’s speakers included Anita Krishnamurthi  with the Afterschool Alliance; Michael Feder from the Board on Science Education at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine; Ellen Lettvin, a Robert Noyce Senior Fellow in Informal STEM Learning with the U.S. Department of Education; and Margaret Glass from the Association of Science-Technology Centers.

Conversation at the briefing centered on the larger ecosystem of informal education. As the speakers discussed, children and their parents are actively pursuing participation in STEM focused informal education activities, and it takes the schools, informal education centers (such as science centers and museums), local business and industry partners, and parents working together in their communities to successfully engage young people in STEM subjects and projects beyond traditional curriculum.

Briefing Materials:

Event Photo Gallery