Informal STEM Education 101: What We Know and Don’t: The State of the Art on Research on Outcomes in Informal STEM Education

The STEM Education Coalition Policy Forum joined the National Science Teachers Association,  Afterschool Alliance, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Battelle, Education Development Center, the Society of Women Engineers, and the Association for Computing Machinery to host the another round of the Policy Forum’s continued education briefing seriFile_005es on informal education. Focused on the state of educational research about the effectiveness of informal STEM education programs and outcomes, the panelists reviewed recent findings and future challenges in improving the effectiveness of student experiences in informal settings.

STEM Education Coalition Policy Forum Executive Director James Brown opened the hearing to the featured speakers. Experts on the panel included Dr. Bronwyn Bevan, Senior Research Scientist at University of Washington; Joan Ferrini-Mundy, the Assistant Director, Education and Human Resources Directorate at the National Science Foundation; and James Bell, Project Director and Principal Investigator of the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education. Honorary Congressional Co-Host Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson also made remarks to the attendees. After the presentation, the panelist took questions from the crowd, comprised mostly of congressional staff and education policy makers.

The panel also coincided with the release of the STEM Education Coalition’s newest white paper, “The Case for Investing in Out-of-School Learning as a Core Strategy in Improving Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education.”  This 10-page paper written for policymakers and education leaders makes a strong case for why informal and afterschool learning must be an integral part of policies to improve STEM education across the board. This paper was produced by the STEM Education Coalition Policy Forum and was supported by a grant from the Noyce Foundation.

For the entire presentation see the links below:

Informal STEM Education White Paper

Briefing Slides