Evidence from research is needed now more than ever for advocates to continue making the case for why the public should invest financially, socially, and politically in high-quality afterschool and summer STEM programs. The Afterschool STEM Hub believes that all young people deserve access to high-quality afterschool STEM programs, that these programs are good investments for youth, families, communities, and our nation, and that high-quality afterschool STEM learning centers equity and the lived experiences of young people. In sharing research updates and discovering knowledge gaps, our hope is that awareness, investment in, and support of the afterschool STEM field can continue to grow, learn, and adapt to better serve our youth.

High-quality education research can help in better understanding factors that contribute to youth learning and development and, ultimately, what works to support youth success. The thoughtful collection and use of data about important youth outcomes can also help providers develop programs that are more effective. Both high-quality data and the use of data for program improvement are critical to build evidence about effective afterschool STEM programs, improve practice, and shift policy.

In order to explore the current state of evaluation and measurement tools for use in afterschool STEM programs, the STEM Hub collaborated to design and host a convening for afterschool STEM practitioners, researchers, evaluators, and stakeholders. You can learn more by visiting (Un)Common Measures.