The Afterschool Alliance, a national organization focused on afterschool and summer learning opportunities found that 70% of parents surveyed valued science, technology, engineering, and mathematics opportunities for their children after the school day ends. A similar number of programs that children were involved in offered those STEM learning opportunities and 80% of parents reported being highly satisfied with the quality of those programs.
The America After 3 PM report surveyed 30,000 parents and did indepth interviews with 13,000 of them. 53% of the parents, according to the findings, reported choosing their child’s after school program based on its STEM content.
“Afterschool is a dynamic, effective setting for innovative STEM education,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “With their focus on hands-on learning and youth development, and the time they can give students to experiment, afterschool programs are well positioned to help increase STEM skills in this country. These new data make clear that parents recognize the value of the STEM education afterschool programs can provide. Our country will be better positioned to succeed in tomorrow’s economy if we make afterschool STEM education offerings even more robust.”
- Most parents say afterschool programs can help students gain STEM skills. Sixty-five percent of parents agree with that statement, as do 68 percent of low-income parents and more than 70 percent of both African-American and Hispanic parents. More than half of parents in every state agree as well.
- Low-income, African-American and Hispanic parents are more likely than others to report that their child’s afterschool program offers STEM learning. While 69 percent of parents with children in afterschool programs agree with that statement, 74 percent of Hispanic parents, 73 percent of low-income parents and 72 percent of African-American parents say their child’s program offers STEM activities.
- Most afterschool students have STEM learning opportunities at least once per week. Seventy-six percent of parents of students in afterschool programs that offer STEM education say it is offered at least once per week. Eighty percent of parents of boys and 73 percent of parents of girls in afterschool programs offering STEM education say STEM is offered at least once per week.
- Parents whose children learn STEM in afterschool report that math is offered most often among the STEM subjects. Almost 60 percent of children in afterschool programs study math, while 45 percent have science learning opportunities, their parents say. Technology and engineering activities are offered much less frequently in afterschool programs, these parents report.
The full report is available to download from the Afterschool Alliance website.