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New VT Data Highlights Learning Gains in Afterschool STEM Programs

Posted on January 10th, 2017 in: Blog

Vermont Afterschool is partnering with the PEAR Institute: Partnerships in Education & Resilience (PEAR), an organization that creates and fosters evidence-based innovations such as the Common Instrument which is used to assess child and adolescent interest and engagement in science. We worked with the PEAR team to develop versions for the Common Instrument to be used by Vermont students in grades K-9 that attend STEM-related afterschool and summer learning programming.

Last spring, 13 programs throughout the state that provided tinkering programs had their students complete the Common Instrument. A total of 199 students in grades K-9 completed the instrument, which measured their self-report gains in science interest, critical thinking and perseverance over the course of attending their programs.

The team at PEAR analyzed the results and provided Vermont Afterschool with useful charts and graphs. PEAR found that overall, Vermont students reported significant gains in each of the three sub-scales (science interest, critical thinking, and perseverance). pear-tinkering-overall-results

Compared with the rest of the nation, PEAR found that Vermont students reported significantly higher ratings of science interest. In particular, Vermont students in grades 6-9 reported significantly higher gains in science interest compared with the national sample.

To view our interactive data dashboard with more results from the spring 2016 tinkering programs, visit: http://www.vermontafterschool.org/stem/data. The dashboard will be updated as we receive data from more programs that have their students complete the tool.

–> If you are interested in learning more about the Common Instrument, be sure to join a FREE webinar that we will be co-hosting with the PEAR team on Wednesday, January 11 at 11:30 a.m. To join, click on http://mclean.adobeconnect.com/ci when the webinar begins and enter the participant code 71089974. Phone number for audio is 1-646-560-7802.

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