Parents and guardians, after-school program and extracurricular leaders, and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers are among the most influential parts of a STEM student’s world and their success in STEM learning. Frequent exposure to STEM activities both in and out of school supports students’ growth in STEM and contributes to school success, according to STEMconnector’s 2018 State of STEM report.
Although many schools would like to offer students more out of school opportunities to experience STEM education, it can be difficult to plan schoolwide events aligned with curriculum that appeals to students of different ages. Parent Teacher Organization and Association (PTO and PTA) volunteers frequently organize educational after-school events. However, without detailed instructions for child-friendly investigations, the groups commonly decide against science-related themes.
According to a recent survey of the FSN leaders and parents who attended events, 88 percent saw an increase in students talking about science, and 98 percent of parents enjoyed experiencing their child’s school as a place of STEM learning and fun.