STEM TIG Week: Catalysts of Change: Out-of-School Time STEM Programs for Underrepresented Youth by Shetay Ashford-Hanserd, Garima Bansal, and Rosio Pedroso

During AEA’s annual conference, Evaluation 2018, we facilitated a 45-minute think tank session entitled “Catalysts of Change: Out-of-School Time STEM Programs for Underrepresented Youth,” which was featured in the STEM Topical Interest Group (TIG) track.  We aimed to share our experiences with out-of-school time STEM programs for underrepresented youth during the formation, implementation, and evaluation stages.  As a team of researchers, practitioners, and evaluators in global contexts, we bring a unique perspective to this discussion.

My name is Dr. Garima Bansal, and I am a teacher educator in the University of Delhi, India. My research agenda is in the areas of educational assessment and evaluation, science education and mathematics education.  Currently, I am developing a non-government organization, “Bevize Foundation,” that aims to develop specialized approaches for inclusion of linguistically diverse student population. We are developing bilingual dictionaries and creative word walls for students speaking Hindi as their first language to encourage meaning-making in science classrooms. It would be of use to students, teachers, teacher educators.

Lessons Learned: Establishing a non-governmental organization is a challenging endeavor. It requires developing a core team sharing the common vision of the organization, gathering of funds to carry-on the activities, building community ties so that people welcome your efforts and become an active participant in the process of social transformation.

My name is Dr. Shetay Ashford-Hanserd and I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational, Workforce, and Leadership Studies at Texas State University.  I am also the Founder and Principal Investigator of the ACCEYSS: Association of Collaborative Communities Equipping Youth for STEM Success (NSF INCLUDES DDLP, Award No. 1764404).  Our external evaluator, Rosio Pedroso, MPP, served as the facilitator of our session.

My name is Rosio Pedroso, MPP, and I am Principal at Pedroso Consulting. As lead external evaluator of ACCEYSS, I am working to ensure the effectiveness of the collective impact framework and assess progress towards the grant goals and objectives.

We are utilizing a collective impact framework to develop a sustainable, research-driven STEM intervention model to increase the number of historically underrepresented and underserved minority youth who attain undergraduate STEM degrees, in collaboration with other community and faith-based organizations.

Lessons Learned: The collective impact approach can be a powerful instrument of change but it requires a significant amount of time to establish trust within the community. We have learned that establishing that trust can make the hard work of establishing a shared vision, common goals and metrics, and ultimately implementing effective out of school STEM programs easier. We have also learned that the collective impact enables community members to contribute to the shared vision in a manner that best suits their skills and/or resources. 

Rad Resources: We have provided the following resources to help you in your pursuit of evaluating out-of-school time and informal STEM learning programs.

  1. Framework for Evaluating Impacts of Informal Science Education Projects
  2. Learning in Action: Evaluating Collective Impact
  3. Afterschool and STEM Learning
  4. A Culturally Responsive Evaluation Framework for Out-of-School Time Programs

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating STEM Education and Training TIG Week with our colleagues in the STEM Education and Training Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our STEM TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

1 thought on “STEM TIG Week: Catalysts of Change: Out-of-School Time STEM Programs for Underrepresented Youth by Shetay Ashford-Hanserd, Garima Bansal, and Rosio Pedroso”

  1. Dr. Bansal, the organization that you’re creating is so inspiring. Using language as a form of inclusion is a wonderful idea. I feel this could work with any language. I live in Texas and a lot of students are native Spanish speakers and a man of native English speakers would like to learn Spanish. This would give them the opportunity to work in the same space on similar projects and also learn the language of one another. I hope to give this a try in the future. Thank you for sharing.

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