Black Hole Image Shows Why We Should Support Girls in STEM: Here's How OST Helps

April 16, 2019

Girls making electronicsDr. Katie Bouman has been receiving recognition recently for her key contributions to the team that gave us the world's first image of a black hole. We at NIOST are proud of the work being done in out-of-school-time (OST) programs to support girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, as evidenced by these articles in our Afterschool Matters journal.

  • In "Being and Becoming Scientists: Design-Based STEM Programming for Girls," Jasmine M. Nation, Danielle Harlow, Diana J. Arya, and Maya Longtin studied a research-practice collaboration between university researchers and an afterschool program for female students in grades 4 to 6. They show how the program’s ongoing design transformations increased girls’ understanding of and interest in STEM.
  • "What If? Building Creative Cultures for STEM Making and Learning," by Bronwyn Bevan, Jean Ryoo, and Molly Shea, looks at the impact of "active, learner-driven, collaborative activities" in several afterschool STEM programs. One of the programs studied was Techbridge in Oakland, California, a weekly afterschool program that supports girls’ engagement in STEM activities and career exploration with professional role models.
  • "Long-Term Participants: A Museum Stem Program Enhances Girls' STEM Interest, Motivation, and Persistance" (2014), by Jennifer D. Adams, Preeti Gupta, and Alix Cotumaccio, profiles the Lang Science program at the American Museum, and asserts, "OST programs are especially important for students from groups underrepresented in science, who, more often than not, attend schools with inadequate science education resources. Programs like Lang Science have great potential for young women of color, who often have to grapple with both race- and gender-based barriers to STEM careers." 
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The Afterschool Matters Initiative is managed by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time, a program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College

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