July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Educational Research and Methods
In this work in progress paper, we present the preliminary results of a systematic literature review on the effects of out-of-school STEM activities on sixth-grade students. Research indicates the sixth grade is a critical transition point in students’ academic lives for their personal and academic growth. In addition to these developments, sixth graders are starting to form their early professional identities that will help them make career choices. Academic interventions at this stage to prepare students for rigorous higher- and post-secondary academic work has shown to help middle schoolers to enter high school better prepared to graduate with good grades and on time. In addition to the in-class academic preparation, out of school interventions such as summer programs, after-school STEM camps and other out-of-school informal learning opportunities have shown fruitful results for encouraging students to choose STEM careers pathways. These out-of-school STEM programs may have wide-ranging implications for improving students’ perceptions towards STEM careers. Students benefit from out-of-school STEM learning opportunities by exploring STEM ideas and gaining a better understanding of STEM careers. Furthermore, engaging students in STEM learning through out-of-school STEM activities have positive personal and academic effects on students. This report on the work in progress systematic literature review of the effects of out-of-school stem activities on sixth-grade students presents the preliminary findings from our initial literature search and review of found articles. We used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) method to record our literature search results. Our initial keywords "After school", "STEM", "Learning Outcomes" OR "Academic Outcomes", "Experimental" OR "Quasi Experimental", "6th grade", "Pre Test" OR "Post Test" OR "Pre-test" OR "post-test", resulted in 189 articles. Through our inclusion/exclusion criteria we restricted the results to articles published in English language during or after the year 2000. Also, we were only interested in articles that were published in peer-reviewed journals, appeared in conference proceedings or were committee approved Master’s or Doctoral theses. After the initial screening, we identified 19 quantitative articles, 3 qualitative articles, and 12 mixed-methods articles. Full text analysis of the 33 articles resulted in the exclusion of 13 quantitative articles, 1 qualitative article, and 4 mixed-methods articles. The preliminary results from this work in progress, systematic literature review indicate that out of school learning environments create more possibilities for applied, hands-on learning that is more impactful and motivating than the traditional in-class teaching methods. The findings suggest that sixth-grade students enjoy out-of-school STEM interventions. Finally, we found that out-of-school STEM interventions have a positive effect on students’ perceptions towards STEM subjects and careers.
Svetlov, N., & Fidai, A., & McCall, C. M. (2021, July), Work in Progress: Effects of Out-of-School STEM Activities on Sixth Grade Students: A Systematic Literature Review Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38147
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