Informal STEM Program Learning

Authored by: Margaret Blanchard , Kristie Gutierrez , Bobby Habig , Preeti Gupta , Jennifer Adams

Handbook of Research on STEM Education

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367075606
eBook ISBN: 9780429021381
Adobe ISBN:


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Benefits of participation in informal STEM programs range from internal changes in students’ self-efficacy, confidence, and behavioral choices to increases in STEM subject content knowledge and achievement. Informal STEM programs and experiences can be important vehicles for facilitating awareness, interest, and engagement in STEM activities, courses, college majors, and future careers. In this chapter, an overview of the goals, benefits, and types of informal STEM programs are explored as well as the theoretical underpinnings of research in informal STEM settings. The chapter concludes by proposing a conceptual framework for studying informal STEM education programs and research recommendations.

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