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Putting Youth at the Center for
Collective Impact through STEM
Workshop for the YMCA; Girls Inc; 4H;
Big Brothers Big Sisters; and Boys and Girls Clubs
Gabrielle H. Lyon, PhD
Lyon-Strategies.com
Chicago, IL
May 28, 2014
About Today
• What is happening with your students
developmentally and what does this have to
do with STEM?
• What matters for YOUR students in STEM?
• What makes a good STEM program at an
organizational level?
• What might student-centered STEM
programming look like from a collective?
What is Happening with Your
Students Developmentally?
8-9 Year-Olds
• They are working on how to
relate to peers and play
through elaborately
structured games
• Want to know the reasons
for things; want to develop a
sense of accomplishment;
• Use language to deepen
understanding by talking
about what they’re thinking
and using evidence to
defend what they’re
thinking
10-12 Year-Olds
• Starting to move away from
being little children towards
adulthood and the world they
want (or will be forced to)
join in the near future.
• Thinking about the bigger
picture and how things – and
they – fit in
• Relationships can by
unsettled for girls and
competitive for boys
• They need guidance - but also
independence
• From: Women and Children’s Health Network;
http://www.cyh.com/healthtopics/healthtopicdetails.aspx?p=114&np=122&id=18
65#3
13-16 Year-Olds
• They are focusing on things they can
experience here and now
• Arguing skills improve (and are
demonstrated often and with great
passion)
• Reasoning skills improve:
– apply concepts to specific examples
– use deductive reasoning and make
educated guesses
– reason through problems even in the
absence of concrete events or
examples
– able to construct hypothetical
solutions to a problem and evaluate
which is best
Introduction to Child Development, 5th ed., West Publishing, 1993 By John P.
Dworetzky .
Who Are Minorities in STEM?
• Students of color
• Middle and low socio-economic status
• Students who come from under-
resourced schools and communities
• Students who struggle academically: (If
you can’t read well you don’t get to do
STEM)
• Students who believe it’s important but
“Not for Me”
Traditional National STEM
Engagement Strategies
• Resources, programs focused
on academic top 10%
• Government funding is “soft”
money; primarily ends up at
universities and research-
based institutions
• High-caliber informal
experiences target
academically elite students,
identified interest in science,
families who can pay for
them.
Stuff We Know From Research
• High caliber experiences in school are
necessary but not sufficient
• Interest in science in 8th grade is a
better predictor than test scores
• Students from underrepresented
minority groups face specific obstacles
at different points…
3 Most Effective Strategies
for Minority Students for
Long Term STEM Engagement
• overnight and residential or summer
programs
• one-on-one opportunities
• hands on lab experiences
 Key element across all successful
programs: commitment and effectiveness
of program staff.
* Investigating the Human Potential, AAAS 1983.
Stuff We Know from (Project
Exploration’s) Experience
• Someone knows their name
• The program “never ends”
• They learn how to write
• They’re in the news – for something good
Science Identities?
• Shy and are able to come out of their shell in
a supportive group that shares their
interests
• Want more science and can’t get it at school
• Discover – to their surprise - that there is a
place for them in science
– they have talents, skills and passions for
something other than science while doing
science
What Does it Take to Reach Your
Students with STEM?
• Students at the center
• Relationship-based
• Interest-driven
• Meaningful, high impact
science experiences
– Sequenced; active;
focused; explicit
– Authentic
Not just about
science.
STEM Programming
at the Organization Level
Put Science into
the Service of Your Students
(Developmental Recap)
Youth need to…
• know how to focus their attention on their work
• keep trying even when they get discouraged or face
setbacks
• work effectively with other students and adults
• be good communicators and problem-solvers
Specific skills :
– recognizing and managing emotions
– developing caring and concern for others
– establishing positive relationships
– making responsible decisions
– handling challenging situations constructively and ethically
1st Question:
What is Worth Knowing & Experiencing?
• What’s worth young people in your programs knowing and
experiencing when it comes to STEM?
• What are our youth looking for in STEM experiences?
• What activities will best serve students’ needs?
• How can we build positive youth development assets through
STEM?
Experiencing….
• Students voice and choice
• Voluntary
• Interest-driven learning experiences
• High impact programs in science are
specifically
– Sequenced, active, focused, explicit
• Role models
• Relationships
Knowing…
• Science is an approach to the world; science
is process as well as content.
• Meaningful work matters – best of all when
it is based on scientists’ real questions and
authentic work.
• Intentionality: For many students science is
often unfriendly- there is a hidden
curriculum which disenfranchises students
from science.
5-E Model for a Scientist-Led Session
Engagement
Exploration
Explanation
Elaboration
Evaluation
24
Approaches That Work
• Cooperative learning
groups
• Hands-on experiences
• Emphasis on practical
applications
• Teaching in a social
context
• Mentors and role
models
• Internships and
career exploration
Roles & Relationships
STEM Programming
as a Collective
State of STEM in
Out-of-SchoolTime in Chicago
Pathways Cooperative Leadership
Without Collaborative Intervention….
• Chicago student achievement in STEM in school
will remain sub-par;
• African Americans, Latinos and girls will remain
significantly underrepresented in STEM in college
majors and in careers;
• Investment by funders and policy-makers in STEM
education efforts will lack systemic impact;
• Area companies will not have the local talent pool
they need.
• Chicago’s young people will fail to experience the
wonders of discovery or fully explore the world
around them.
Impact of STEM in Out of School
Time
• STEM knowledge and skills
• Higher likelihood of graduation and
pursuing a STEM career
• Problem solving, cooperation,
communication skills
• Project management, critical thinking
Criterion
• Out-of-school time (weekends, afternoons and
evenings, summer, school holidays).
• Youth in grades K-16.
• Chicago Public School students, though not
necessarily exclusively.
• STEM programming as the primary purpose.
• Meet at least once for at least two hours or meet
for multiple sessions.
• Run between January 1st and December 31st
2011.
What Are “STEM Pathways?”
The collection of STEM experiences a young
person has between Kindergarten and 12th
grade.
Survey Questions
• What content is being offered? Are
programs providing progressive learning
opportunities?
• How many opportunities are available?
Where and when are programs being
offered?
• Who are programs targeting? What are the
eligibility requirements? How do students
get to programs?
• How sustainable are programs?
Data Sources
• Survey: 314 programs from 111
organizations
• Existing Data: 1,718 programs
• Total : 2,032 programs
36
Program Characteristics
38.0%
28.5%
0.9%
33.7%
7.7%
0.0%
10.0%
20.0%
30.0%
40.0%
50.0%
60.0%
Percent of STEM Programs by
Content Category
26%
5%
69%
Percent of STEM Programs by
Program Type
Academic/Tutoring Events/Outreach
"Structured" STEM
37
77%
7%
10%
4%
1% 1%
Percent of STEM Programs by
Site Type
School-based Park-based
CBO/Other-based Library-based
Museum-based University-based
94.8%
42.7%
0.0%
10.0%
20.0%
30.0%
40.0%
50.0%
60.0%
70.0%
80.0%
90.0%
100.0%
School-year Summer
Percent of STEM Programs by
Time of Year Available
Program Availability
38
56%
44%
Percent of STEM Participants
by Gender
Female Male
46.4%
57.8%
32.6%
6.1%
0.0%
10.0%
20.0%
30.0%
40.0%
50.0%
60.0%
70.0%
Percent of STEM Programs by
Grade Level Served
Participant Characteristics
39
42%
0%
3%
9%
44%
1% 1%
Percent of 2011-2012 CPS
Students by Race Ethnicity
African American American Indian
Asian American White
Latino Multi-racial
Other race/ethnicity
44%
1%
4%
21%
28%
2% 0%
Percent of STEM Participants
by Race/Ethnicity
African American American Indian
Asian American White
Latino Multi-racial
Other race/ethnicity
Race/Ethnicity
40
Where Programs Are Available
41
Where & When
42
Structured Content: Goals & Activities
0.0%
20.0%
40.0%
60.0%
80.0%
100.0%
Science (111) Tech (25) Engineering (12) Math (73) 3 or more (131)
Demonstration (79.1%) Field trip (87.3%) Lecture (65.8%)
Group project (91.3%) Other hands on (93.5%) Competition (34.5%)
Fieldwork (20.0%) Labwork (54.2%) Individual project (41.8%)
0.0%
20.0%
40.0%
60.0%
80.0%
100.0%
Science (111) Tech (25) Engineering (12) Math (73) 3 or more (131)
Exposure (88.4%) Skills (60.4%) Knowledge (84.0%)
Interest (58.9%) Mentor (36.4%) Career (63.3%)
43
Program Age by Type of Funder
44
55.6%
87.0%
50.0%
11.1%
53.1%
73.3%
86.7%
53.3%
40.0%
56.7%
61.8%
96.1%
85.5%
82.9%
85.5%
0.0%
10.0%
20.0%
30.0%
40.0%
50.0%
60.0%
70.0%
80.0%
90.0%
100.0%
Government (60.4%) Foundation (89.8%) Corporate Foundation
(61.5%)
Corporate Sponsorship
(36.4%)
General Operations
(63.6%)
One-five years (162) Six-ten years (30) 10 or more years (76)
Findings & Observations
• Program providers are highly engaged but
unorganized.
• Data is hard to access and sometimes
doesn’t exist.
• Networks of like-minded agencies already
exist.
Convening: December 2012
Now that we have some data…
• How should we organize ourselves?
• What skills matter for young people to
develop across their STEM program
experiences?
• What will the mechanisms be for involving
underrepresented and disenfranchised
students?
• What measures matter?
• How do we ensure programs are high
quality and accessible?
STEM Pathways Vision:
Chicago as a Ecosystem
An ecosystem of opportunities accessed
easily by a “self-guided” student or a
“guided” experience supported by a
counselor/adult.
Recommendations: Access
• Create a citywide STEM OST clearinghouse
• Reduce barriers:
– multi‐lingual programs
– reduced‐fare public transportation
– increase free & low‐cost programs in public venues
• Invest in networks of parents, teachers and
program providers
• Focus on the most vulnerable students, and
engage the most economically disadvantaged
parents.
Recommendation: Coordination
• Prioritize funding that enables organizations to
collaborate and coordinate services and learning
• Establish mechanisms that ensure structured
communication between Chicago Public Schools central
office, individual schools and STEM OST providers.
Recommendations: Data
• Establish a common language for goals; facilitate
collection of longitudinal data and analysis of youth
participation.
• Use data to set priorities within organizations and
across networks.
• Provide enhanced professional development.
Cooperative Outcomes
Potential of a Cooperative Approach
to STEM for Youth
• Purpose:
From Competitiveness  Access and Equity
• Measure:
From “Testing” Students  “Knowing”
Students
• Metaphor:
From a Pipeline  Pathway
Your Collective Question Moving for
the Future
What do WE mean
when WE say
STEM in service to youth?
Thank you.
www.Lyon-Strategies.com

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Collective Impact through STEM for National Youth Serving Organizations

  • 1. Putting Youth at the Center for Collective Impact through STEM Workshop for the YMCA; Girls Inc; 4H; Big Brothers Big Sisters; and Boys and Girls Clubs Gabrielle H. Lyon, PhD Lyon-Strategies.com Chicago, IL May 28, 2014
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  • 5. About Today • What is happening with your students developmentally and what does this have to do with STEM? • What matters for YOUR students in STEM? • What makes a good STEM program at an organizational level? • What might student-centered STEM programming look like from a collective?
  • 6. What is Happening with Your Students Developmentally?
  • 7. 8-9 Year-Olds • They are working on how to relate to peers and play through elaborately structured games • Want to know the reasons for things; want to develop a sense of accomplishment; • Use language to deepen understanding by talking about what they’re thinking and using evidence to defend what they’re thinking
  • 8. 10-12 Year-Olds • Starting to move away from being little children towards adulthood and the world they want (or will be forced to) join in the near future. • Thinking about the bigger picture and how things – and they – fit in • Relationships can by unsettled for girls and competitive for boys • They need guidance - but also independence • From: Women and Children’s Health Network; http://www.cyh.com/healthtopics/healthtopicdetails.aspx?p=114&np=122&id=18 65#3
  • 9. 13-16 Year-Olds • They are focusing on things they can experience here and now • Arguing skills improve (and are demonstrated often and with great passion) • Reasoning skills improve: – apply concepts to specific examples – use deductive reasoning and make educated guesses – reason through problems even in the absence of concrete events or examples – able to construct hypothetical solutions to a problem and evaluate which is best Introduction to Child Development, 5th ed., West Publishing, 1993 By John P. Dworetzky .
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  • 12. Who Are Minorities in STEM? • Students of color • Middle and low socio-economic status • Students who come from under- resourced schools and communities • Students who struggle academically: (If you can’t read well you don’t get to do STEM) • Students who believe it’s important but “Not for Me”
  • 13. Traditional National STEM Engagement Strategies • Resources, programs focused on academic top 10% • Government funding is “soft” money; primarily ends up at universities and research- based institutions • High-caliber informal experiences target academically elite students, identified interest in science, families who can pay for them.
  • 14. Stuff We Know From Research • High caliber experiences in school are necessary but not sufficient • Interest in science in 8th grade is a better predictor than test scores • Students from underrepresented minority groups face specific obstacles at different points…
  • 15. 3 Most Effective Strategies for Minority Students for Long Term STEM Engagement • overnight and residential or summer programs • one-on-one opportunities • hands on lab experiences  Key element across all successful programs: commitment and effectiveness of program staff. * Investigating the Human Potential, AAAS 1983.
  • 16. Stuff We Know from (Project Exploration’s) Experience • Someone knows their name • The program “never ends” • They learn how to write • They’re in the news – for something good
  • 17. Science Identities? • Shy and are able to come out of their shell in a supportive group that shares their interests • Want more science and can’t get it at school • Discover – to their surprise - that there is a place for them in science – they have talents, skills and passions for something other than science while doing science
  • 18. What Does it Take to Reach Your Students with STEM? • Students at the center • Relationship-based • Interest-driven • Meaningful, high impact science experiences – Sequenced; active; focused; explicit – Authentic Not just about science.
  • 19. STEM Programming at the Organization Level Put Science into the Service of Your Students
  • 20. (Developmental Recap) Youth need to… • know how to focus their attention on their work • keep trying even when they get discouraged or face setbacks • work effectively with other students and adults • be good communicators and problem-solvers Specific skills : – recognizing and managing emotions – developing caring and concern for others – establishing positive relationships – making responsible decisions – handling challenging situations constructively and ethically
  • 21. 1st Question: What is Worth Knowing & Experiencing? • What’s worth young people in your programs knowing and experiencing when it comes to STEM? • What are our youth looking for in STEM experiences? • What activities will best serve students’ needs? • How can we build positive youth development assets through STEM?
  • 22. Experiencing…. • Students voice and choice • Voluntary • Interest-driven learning experiences • High impact programs in science are specifically – Sequenced, active, focused, explicit • Role models • Relationships
  • 23. Knowing… • Science is an approach to the world; science is process as well as content. • Meaningful work matters – best of all when it is based on scientists’ real questions and authentic work. • Intentionality: For many students science is often unfriendly- there is a hidden curriculum which disenfranchises students from science.
  • 24. 5-E Model for a Scientist-Led Session Engagement Exploration Explanation Elaboration Evaluation 24
  • 25. Approaches That Work • Cooperative learning groups • Hands-on experiences • Emphasis on practical applications • Teaching in a social context • Mentors and role models • Internships and career exploration
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  • 28. STEM Programming as a Collective
  • 29. State of STEM in Out-of-SchoolTime in Chicago
  • 31. Without Collaborative Intervention…. • Chicago student achievement in STEM in school will remain sub-par; • African Americans, Latinos and girls will remain significantly underrepresented in STEM in college majors and in careers; • Investment by funders and policy-makers in STEM education efforts will lack systemic impact; • Area companies will not have the local talent pool they need. • Chicago’s young people will fail to experience the wonders of discovery or fully explore the world around them.
  • 32. Impact of STEM in Out of School Time • STEM knowledge and skills • Higher likelihood of graduation and pursuing a STEM career • Problem solving, cooperation, communication skills • Project management, critical thinking
  • 33. Criterion • Out-of-school time (weekends, afternoons and evenings, summer, school holidays). • Youth in grades K-16. • Chicago Public School students, though not necessarily exclusively. • STEM programming as the primary purpose. • Meet at least once for at least two hours or meet for multiple sessions. • Run between January 1st and December 31st 2011.
  • 34. What Are “STEM Pathways?” The collection of STEM experiences a young person has between Kindergarten and 12th grade.
  • 35. Survey Questions • What content is being offered? Are programs providing progressive learning opportunities? • How many opportunities are available? Where and when are programs being offered? • Who are programs targeting? What are the eligibility requirements? How do students get to programs? • How sustainable are programs?
  • 36. Data Sources • Survey: 314 programs from 111 organizations • Existing Data: 1,718 programs • Total : 2,032 programs 36
  • 37. Program Characteristics 38.0% 28.5% 0.9% 33.7% 7.7% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% Percent of STEM Programs by Content Category 26% 5% 69% Percent of STEM Programs by Program Type Academic/Tutoring Events/Outreach "Structured" STEM 37
  • 38. 77% 7% 10% 4% 1% 1% Percent of STEM Programs by Site Type School-based Park-based CBO/Other-based Library-based Museum-based University-based 94.8% 42.7% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% 90.0% 100.0% School-year Summer Percent of STEM Programs by Time of Year Available Program Availability 38
  • 39. 56% 44% Percent of STEM Participants by Gender Female Male 46.4% 57.8% 32.6% 6.1% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% Percent of STEM Programs by Grade Level Served Participant Characteristics 39
  • 40. 42% 0% 3% 9% 44% 1% 1% Percent of 2011-2012 CPS Students by Race Ethnicity African American American Indian Asian American White Latino Multi-racial Other race/ethnicity 44% 1% 4% 21% 28% 2% 0% Percent of STEM Participants by Race/Ethnicity African American American Indian Asian American White Latino Multi-racial Other race/ethnicity Race/Ethnicity 40
  • 41. Where Programs Are Available 41
  • 43. Structured Content: Goals & Activities 0.0% 20.0% 40.0% 60.0% 80.0% 100.0% Science (111) Tech (25) Engineering (12) Math (73) 3 or more (131) Demonstration (79.1%) Field trip (87.3%) Lecture (65.8%) Group project (91.3%) Other hands on (93.5%) Competition (34.5%) Fieldwork (20.0%) Labwork (54.2%) Individual project (41.8%) 0.0% 20.0% 40.0% 60.0% 80.0% 100.0% Science (111) Tech (25) Engineering (12) Math (73) 3 or more (131) Exposure (88.4%) Skills (60.4%) Knowledge (84.0%) Interest (58.9%) Mentor (36.4%) Career (63.3%) 43
  • 44. Program Age by Type of Funder 44 55.6% 87.0% 50.0% 11.1% 53.1% 73.3% 86.7% 53.3% 40.0% 56.7% 61.8% 96.1% 85.5% 82.9% 85.5% 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% 90.0% 100.0% Government (60.4%) Foundation (89.8%) Corporate Foundation (61.5%) Corporate Sponsorship (36.4%) General Operations (63.6%) One-five years (162) Six-ten years (30) 10 or more years (76)
  • 45. Findings & Observations • Program providers are highly engaged but unorganized. • Data is hard to access and sometimes doesn’t exist. • Networks of like-minded agencies already exist.
  • 47. Now that we have some data… • How should we organize ourselves? • What skills matter for young people to develop across their STEM program experiences? • What will the mechanisms be for involving underrepresented and disenfranchised students? • What measures matter? • How do we ensure programs are high quality and accessible?
  • 48. STEM Pathways Vision: Chicago as a Ecosystem An ecosystem of opportunities accessed easily by a “self-guided” student or a “guided” experience supported by a counselor/adult.
  • 49. Recommendations: Access • Create a citywide STEM OST clearinghouse • Reduce barriers: – multi‐lingual programs – reduced‐fare public transportation – increase free & low‐cost programs in public venues • Invest in networks of parents, teachers and program providers • Focus on the most vulnerable students, and engage the most economically disadvantaged parents.
  • 50. Recommendation: Coordination • Prioritize funding that enables organizations to collaborate and coordinate services and learning • Establish mechanisms that ensure structured communication between Chicago Public Schools central office, individual schools and STEM OST providers.
  • 51. Recommendations: Data • Establish a common language for goals; facilitate collection of longitudinal data and analysis of youth participation. • Use data to set priorities within organizations and across networks. • Provide enhanced professional development.
  • 53. Potential of a Cooperative Approach to STEM for Youth • Purpose: From Competitiveness  Access and Equity • Measure: From “Testing” Students  “Knowing” Students • Metaphor: From a Pipeline  Pathway
  • 54. Your Collective Question Moving for the Future What do WE mean when WE say STEM in service to youth?