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ERIC Number: ED546854
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Computing and Engineering in Afterschool. Afterschool Alert. Issue Brief No. 62
Afterschool Alliance
This Afterschool Alert Issue Brief explores how afterschool programs are offering innovative, hands-on computing and engineering education opportunities. Both these subjects have emerged as priority areas within the "STEM" fields. Computing is one of the fastest growing industries, and yet current rates of college graduation in computer science do not keep pace with the projected number of job openings over the next ten years. Many high-profile efforts have been launched to raise awareness of this issue and get students interested in computing. Engineering faces similar challenges. Despite the availability of well-paying jobs, few students graduate with a degree in engineering. There is also an equity issue, with few women and students of color majoring in these fields. Similar to computing, students and teachers are unsure of to what exactly engineering is. Both subjects are often viewed as advanced topics and relegated to the realm of post-secondary education. While it is known that students need the academic background and skills necessary to be ready for college-level STEM courses, student interest is key to pursuing and persisting in further STEM opportunities and this has to start well before students enter college. While there is much work to be done to integrating computing classes in schools and connecting those experiences to higher education and the workforce, afterschool programs offer an immediate opportunity to engage young people in computing. Through several examples, this issue brief demonstrates how computing and engineering afterschool programs are reaching diverse audiences, bolstering interest, and connecting these experiences to careers. In fact, the winner of Afterschool Alliance's 2013 Afterschool STEM Impact Awards--Project GUTS in Santa Fe, New Mexico--is a computing program that teaches middle school students how to model and program simulations of real-world scenarios. This brief features Project GUTS and other exemplary afterschool programs that are offering rigorous computing and engineering educational experiences for elementary, middle, and high school students. This is the second in a series of issue briefs based on Afterschool Alliance's Afterschool STEM Impact Awards. [For the first brief in this series, see ED546853.]
Afterschool Alliance. 1616 H Street NW Suite 820, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-347-1002; Fax: 202-347-2092; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Middle Schools; Secondary Education; Junior High Schools; High Schools; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Noyce Foundation
Authoring Institution: Afterschool Alliance