A project of the Afterschool Alliance.

The Impact of Afterschool STEM: Explore the Bay

Year Published: 2016

Save The Bay's mission is to protect and improve the Narragansett Bay, and its afterschool program, Explore The Bay, is one of its education initiatives designed to create young environmental stewards. In this selection of evaluation data from the 2013-2014 school year, participants demonstrated gains along three major categories of youth outcomes—interest in STEM, capacity to engage in STEM, and finding value in STEM.

Program Name: Explore the Bay

Program Description: Save The Bay's mission is to protect and improve the Narragansett Bay, and its afterschool program, Explore The Bay, is one of its education initiatives designed to create young environmental stewards. The program offers meaningful hands-on experiences in a wide range of environmental and marine science topics, which educate students on the bay, its role in their community and the threats it is facing.

Scope of the Evaluation: Local

Program Type: Summer

Community Type: Urban, Suburban

Grade level: Elementary School, Middle School

Program Demographics: The program focuses on reaching underserved communities and youth.

Program Website: http://www.savebay.org/

Evaluator: Save The Bay staff

Evaluation Methods: Data is collected by through student pre- and post-program surveys of knowledge and interests as well as staff observations of youth.

Evaluation Type: Non-experimental

Outcomes:
Below is a selection of evaluation data reported by the program around three major categories of youth outcomes—interest in STEM, capacity to productively engage in STEM, and finding value in STEM. These outcomes are an excerpt from a 2016 Afterschool Alliance paper, "The Impact of Afterschool STEM: Examples from the Field."

Interest: I like to do this
  • 80 percent of students who had the opportunity to participate chose to enroll in the Save the Bay programming.
  • After participating, 89 percent of students surveyed reported that they wanted to take better care of their environment and 81 percent of students said that they were really interested in learning about plants and animals.

Capacity: I can do this

  • After weekly inquiry-based marine science activities that often include formulating testable questions, investigating scientific concepts, collecting data and recording observations, students demonstrate the ability to communicate scientifically with their peers.

Value: This is important to me

  • At the conclusion of each session, students may participate in presenting their knowledge to their peers and families in order to educate others about Narragansett Bay’s ecological and economical importance and value.