Children’s Experiences and Self-Identification with Science in the Context of an Out-of-School STEM Program

Dagmar M. Heeg, Theila Smith, Lucy Avraamidou*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The goal of this case study was to examine how a group of young children in a historically
marginalized neighborhood in the northern part of the Netherlands perceived their engagement
in an out-of-school, STEM community-based program aiming to enhance young children’s
interest and self-identification with science. We collected data through semi-structured interviews
with eight purposefully selected children and analyzed those through a constant comparative
approach and with the use of open coding strategies. The findings revealed specific aspects of
the design of the program that were perceived as motivating and engaging: the integrated
multidisciplinary approach to exploring scientific concepts and opportunities for active
engagement and personally relevant science experimentation. The findings are offered alongside
a set of recommendations for the design of out-of-school, community-based programs that aim
to support young children’s engagement with science.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberem2091
Number of pages14
JournalEURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 9-Mar-2022

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