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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Abstract

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
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9-Mar-2022

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