The structured after-school space has long demonstrated educational benefits. After-school settings typically provide homework support, helping students build self-confidence. They are safe places for socializing and forming relationships with caring adults. Nevertheless, there is a lack of research on determining what academics youth might learn in after-school settings without the testing rigor of in-school classrooms. When the after-school curriculum encompasses engineering design, the challenge is greater due to the difficulty in assessing intangibles such as design and deep conceptual knowledge. Traditional paper and pencil assessments are difficult to administer amidst the controlled chaos of engineering design and counteractive to the essence of informal learning spaces.
|Local middle school students|