Out-Of-School-Time Experiences and Their Effects on STEM Attitudes, Identity, and Career Interest

Recent research suggests that school-related experiences alone do not explain underrepresentation in STEM fields. This three-year project examines the predictors and consequences of out-of-school-time (OST) activities on the STEM attitudes, identities, and career interests of students from historically underrepresented groups in STEM fields. Through this project our team aims to collect nationally representative data to examine how college students’ childhood OST experiences (e.g., science clubs, internships, STEM job shadowing, museum-going, engineering competitions, summer camps, hobbies, family talk) influence their development.


By relying on input from students and out-of-school-time (OST) stakeholders, the project team seeks to design, test, validate, and distribute a large-scale survey that captures the range of both cultural and educational experiences that shape youth’s STEM career choices.


Principal Investigator: Dr. Philip M. Sadler, Harvard
Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Gerhard Sonnert, Harvard
Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Susan E. Sunbury, Smithsonian Institution
Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Monique Ross, Ohio State University
Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Remy Dou, Florida International University


Financial support for this project comes from the National Science Foundation Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings Award No. 2215050. The findings and ideas presented on this page or elsewhere do not necessarily represent the views of the National Science Foundation.