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STEM Learning in Informal Settings

Informal youth organizations in STEM such as science and engineering clubs at schools or community centers have been shown to be productive spaces for traditionally marginalized youth to improve science content expertise as well as to develop more positive relationships within the domains of science and engineering. One of the reasons why such spaces are more empowering for youth is due to their increased flexibility, providing youth with greater opportunities to have more say (or agency) in the science and engineering projects they want to do than they have in formal settings. Beyond the freedom from mandated standards that often constrain classroom learning environments, informal youth organizations have the potential to authentically position youth members themselves as decision makers who drive the agenda of these ...

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