The Role of Afterschool and Community Science Programs in the Lives of Urban Youth

October 1st, 2005 | RESEARCH

Afterschool and community science programs have become widely recognized as important sanctuaries for science learning for low-income urban youth and as offering them with "missing opportunities." Yet, more needs to be known about how youth, themselves, perceive such opportunities. What motivates youth to seek out such opportunities in the nonschool hours? How do youth describe the doing and talking of science in such programs? Given such descriptions, how do youth perceive the role of these programs in their lives? This paper relies on stories from three youth drawn from a multisited ethnographic study, one site being an afterschool girls-only science program at the elementary level in Canada and the other an Upward Bound Math and Science program in the USA. The paper concludes with a discussion about the ways these programs offered youth a meaningful way to relate to science in concordance with their own lived experiences, resulting in "I will" and "I can " attitudes and a sense of hope for the future within which science becomes a tool for action.


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Team Members

Jrene Rahm, Author, Universite de Montreal
Marie-Paule Martel-Reny, Author, Concordia University
John Moore, Author, University of Northern Colorado


Identifier Type: issn
Identifier: 0036-6803

Publication: School Science & Mathematics
Volume: 105
Number: 6
Page(s): 283

Related URLs

EBSCO Full Text


Access and Inclusion: Low Socioeconomic Status | Women and Girls
Audience: Educators | Teachers | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM | Physics
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Afterschool Programs | Public Programs | Summer and Extended Camps