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Moving STEM Beyond Schools: Students’ Perceptions about an Out-of-School STEM Education Program

Abstract
Recent reports call for reformed education policies in Turkey in accordance with the need to develop students’ knowledge and skills about STEM education and improving STEM workforce in the country. This research implemented an integrated out-of-school STEM education program for 6th grade students who come from disadvantaged areas in a large urban city in Turkey. The study investigated students’ perceptions about the STEM activities implemented in the program. Forty 6th grade students (15 female) studying in public schools participated in the study. The data source used in this study was the activity evaluation forms completed by the students at the end of each activity. The evaluation forms were qualitatively analyzed to identify students’ perceptions on the content and skills gained, the challenges and limitations faced and suggestions for improvement. The results present recommendations on the implementation of integrated out-of-school STEM education programs.
Keywords: STEM education, STEM activities, Out-of-school learning, Education in Turkey


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