Understanding the conditions informing successful STEM clubs: what does the evidence base tell us?

Davis, Kate and Fitzgerald, Angela and Power, Margaret and Leach, Tania ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5445-9237 and Martin, Neil ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8843-9290 and Piper, Stephanie and Singh, Rena and Dunlop, Shelley (2021) Understanding the conditions informing successful STEM clubs: what does the evidence base tell us? Studies in Science Education. ISSN 0305-7267


STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) clubs are gaining momentum as a means for engaging students in STEM- related activities. Despite this growth, there have been limited attempts to examine the conditions that inform practice in these informal educational spaces. This paper addresses that gap through a comprehensive literature review of empirical and practitioner publications, with a focus on synthesising the approaches that support STEM clubs to be effective learning environments. In total, 33 papers were included in this review. Through a rigorous literature review process, the research team identified a number of key focus areas that support the achievement of learning outcomes and programme sustainability. These focus areas are grouped into three key themes – club management, environment, and program evaluation – that STEM club practitioners should attend to in order to ensure a well-informed approach. Within in each theme a number of sub-dimensions were identified, which provide prac- tical insights and lived examples of how these conditions can be enacted within STEM clubs in ways that speak to quality. The evidence-based findings presented in this paper can be used by practitioners to guide STEM club practice. Further, the paper iden- tifies where research is required to explore contemporary practice in informal education settings.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published online: 19 August 2021. Permanent restricted access to ArticleFirst version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - No Department (1 Jul 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Education (1 Jul 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2021 02:20
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2022 03:51
Uncontrolled Keywords: STEM clubs; informal learning; literature review; evidence-based
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390113 Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160303 Teacher and instructor development
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03057267.2021.1969168
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/43406

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