Bhanot, R., Harris, C. J., House, A., & Llorente, C. (2012. March). The range of science instructional materials used in a statewide afterschool program. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Indianapolis, IN.
Increasing attention has been paid to afterschool programs for their potential to deliver science experiences that are rich and engaging for children. We report on our study that examined the science offerings of a publicly funded statewide afterschool program. The program provides afterschool services at schools and in other community settings. We designed and sent a survey to more than 600 afterschool sites serving elementary aged children. Of the 416 sites that responded to the survey, 285 reported that they offered science. The majority of afterschool sites offering science activities reported that they used science enrichment materials, such as science activity books and activity descriptions found on the Internet, as their primary source for science. Sixteen percent reported using school-based science materials, such as inquiry-based science units and textbooks. Twenty-two percent reported using science instructional materials expressly designed for afterschool settings. Follow-up observations at a small number of sites as well as interviews with staff at these sites provide a developing portrait of use of science materials in afterschool programs.