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Assessing STEM Quality

In this section you will find tools that were designed specifically for assessing STEM programming in out-of-school time programs.

4-H Experimental Learning Check-Off List

Assess the quality of an experimental activity with the 4-H Experimental Learning Check-Off List. 


4-H SET Checklist

"SET Ready" is a 4-H program based on Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) standards which integrate essential elements necessary to engage students in experimental and inquiry-based learning. Use this check list to self-assess your program.

Access the 4-H SET Checklist here

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Core Practices for Ambitious Science Teaching

This site provides tools for successful science teaching for the middle and high school levels. Known as "Ambitious Science Teaching Methods," they encourage students of different races, ethnicities, and class backgrounds to activily engage in science learning. They have created a Science Learning Framework which is split into 4 core instructional strategies: selecting big ideas, eliciting student's hypothesis, making sense of activity and pressing for evidence-based information. Based on extensive research, the Science Learning Framework is known to enhance science teaching quality. 

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4-H Science Ready Checklist

4-H, the national program that focouses on science education through positive youth development, has created a checklist to help out-of-school time (OST) educators implement STEM. This checklist is a great resource for OST professionals to utilize to ensure their lessons are "science ready".

Click here to get more information about 4-H's checklist

Youth Program Quality Assessment (YPQA) Tool

The David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality has created a school age (K-6th grades) assessment tool to help out-of-school time programs assess the quality of their learning enviroments and identify staff professional development needs. Along with the school age assessment tool, the Center has also created several extensions, including: a STEM, Arts, and Academic Climates assessment tools to help improve program quality.

Access the tools on the YPQA website here

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You For Youth! (Y4Y)

You for Youth (y4y) was created by 21st Century Community Learning Centers.  The site will help out-of-school time (OST) practitioners connect and share resources with colleagues, provide professional development and technical assistance opportunities, and offer tools for improving your program practices.

Visit the Y4Y Website

Access the Y4Y STEM Tools

STEM Program Quality Assessment (PQA)

The Youth Program Quality Assessment (PQA), School-Age Program Quality Assessment and several extensions (STEM, Arts, Academic Climate, Health and Wellness) were designed to assess the quality of learning environments and to identify staff training needs. These are the field-leading quality assessments for out-of-school time organizations, in part because you and many others have found them useful. In the past, these instruments have only been available – at cost – from the Weikart Center at the Forum for Youth Investment.