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Table 3 Domains, dimensions, and definitions of quality STEM programming for the Dimensions of Success (DoS) observation tool

From: From quality to outcomes: a national study of afterschool STEM programming

DomainDimensionExamples of quality
Features of the Learning Environment (FLE)OrganizationMaterials available, logical sequence, flexibility, smooth transitions
MaterialsAppropriate and appealing
Space utilizationConducive to STEM learning with minimal distractions
Activity Engagement (ActEng)ParticipationStudents doing activities, following directions
Purposeful activitiesStudents understand activity goals and time is used to support learning
Engagement with STEMOpportunities for hands-on activities so students do the cognitive “minds-on” work
STEM Knowledge and Practices (STEMKP)STEM content learningAccuracy of content presented in activities and evidence of student learning
InquiryStudents using inquiry practices of STEM professionals (e.g., scientists, mathematicians, engineers)
ReflectionOpportunities for students to reflect and engage in sense-making about activities
Youth Development in STEM (YDSTEM)RelationshipsDegree of positive, respectful interactions among students and facilitators
RelevanceStudents and facilitators explicitly connect activities to real-world, other subjects, STEM careers, etc.
Youth voiceStudents’ opinions and ideas are heard, and they have opportunities to make decisions