STEM Ready America is a collection of articles from 40 authors presenting bold and persuasive evidence—as well as real-world examples of effective practices, programs, and partnerships—on how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) knowledge and skills are preparing young people to be successful in school today and the workforce tomorrow.


Tomorrow’s coders, economists, nurses, and engineers are right now learning essential skills including critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving and teamwork. From Executive Editor Ron Ottinger of STEM Next, this essential compendium portrays the state of the field of STEM learning—especially in the time and space beyond school. Afterschool and summer learning programs—with their flexible learning environments—are ideally positioned to both prepare and inspire young people.

Individually each article here tells a powerful story of how afterschool STEM programs work in a unique context. From Oregon to Nebraska to New York City, the authors share the research, partnerships and practices behind their work and offer recommendations for policies and resources. Together the articles form a compendium to be published in book form in June 2017. Leaders and advocates who care about youth, STEM and afterschool are encouraged to use these articles to help make the case for more quality programs and support systems.

Developed by STEM Next with funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, STEM Ready America builds on the award-winning 2013 publication Expanding Minds and Opportunities: Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success edited by Terry K. Peterson, Ph.D., which made the definitive case for the power and effectiveness of afterschool programs and summer learning.

The Evidence for STEM

The purpose of this set of articles is to establish the solid research base for documenting the accomplishments of STEM in afterschool and summer programs. Collectively they introduce the nature of the research, the kinds of outcomes that we have come to expect from afterschool and summer programs, and policy implications of the major findings. Read More

Strengthening Partnerships

This section highlights state efforts to build systems of partnerships to expand and improve STEM afterschool and summer learning. Articles show both commonalities and differences in state level strategies and resources. The articles describe partnership efforts in Oregon, Indiana, Nebraska, New York State, and across cites. Read More

Ensuring Equity and Access to Quality STEM

This set of articles highlight organizations and partnerships that have developed innovative, scalable approaches to expanding access to STEM learning. Afterschool and summer programs have the potential to level the playing field by preventing summer learning loss and supporting students’ engagement in STEM. Read More

Explore the Research

Dive into the findings of Afterschool & STEM System Building Evaluation 2016, a large-scale research study looking at the impact of afterschool programs on student attitudes. The evaluation was conducted in 11 states and involved more than 1,700 students grades 4-12 and 160 afterschool programs.

Download the Research