Our impact is measurable and sustainable.
Pre- and post-program assessments have shown increased student interest in the sciences, improved scores on content knowledge assessments, a sustained desire to pursue a STEM career, and positive family feedback.
Zara joined Full STEAM Forward’s Fall 2020 inaugural class and graduated this past year—after 3 full years with the program.
When Zara joined FSF, she already had an interest in the sciences. Even so, after just one year Zara, like her classmates, developed a much deeper understandings of what science is and how scientists do work. Her ideas shifted from science as a subject for “experiments” to science as a way of “exploring the world, asking questions and wondering.”
Draw a Scientist Assessment
These before and after drawings of a scientist demonstrate how this student has moved beyond stereotypical connections with the word “scientist” and now shows a deeper understanding of the various roles scientists can play in research and education.
At the start of the program the student drew a picture of a scientist wearing a lab coat and working in their science lab. "The scientist is making a potion to cure the hiccups."
At the end of the first year of programming, the same student drew a picture of a scientist, "Working in the rainforest, checking to see if the trees are healthy." Her drawing also showed a group of people in the background cutting down trees while, "Another scientist is educating them about the consequences of deforestation."
Nature of Science Questions
Questions posed to the same child at the start and end of the program reveal a deeper understanding of the nature of science:
Question: What is Science?
Before: “Science is a subject that helps you find out about difficult subjects like how different chemicals mix…”
After: “Science is the study of the natural and physical world explained with projects and experiments.”
Question: Do you think scientists use their imaginations when they do their work?
Before: “I think not because when they study, they research and learn more about those things.”
After : “Yes. Because when you are creative about your designs to your investigations, it helps you to understand more about the subject you’re talking about.”
Concurrent with Zara’s broadened understanding of science came a very positive increase in her confidence and enjoyment of the sciences—a pattern shared by her classmates.
Zara found opportunities for science learning all around her. She took what she learned in our class to teach her mom, brother, and aunts at home. Her passion bloomed and she was excited to share that with those around her
While already an excellent student, Zara shared that Full STEAM Forward helped her answer questions, confidently take science tests, and improved her science grades overall. Many of our girls’ families report similar results. FSF has had a real impact on academic learning.
Over 90% of FSF students believe the program helps them in school.
Our scholars report higher grades and increased participation in science classes.
Zara as a 3rd Grader
Kayla in 5th Grade
Mother of Simone- a 4th Grader
In our second year program, Zara was introduced to the field of astronomy as we read, “Blast off into Space Like Mae Jemison”. Her eyes lit up in these classes - she was eager to learn more about the universe and, by the end of the unit, declared an interest in working for NASA!
After Zara’s final year in Full STEAM Forward, she reflected on her experience and shared, “I do believe that I have changed after being in FSF because my mind got more open and I have gotten more confident in my words.”
Because of their exposure to FSF's multi-faceted program, our graduates see new opportunities for their future and feel ready for it.
95% of students maintained or improve their confidence in their ability to pursue a career in science or STEM.
100% of graduates would like to, or are considering, pursuing STEM classes in high school and college.
Based on findings from a longitudinal study conducted by the Oakland Unified School District, girls enrolled in programs like Full STEAM Forward are more likely to:
Score higher on the CST Algebra II and CST Biology exams
Enroll in AP Calculus and earn a higher average grade
Have a higher rate of graduation
Earn a college STEM degree (twice the national average)
I like that I learned lots about ecosystems and how they develop.
“Thank you all for a wonderful three years of educating and nourishing our young ones minds. I have no doubt that these young ladies will continue on the road to science.”
Mother of 5th grade student