Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 116–137 | Cite as

Urban High School Students’ IT/STEM Learning: Findings from a Collaborative Inquiry- and Design-Based Afterschool Program

  • Mesut Duran
  • Margret Höft
  • Dan B. Lawson
  • Brahim Medjahed
  • Elsayed A. Orady


This exploratory study examines the impact of a collaborative inquiry- and design-based afterschool program on urban high school students’ IT/STEM learning—using information technology (IT) within the context of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The study used a mixed methods design, involving 77 participants within two cohort groups, each participating in an eighteen-month intervention period. Data were collected from the pre- and post-surveys, analysis of the participants’ IT/STEM projects, external evaluation reports, and follow-up interviews. Findings indicate that the program had a significant impact on students’ technology and IT/STEM skills, frequency of technology use, and understanding of IT use in STEM-oriented fields. Some degree of impact on attitude changes toward IT/STEM and career aspirations in these fields was also in evidence. The study demonstrates that IT/STEM experiences supported through technology-enhanced, inquiry- and design-based collaborative learning strategies have significant impact on urban high school students’ IT/STEM learning. Effect of afterschool programs on attitude changes and IT/STEM-related career aspirations of urban high school students are recommended areas of further investigation.


STEM IT Inquiry- and design-based learning Urban education High school education Afterschool programs 



The study reported in this article is based on a project being funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program (Project Award #: 0737326).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mesut Duran
    • 1
  • Margret Höft
    • 2
  • Dan B. Lawson
    • 3
  • Brahim Medjahed
    • 4
  • Elsayed A. Orady
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Education, Fairlane CenterUniversity of Michigan-DearbornDearbornUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics, College of Arts, Sciences, and LettersUniversity of Michigan-DearbornDearbornUSA
  3. 3.Natural Sciences Department, College of Arts, Sciences, and LettersUniversity of Michigan-DearbornDearbornUSA
  4. 4.Department of Computer and Information Science, College of Engineering and Computer ScienceUniversity of Michigan-DearbornDearbornUSA
  5. 5.Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer ScienceUniversity of Michigan-DearbornDearbornUSA

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