While many classrooms and internship programs are actively trying to incorporate science, technology, engineering and math – also known as STEM – education into the lives of children and young adults, after-school programs that focus on STEM let children explore new ideas without worrying about keeping their grades up.

A new study by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and STEM Next, “Afterschool & STEM: System Building Evaluation 2016,” surveyed and looked at the impact of more than 160 after-school programs providing informal STEM education in 11 states. Nearly 1,600 students in grades 4 through 12 took part in the programs.

“After-school works and can be part of the solution for really helping to have more educational opportunities available for kids, particularly for low income kids and for kids who are in underserved populations,” Gywnn Hughes, senior program officer at Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, said at the STEM Ready America event in Washington, D.C., Wednesday.

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