Resources to Support Dimensions of Success

The Dimensions of Success observation tool, or DoS, pinpoints twelve indicators of STEM program quality in out-of-school time. It was developed and studied with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) by the Program in Education, Afterschool and Resiliency (PEAR), along with partners at Educational Testing Service (ETS) and Project Liftoff. The DoS tool includes an explanation of each dimension and its key indicators, as well as a 4-level rubric with descriptions of increasing quality.

DoS was designed to be a self-assessment observation tool for STEM staff and directors at afterschool sites and/or an evaluation tool for external observers, funders, or state-level network personnel. DoS ratings are entered into an online database and trends can be analyzed over time, by curricula, by region, state, etc. To use DoS, you must be trained and certified. The DoS Program Planning Tool is an accompanying tool that helps practitioners design and prepare for quality STEM activities along the twelve dimensions. For more information about DoS, the planning tool, or trainings, please visit http://www.pearweb.org/tools/dos.html.

In an effort to improve the quality of STEM programming in the out-of-school time, Click2Science has introduced the 20 Skills that Make STEM Click. We believe those 20 skills are necessary to effectively implement STEM in the out-of-school time and they are well-aligned for use with PEAR’s DoS observation tool.  Below, you will find a brief description of the 12 DoS dimensions, paired with recommended Click2Science skills that can help support improved quality for each dimension.  We encourage the use of the DoS observation tool and Click2Science resources in tandem to more purposefully target your professional development efforts aimed at improving quality STEM programming in the out-of-school time.

Features of the Learning Environment

Organization

The Organization dimension measures the degree to which the facilitator delivers STEM activities in a way that reflects appropriate planning and preparation.

This dimension is well-aligned with and/or supported by the following Click2Science skills:

Materials

The Materials dimension focuses on the extent to which the activities use materials that are appropriate for the particular youth at a site, aligned with the intended STEM goals, and appealing to youth.

This dimension is well-aligned with and/or supported by the following Click2Science skills:

Space Utilization

The Space Utilization dimension focuses on the extent to which the learning environment supports informal, student-centered STEM experiences.

This dimension is well-aligned with and/or supported by the following Click2Science skills:

Activity Engagement

Participation

The Participation dimension captures the extent to which all youth are given access to and encouraged to join the STEM experiences.

This dimension is well-aligned with and/or supported by the following Click2Science skills:

Purposeful Activities

The Purposeful Activities dimension focuses on the extent to which activities are structured so that they support and guide youth towards a STEM learning goal.

This dimension is well-aligned with and/or supported by the following Click2Science skills:

Engagement with STEM

The Engagement with STEM dimension captures the extent to which youth engage in hands-on exploration that allows them to actively construct their understanding of STEM concepts.

This dimension is well-aligned with and/or supported by the following Click2Science skills

STEM Knowledge & Practices

STEM Content Learning

The STEM Content Learning dimension focuses on the extent to which youth are supported to build understanding of STEM concepts beyond memorization and to make connections among ideas.

This dimension is well-aligned with and/or supported by the following Click2Science skills:

Inquiry

The Inquiry dimension focuses on the extent to which activities provide opportunities for youth to use STEM practices in authentic, yet age-appropriate, ways. 

This dimension is well-aligned with and/or supported by the following Click2Science skills:

Reflection

The Reflection dimension captures the extent to which activities provide youth with opportunities to make sense of what they have discovered and learned through the activities they complete.

This dimension is well-aligned with and/or supported by the following Click2Science skills:

Youth Development in STEM

Relationships

The Relationships dimension captures the extent to which the facilitator creates a positive learning environment that encourages, supports, and engages youth in STEM.

This dimension is well-aligned with and/or supported by the following Click2Science skills:

Relevance

The Relevance dimension focuses on the extent to which the facilitator makes connections between the STEM activities and youths’ everyday experiences or broader context.

This dimension is well-aligned with and/or supported by the following Click2Science skills:

Youth Voice

The Youth Voice dimension captures the extent to which STEM activities encourage youth to voice their ideas, concerns, and opinions and to make important and meaningful decisions about their learning experience.

This dimension is well-aligned with and/or supported by the following Click2Science skills: