The goal of this case study was to examine how a group of young children in a historically marginalized neighborhood in the northern part of the Netherlands perceived their engagement in an out-of-school, STEM community-based program aiming to enhance young children’s interest and self-identification with science. We collected data through semi-structured interviews with eight purposefully selected children and analyzed those through a constant comparative approach and with the use of open coding strategies. The findings revealed specific aspects of the design of the program that were perceived as motivating and engaging: the integrated multidisciplinary approach to exploring scientific concepts and opportunities for active engagement and personally relevant science experimentation. The findings are offered alongside a set of recommendations for the design of out-of-school, community-based programs that aim to support young children’s engagement with science.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.