Investment in Informal Outreach Programs: A Systematized Literature Review of Informal Pre-College STEM Programs in African-American Communities
This paper is a systematized literature review examining pre-college informal STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education in African American communities and evaluates which outreach method might be best for corporations. To this end, the study focuses on responding to two research questions: 1) Which informal STEM education programs are used in African American communities? 2) Out of these outreach programs, which might be beneficial for corporations to focus on to fully maximize time, money, and other resources? This study’s search results are directed by education, economic, humanities, and social science databases and restricted to peer-reviewed articles. This systematized review is based on 23 peer-reviewed articles published between 1986 and 2015. From the 23 peer-reviewed articles, two topical categories emerged: pre-college minority STEM outreach efforts and pre-college and industry partnerships. These categories capture universal themes of the articles including purpose, result, approach, and nature of work in which various subjects and concepts materialized. By exploring these themes, identification of pre-college informal STEM outreach programs and common outreach methods exercised by industry were identified, and their value to the student and industry stakeholders are examined.