Researching Long-Term Impacts of an Out-of-School Time Program
In the 11 years since the inception of the Science Minors and Achievers program, the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI), Chicago, has had plenty of anecdotal evidence that this out-of-school time program has a meaningful impact on its participants. Word of mouth was the strongest driver of recruitment, and teens were open with staff about other aspects of their lives. These and other characteristics suggested a deep connection between teens and the program. As the program grew in popularity and size, the museum wanted to see whether these informal observations survived more rigorous scrutiny and, if so, to look for reasons behind these connections.