Youth into science strategy tracking studies report: final
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The DST's Youth into Science Division has identified a number of projects under the auspices of the Youth into Science Strategy (2004-2009) to enhance participation and performance of school-going youth and under-graduates in Science, Technology,
Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The outcomes of the Strategy, is thus, to improve science and technology literacy and recruit more school-going youth and under-graduates to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The YiSS strategy is underpinned by several interventions projects that target both the learners and educators viz. (a) DST/Thuthuka Mathematics and Science Development Camps. (b) National Science Week. (c) Network of Science Centres. (d) Educator Support Program workshops and (e) Camps, Competitions and Olympiads for the educators. The DST has commissioned the HSRC to set up a tracking and monitoring system to determine the impact of the intervention programmes. The HSRC set up tracking systems
for the two programmes which intervened at the level of the learner (DST Camps Programme and NSW Programme). In the DST Camps Programme we collected information about the programme from 2005 to 2008 and from individuals we collected
baseline information from the 2007 cohort. This cohort was tracked and information was collected in 2008 and 2009. We analysed the 2005 cohort participants and collected further information about them in 2008. For the National Science Week programme we
collected information about the programme from 2005 to 2008 and from individuals we collected baseline information from the NSW 2007 cohort. This cohort was tracked and information was collected in 2008 and 2009. The DST has not started the Network of
Science Centres programme. Two programmes intervened at the level of the educator (Educator Support Program; and Competitions and Olympiads for Educators). While these programmes were scheduled to take place for the five years, we found that these programmes did not take place in any systemic way. The programmes were affected by the Public Servants strike in 2007; it was not clear who was responsible for the delivery of the programmes, these were not held and in cases where the same teachers were to attend in subsequent year, this did not happen. We will report on data we received for 2008.