High School Students' Perspectives of Participating in a STEM-Related Extracurricular Programme

Peter Mtika* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


This article reports on secondary school students’ perspectives of participating in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related extracurricular activities in six secondary schools in Scotland. The extracurricular activities aimed at supporting students in developing knowledge of STEM subjects and confidence in their preparation for high school examinations, post-secondary schooling, and the world of work. The study used a mixed-methods design. This entailed collecting data using qualitative semi-structured interviews, focus group discussion and a quantitative questionnaire. Findings indicate that students viewed extracurricular activities positively. They felt that the activities they participated in made a difference in their overall development. STEM related extracurricular activities provided students with relevant subject knowledge, wider learning opportunities and confidence in their own abilities, thereby contributing toward academic and social development. Students also reported increased knowledge of post-schooling opportunities. The activities resonated with the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence (CfE), thereby complemented formal learning.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100
Number of pages9
JournalFrontiers In Education
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2019

Bibliographical note

This research was part of an independent evaluation of a project funded by the Academy for Educational Development (AED), now incorporated as part of FHI 360. Fran Payne and I carried out the work on which this paper is based. Fran retired before the completion of the project and is sadly deceased. I extend my gratitude to her for the mentorship.


  • curriculum for excellence, extracurricular activities, high school, mixed methods, private-public collaboration, STEM subjects
  • extracurricular activities
  • high school
  • mixed methods
  • private-public collaboration
  • STEM Subjects


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