Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
NSF Grantees Poster Session
The objective of this paper is to outline the quick startup procedures involved in establishing a new National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) site, and to detail year-one’s major activities, results, impressions, and lessons learned. The insights gained during year-one, are now being implemented to further improve the site operation and performance for a sustained and broader impact during the upcoming years.
The overarching goal of this site was to enhance the knowledge and skill-level of a diverse cohort of undergraduates with limited access to research opportunities, through empowering, hands-on and interdisciplinary research experiences in both traditional and advanced metrology and non-destructive inspection (NDI) technologies. Metrology, the science of measurement, and (non¬destructive) inspection transcends scales, materials, and disciplines; yet, rarely are its salient aspects emphasized. This site is a first-¬of-¬its-¬kind direct response to a specific concern raised by regional industry partners and technical workforce recruiters about the lack of pragmatic metrology/NDI-related knowledge and skills in their incoming regional workforce. For this, 5 vertically-integrated teams, each comprising of 2 REU students, 1 senior undergraduate and 1 graduate student (from the host institution) and a faculty mentor worked in concert on select research projects over 10 summer-weeks. Each REU student pair was recruited and matched based on complementing skills/interests. This on¬site experience was supplemented with follow-ups for continued interaction, growth, and guidance for pursuing advanced study. The overall impact of this site was to create empowered future researchers and a workforce well-rooted in metrology/NDI, and motivate them to pursue advanced degrees.
The PI’s experience of going through a quick startup and establishment of this site shed light on the strategies and essentials needed for generating a sufficient and diverse applicant pool, quick recruitment procedures, the logistics involved before, during and after the program, and the overall vision needed to provide a fruitful research experience to the visiting undergraduates. Evaluation mechanisms consisted of pre- and post- questionnaires, and the product deliverables. These provided invaluable insight into student impressions of the site performance, their own performance and related aspects of metacognition as well as the effectiveness of vertically-integrated teams, besides a confirmation and/or an invigorated intent to pursue advanced study and a career in STEM fields. Altogether, the experience and lessons learned from year-one has provided invaluable perception for imparting a broader impact through this NSF-REU site.
Kuttolamadom, M., & Liu, M. A., & Wang, J., & Tai, B. L., & Noynaert, S. F., & Sagapuram, D., & Kennedy, M. S. (2018, June), Board 78: Interdisciplinary Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Metrology and Non-Destructive Inspection Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30107
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