June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Our country has been struggling to improve teaching in precollege and university classrooms and to reduce disparities in our school systems for many decades. Particularly, there are growing challenges in K-16 education including the lack of student interest, particularly underrepresented minorities, lack of role models, and the shortage of highly qualified teachers. While not all STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) graduate students go into teaching careers, it is important that they learn how to communicate effectively and have meaningful experiences with diverse students since they are our future leaders in education, industry, non-profits and government. Grad Student STEM Share was launched in 2016 to allow graduate students to gain introductory classroom experiences in a guided manner. Graduate students should feel confident that they can contribute to improving education by volunteering in schools and mentoring students, even if they do not pursue academic careers. In addition, effective communication to a general audience is a critical skill of engineers and scientists in any career path. While researchers have great specialized content knowledge, they do not all have experiences that allow them to appreciate or participate in the issues of urban education. The Grad Student STEM Share program facilitated graduate students and postdocs in introducing their research, as well as the concept of graduate studies, into secondary classrooms in the Houston area. Graduate student and postdoc participants from a variety of disciplines, mainly STEM, worked in pairs to create presentations of their current research and educational backgrounds. They also designed demonstrations, experiments, or hands on activities to make their research more approachable to the middle school or high school students. These presentations were practiced before the group during weekly seminars with peers and master teachers. After receiving both written and oral feedback the pairs updated their presentations and took them to classrooms to share with the local students. Grad Student STEM Share program provided several leadership development opportunities with specific and translatable skills including communication, teaching, coordination of meetings and events, follow-up, teamwork, planning, presentation skills, and networking, as well as optional leadership coaching. Detailed feedback from the graduate students and the teachers whose classrooms they visited was positive and will be presented in this paper, as well as details on the pilot year, full implementation, program administration, and future plans.
Obenland, C. A., & Nichol, C. (2019, June), Board 86: Grad Student STEM Share: From Pilot Program to Beyond STEM Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32446
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