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Terrascope Youth Radio: Engaging Urban Teens In A Unique University Community Partnership

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Women in K-12 Engineeering & Outreach Programs

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count

30

Page Numbers

15.1199.1 - 15.1199.30

DOI

10.18260/1-2--16239

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16239

Download Count

34

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Paper Authors

biography

Ari Epstein MIT

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ARI W. EPSTEIN is a lecturer in the MIT Terrascope program, and also in the MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He is the lead developer and instructor of Terrascope Radio and serves as the director of Terrascope Youth Radio. He is particularly interested in team-oriented, project-based learning, and in bridging the gap between learning in formal academic settings and learning in "free-choice" or "informal" settings, such as museums, media and clubs.

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Beverly Mire Cambridge Youth Programs

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BEVERLY MIRE is assistant director for education at Terrascope Youth Radio. She also teaches media literacy and video production for Healthy Malden, Inc., and for the Association for Retarded Citizens of Eastern Middlesex (Mass.). A youth media specialist since 1992, her primary focus is using media as a tool to engage underserved youth in activities that will expose them to college life.

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Trent Ramsey Cambridge Youth Programs

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TRENT RAMSEY is the Director of the Area IV Youth Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Before joining the youth center staff, Trent served as the Executive Director of YouthServe, Inc., a youth-serving nonprofit in Birmingham, Alabama. He has worked in the field of youthwork and youth advocacy for 15 years. He graduated from Birmingham-Southern College with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Sociology.

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Karen Gareis Goodman Research Group

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KAREN C. GAREIS, Ph.D., is a Research Associate at Goodman Research Group, Inc., a research firm specializing in educational program evaluation. She is currently managing evaluations of several NSF-funded programs in the area of STEM education, including Terrascope Youth Radio; It’s About Discovery, an ITEST science curriculum for grades 8-10; and the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program, in which outstanding K–12 STEM teachers are placed in appropriate federal agencies such as NSF for a year. Dr. Gareis received her doctorate and M.A. in Social Psychology from Boston University’s graduate program in Human Development and a B.S. in Psychology from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Emily Davidson MIT

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EMILY DAVIDSON is a senior at MIT, majoring in Chemical Engineering with a double minor in Physics and Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. She has been a mentor to teen interns at Terrascope Youth Radio since the program's inception, and helped to develop the education plan for the program's first summer intensive session.

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Elizabeth Jones MIT

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ELIZABETH JONES is a sophomore at MIT, majoring in Environmental Engineering. She has been a mentor to teen interns in Terrascope Youth Radio since 2009, when she played a major role in developing and carrying out the education plan for that summer's intensive session. She is also involved in "Terravoice," a weekly radio program focusing on environmental and social issues, broadcast weekly on WMBR-FM in Cambridge, Mass.

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Michelle Slosberg MIT

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MICHELLE SLOSBERG is a sophomore at MIT studying Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, with a focus in Environmental Science. She has been working with Terrascope Youth Radio since 2009

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Rafael Bras MIT

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RAFAEL L. BRAS is Distinguished Professor and Dean of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering of the University of California, Irvine. He is a professor in the department of Civil and Environmental engineering and holds a joint appointment with the Department of Earth Systems Science at UCI. For 32 years prior to joining UCI he was a professor in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT. He is past Chair of the MIT Faculty and former head of the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at MIT. Dr. Bras maintains an active international consulting practice. Currently he chairs a panel of experts that supervises the design and construction of a multibillion-dollar project to protect the City of Venice from floods.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Terrascope Youth Radio: Engaging urban teens in a unique university-community partnership

Abstract

Terrascope Youth Radio (TYR) is an NSF-funded program in which undergraduate engineering and science students at MIT mentor local urban teens as the teens produce radio/audio programming on environmental topics. The interaction has been remarkably fruitful, both for the teens and for the undergraduates. The undergraduates play strong roles in shaping the program, developing curriculum, and day-to-day operations, along with their mentoring work. They acquire teaching experience in an intensive but collegial setting, and they have the opportunity to relate their own developing skills and outlook to high-school students who may come from very different backgrounds. The teens relate easily to the MIT students, and through them develop a sense of comfort working regularly in the technically-oriented MIT setting. They also develop strong skills in understanding and reporting scientific/technical stories, and in relating those stories to their own lives.

The program consists of a six-week summer intensive session and an academic-year program that meets twice per week. Some teen interns participate in both components, and some in just one component. Over time, interns who remain in the program develop leadership and teaching skills of their own, as they help to bring more junior interns up to speed. The teens are responsible for all aspects of production, from story development and script writing, through interviewing and sound gathering, to final audio editing. Their work has been featured regularly on Northeast Public Radio, and an hour-long special that they produced (“Fresh Greens: Teens and the Environment”) has been licensed and broadcast by public-radio stations across the country. In addition, TYR teen interns produced an audio tour of green elements in Boston Children’s Museum’s newly-renovated building; the tour is now the museum’s official green tour, available both at the museum (installed in portable audio players) and on the museum’s website.

TYR is a collaboration between MIT and the City of Cambridge Youth Programs, and it operates with some support from the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program. Its development has required close collaboration between two institutions that normally operate in very different ways, with different constituencies and institutional objectives. In this paper we present this collaboration as one example of a university-community partnership that has overcome those obstacles and others, and we describe both the program’s successes and the lessons learned along the way. We also discuss results of an ongoing assessment conducted by independent evaluators, and the role that assessment has played in shaping the program.

Introduction

In this paper we report on a unique university-community partnership, in which urban teens, working under the mentorship of undergraduates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), create and broadcast radio stories on environmental topics. The program, called

Epstein, A., & Mire, B., & Ramsey, T., & Gareis, K., & Davidson, E., & Jones, E., & Slosberg, M., & Bras, R. (2010, June), Terrascope Youth Radio: Engaging Urban Teens In A Unique University Community Partnership Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16239

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