July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
The development of a virtual research preparation and professional development program
In response to Covid-19, the Penn State Physics Department and the Center for Nanoscale Science, a National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (NSF-MRSEC), made a rapid pivot of our Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program from an in-person 10-week research experience to a virtual research preparation and professional development program which was designed to prepare science and engineering undergraduate and master’s students for entrance into the workforce or their continuation in a graduate program. The overarching goal of this virtual experience was to develop and refine professional skills that are often not explicitly taught in science and engineering classes. The program had three distinct areas: (1) Career Preparation (Professional Development & Career Exploration), which provided students with tools to “build their brand” and exposed them to the wide range of career paths one can pursue with a science or engineering degree; (2) Scientific Research Skills, which comprised academic seminars, a scientific journal club, and hands-on educational workshops; and (3) Community Impact and Involvement, where students developed a scientific outreach product. Here we describe the structure and content of the program, the deliverables created, and lessons learned from this unique summer experience.
Mathews, T. A., & Drew, K. P., & Dreyer, K. A. (2021, July), The Development of a Virtual Research Preparation and Professional Development Program Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37848
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