- Year 2016
- NSF Noyce Award # 1540591
- First Name Rebekka
- Last Name Gougis
- Discipline Biology
William Hunter, Illinois State University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Tony Lorsbach, Illinois State University, email@example.com
Kara Baldwin, Illinois State University, firstname.lastname@example.org
; Frackson Mumba, University of Virginia, email@example.com
Under-representation of some groups (i.e., women, Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, Pacific-Islanders) is a persistent problem across most STEM disciplines. This trend has the potential to undermine STEM productivity because science relies on diverse perspectives to innovate and solve societal problems.
Most children in the US younger than age 1 are minorities (US Census Bureau, 2012). As these majority- minority children age, they will become STEM students and eventually form the pool of potential scientists and engineers. If they are not supported in reaching their full potential in STEM fields, science jobs will be outsourced at a higher rate, having national economic consequences. In fact, this is already a problem; despite the recently repressed job market, STEM job opportunities outnumber applicants almost two to one (Change the Equation, 2014). Furthermore, STEM disciplines must be responsive to our nation’s changing demographics, which is challenging if STEM practitioners continue to come from a
mainstream, privileged culture that is not attuned to societal problems affecting the less privileged portions of our citizenry. While science itself suffers if under-representation persists, STEM students are also negatively affected by under-representation in STEM teaching professions. When students-of-color are taught by mostly White teachers, they are more likely to receive the implicit message that STEM is not for them due to lack of role models (Covarrubias & Fryberg, 2015), to encounter racial micro- aggressions (Kohli & Solórzano, 2012), to have low expectations set for them by their teachers (Little, 2010), and to internalize those low expectations (Little, 2010). All of these factors lead to fewer opportunities and lower achievement among students-of-color in STEM fields. Thus, it is critically important that students-of-color be recruited into STEM teaching professions and disciplines.
Goals and Objectives:
** Increase the number of students from under-represented groups seeking a secondary teaching credential in a STEM discipline. In the past 5 years, there have been only 3 students-of-color to graduate from STEM teacher education programs at ISU (1 Latino/a from Technology and Engineering, 1 Latino/a from Mathematics, and 1 Black graduate from Mathematics).
** Increase the transfer rate of students from Illinois community colleges, and in particular JJC, to ISU to seek a secondary teaching credential in a STEM discipline. Since 2010, the average number of transfers from JJC into a secondary STEM teacher education program at ISU has been 3 students per year.
** Develop Noyce Scholars’ conceptual knowledge in their chosen STEM field so they understand the domain well enough to implement the Next Generation Science Standards.
** Develop Noyce Scholars’ skills in teaching in diverse classrooms that include students from various socio-economic, language, and ethnic backgrounds.
** Develop Noyce Scholars’ understanding of the nature of science and scientific practices through participation in the STEM Research Internship.
** Develop Noyce Scholars’ self-efficacy toward STEM teaching through participation in the STEM Teaching Internship.
** Increase interest in attending college and pursuing a STEM career among middle school students who attend our summer STEM camps.
Recruitment for this program will occur at four levels: from ISU freshmen and juniors, from community college sophomores, focusing on JJC, from VVSD high schools’ seniors, and state-wide via webinars. Similarly, JJC’s helps identify Noyce Recruits at JJC. Recruitment will also occur at VVSD’s high schools. High school teachers who are teaching senior courses will refer students to the program, and students will be invited to an informational meeting that PI will hold at both VVSD high schools about the Noyce opportunity. The final recruitment tool will be used to ensure we fill all available Noyce participant positions. PIs have develop a series of recruitment webinars that will be advertised across community colleges state-wide. These will be a modified version of the face-to-face informational meeting that potential applicants can call into during the webinar or view online after the webinar has taken place. Webinars will be advertised through Facebook and Twitter, major newspapers in Chicago and St. Louis, and community colleges state-wide.
STEM Summer Camp
: In order to gain teaching experience prior to student-teaching, Noyce Recruits will co-teach a two-week- long STEM camp during one summer to VVSD students who are entering grades 6-8. Camps will be held at one of VVSD’s Romeoville High School. PI will facilitate organization of and assist in teaching the camp with the VVSD teacher and JJC staff. The camp will utilize the high school’s computer lab, science lab, and school garden to teach website creation, video game design, computer programming, ecology, and app design.
Community members from universities and
local STEM facilities (e.g., Argonne National Laboratory) will be invited to speak about their careers. The week prior to the camp, Recruits will be trained by JJC staff, VVSD teachers, and PIs on how to teach the material using appropriate science teaching methods. The camp will enable middle- school students to develop a positive relationship with a high school STEM teacher and an ISU professor before they enter high school and college. The summer STEM camp will occur during the first three years of the granting period, enrolling 60 6-8th graders each year.
This project will result in a grow-your-own model, reaching under-served students by exposing them to STEM via summer camps, recruitment into STEM teaching, and preparation toward becoming highly qualified STEM teachers in high-needs schools. During the five years of this funding alone, our STEM summer camps will expose 180 middle school students from VVSD to STEM disciplines. This program will broaden the applicability of ISU’s model of teacher preparation for high-needs schools to nonurban settings, and therefore will inform structuring of teacher preparation programs at other institutions that prepare teachers for often-overlooked high-needs settings.
The broader impacts of this program are that it will make available 40 scholarships to new STEM teachers from an underrepresented group who will seek employment in VVSD or other high-need schools. Within 5 years post-graduation about 25,000 students in high-needs schools will be impacted by high quality STEM instruction that is offered by a teacher who belongs to a group that is currently underrepresented in STEM teaching professions. This program will expand ISU’s efforts to recruit underrepresented groups to STEM teaching by establishing a recruitment pipeline from VVSD and JJC to ISU. This partnership will result in a grow-your-own model, reaching under-served students by exposing
them to STEM via summer camps, recruitment into STEM teaching, and preparation toward becoming highly qualified STEM teachers in high-needs schools. During the five years of this funding alone, our STEM summer camps will expose 180 middle school students from VVSD to STEM disciplines. This program will broaden the applicability of ISU’s model of teacher preparation for high-needs schools to nonurban settings, and therefore will inform structuring of teacher preparation programs at other institutions that prepare teachers for often-overlooked high-needs settings.
We plan to share results of this Noyce Scholarship program with the mathematics and science education research communities through presentations at professional conferences (National Association for Research in Science Teaching, National Council for Teachers of Mathematics) and peer-reviewed publications (Journal of Science Teacher Education, Science Education). We also plan to share findings with the Noyce community in regional and national Noyce conferences, if they continue to be supported. There will also be a project website through which we will share materials from developed courses and a biannual newsletter.