1. Margaret Baguio
  2. http://www.tsgc.utexas.edu/info/baguio.html
  3. Program Manager
  4. STEM Enhancement in Earth and Space Science (SEES)
  5. http://www.tsgc.utexas.edu/sees-internships/
  6. NASA Texas Space Grant Consortium, University of Texas Austin
  1. Celena Miller
  2. http://www.tsgc.utexas.edu/info/miller.html
  3. Project Manager
  4. STEM Enhancement in Earth and Space Science (SEES)
  5. http://www.tsgc.utexas.edu/sees-internships/
  6. NASA Texas Space Grant Consortium, University of Texas Austin
Public Discussion

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  • Icon for: Celena Miller

    Celena Miller

    Co-Presenter
    Project Manager
    May 10, 2022 | 08:57 a.m.

    This project addresses the national need to increase the number of high school students, particularly under-represented minorities and those from underserved areas that will pursue STEM college degrees. What do you think the value of authentic research is for high school students?

  • Icon for: Barry Fishman

    Barry Fishman

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 10, 2022 | 10:33 a.m.

    SEES is doing such important work! Thank you for this inspiring video. Given the pressing need to expand inclusion in STEM careers, I'd love to hear your thoughts on how the SEES experience might be scaled up to reach more learners. What are the barriers to scale and what solutions might you envision?

    I'm also curious about how you measure either impact or success in the program? Are SEES students already relatively high-performers (a diamond-in-the-rough approach)? Or do you find that SEES can take students who have under-performed in secondary school and light a fire that leads to greater engagement and learning?

  • Icon for: Celena Miller

    Celena Miller

    Co-Presenter
    Project Manager
    May 10, 2022 | 12:47 p.m.

    Great questions Barry! We were able to scale up to move from 55 students in 2019 to 333 students in 2021 reaching many more students through the virtual avenue.

     For the original on-site SEES program, 50-55 interns are chosen on the basis of their academic records, written application, recommendation letter, and video highlighting their interest in STEM. Each selected intern was placed into a team with a scientist mentor. They completed 60 hours of distance learning activities that must be accomplished prior to the residential internship. The two-week residential internship is where interns must be on-site at The University of Texas Center for Space Research. The internship included daytime research activities, experiential learning activities, evening STEM activities, and field investigation. The residential internship gives students the opportunity to experience college life by living in a dorm, participating in activities, and eating in the cafeteria.  Each year, several teachers and graduate students are selected as chaperones for the SEES program and support activities and are with the interns during the time they are on campus. The primary focus of the internship is for the students to learn how to interpret NASA data while working with scientists and engineers in their chosen area of work in the hopes that these students will major in STEM when they go to college.

     A total of 90 hours of instruction prepares the student for the internship.  30 hours of instruction  on NASA earth science content including NASA Eyes, Orbital Mechanics, Space Race, Remote Sensing, My NASA Data, GRACE, ICESat, Cryosphere, Science on a Sphere, EM Spectrum, Chasing Pluto, Kepler, and Astrobiology,  30 hours  for three-levels of Python coding, and an additional 30 hours of subject-matter content to prepare students for their individual projects.

     With the onset of the COVID 19 Virus, the shutdown of many facilities including NASA centers and universities as a response to the COVID 19 restrictions created a dilemma for the future of the 2021 program. Transitioning to a virtual environment created a rare opportunity to expand our reach to many more exceptional U.S. students from around the world. In response, the program was reorganized and reimagined to create a full virtual SEES internship experience for 333 student applicants. The 60 original students from previous years grew to a total of 333 high school sophomores and juniors from 45 US states, 1 territory, and 2 from oversees.

     In previous years, pre-internship activities would begin with 60-90 remote work hours prior to coming to the university with limited mentor contact. Mentors would hold one introductory meeting in a virtual environment, but any interaction with the students aside from that meeting was limited to email questions regarding the remote work.  However, in the 2021 SEES Virtual Internship environment, the project mentors worked through a remote classroom with the interns to support and complete the work as a team. The students were able to complete the pre-internship lessons working alongside their mentors to prepare them with the tools they needed to navigate through the virtual internship. This method not only allowed us to expand our reach but was advantageous to both the students and the NASA SME.

     The differentiated Python course was migrated to Basecamp software platform to create an all-in-one toolkit for the interns to working remotely. Mentors and undergraduate volunteers offered their Python expertise to answer questions and verify coding projects. Over 300 students completed the Python certification course, with 79 working through all three levels to complete the advance certification.

    To mimic the on-site lecture discussions, students participated in a Virtual Speaker Series where they were able to interact with subject matter experts in a wide range of topics related to their projects. During the speaker presentations, there was a cumulative total of over 1,100 attendees over the 11 subject matter expert presentations. Students were guided in career and degree discovery as well as their exploration of material that related to their research.

     The internship concluded with student research teams presenting their projects to an audience of UT scientists and engineers, as well as other interns and their guests via a live Zoom webinar and Q&A. Over the course of two days, 82 team projects presented to a live audience. Student projects were prerecorded with students “in the wings” ready to answer the live questions being asked by the audience and their peers. The webinars were a huge success with over 3000 views in the last few months with a duration of three hours.

     The live public event was broadcast as a three-day event on YouTube, 2021 SEES Virtual Showcase, with presentations by selected research teams from each project. The 2021 presentations were broadcast for a national audience and can be viewed here:

     Day 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvbg218UBWY&t=23s

    Day 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHjfsCmgfHY&t=12s

    Day 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXyr3Eo5LgA&t=1s

     In regard to the application process, we had over 800 completed applications in 2021, with 96 teachers judging. Each application is judged by 3 teachers in round one and an additional 3 more for the top 50% in round 2. Through the application process we target underserved and underrepresented students, as well as have judges choose a judge’s choice. This student may not be the highest scoring student but a student that the judge feels would most benefit from the program. Through this method we hope to target student’s that we can “light a fire that leads to greater engagement and learning!” We have found that our judge’s choices have greatest growth through out the internship!

  • Icon for: Andresse St Rose

    Andresse St Rose

    Facilitator
    Director of Educational Research and Evaluation
    May 10, 2022 | 12:24 p.m.

    Authentic learning experiences are so important in all fields, and especially in STEM perhaps to bring the work to life, so kudos on this work! I am a STEM evaluator and researcher and I am familiar with similar kinds of programs and was wondering how do you currently recruit students? What is the range of high schools represented among your applicants and your interns?

  • Icon for: Celena Miller

    Celena Miller

    Co-Presenter
    Project Manager
    May 10, 2022 | 12:46 p.m.

    Thanks for asking Andresse!

    We recruit through State Space Grants, minority organizations, regional centers, NASA network, and our former SEES students. Our SEES Alumni are some of the best recruiters for the program. We have a range of interns (current sophomores and juniors) from Title 1, Rural, IB, Homeschool, Private, and public schools located in 45 US states, 1 territory, and US citizens living abroad from 6 different countries.

  • Icon for: Paige Evans

    Paige Evans

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 10, 2022 | 04:39 p.m.

    Wow - what an amazing program!  Thank you for sharing this.  

  • Icon for: Celena Miller

    Celena Miller

    Co-Presenter
    Project Manager
    May 11, 2022 | 10:12 a.m.

    Thank you Paige!

  • May 10, 2022 | 05:07 p.m.

    This program looks incredible! My team's work tackles a similar concept related to the power of authentic research. While your work involves a summer internship and engagement with professionals in the field, our Brainwaves project aims to bring authentic research to the high school science classroom as an elective course and includes university researchers who come to the classroom as mentors. In our program, students use portable EEG devices to do their own research. 

    I'm curious how our projects could be "combined" in a sense to bring authentic research to the classroom, integrating into an elective course or curriculum for a required course, while also allowing for student choice, such as the variety of programs your students were able to be involved in, and experiences in the field. How can we bring your work and the innovation and real-world experiences students received into the classroom during the school year to help increase accessibility for students interested in STEM?

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Janet Coffey
  • Icon for: Celena Miller

    Celena Miller

    Co-Presenter
    Project Manager
    May 11, 2022 | 10:11 a.m.

    We love this idea with you. Please feel free to email us to explore this further: baguio@csr.utexas.edu, cmiller@csr.utexas.edu

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Janet Coffey
  • Icon for: Paul Adams

    Paul Adams

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 11, 2022 | 05:12 p.m.

    Fantastic program. 

  • Icon for: Margaret Baguio

    Margaret Baguio

    Lead Presenter
    Program Manager
    May 12, 2022 | 10:09 a.m.

    Thank you so much for your kind remarks!  We are honored to work with these amazing young people.

  • Icon for: Kim Holloway

    Kim Holloway

    May 12, 2022 | 11:19 a.m.

    Inspiring to hear from all these young budding scientists, engineers, and more. 

  • Icon for: Celena Miller

    Celena Miller

    Co-Presenter
    Project Manager
    May 12, 2022 | 11:27 a.m.

    Thank you Kim! We are so proud to be working with these future STEM leaders!

  • Icon for: Efe Frank

    Efe Frank

    Graduate Student
    May 12, 2022 | 08:41 p.m.

    Great job

  • Icon for: Janet Coffey

    Janet Coffey

    Facilitator
    Program Director, Science Learning
    May 13, 2022 | 02:47 a.m.

    Super cool effort!  Thank you for sharing. I have a follow-up question to the one about how to scale these sorts of programs so that more students can experience authentic research experiences. COVID seems to have presented a natural experiment for you. The virtual experience you describe seems different in some ways, but also quite compelling.  Do you have data on the differential impacts of the virtual experience on the participating youth, their sense of community with their cohort, and what they go on to do?  Perhaps better understanding the affordances and tradeoffs of virtual and hybrid experiences can help us design pathways for more youth participation.  (And, out of curiosity, do other federal agencies have similar programs?) 

  • Icon for: Margaret Baguio

    Margaret Baguio

    Lead Presenter
    Program Manager
    May 13, 2022 | 11:05 a.m.

    Our external evaluator has conducted the evaluation of the program while onsite and also virtual internships.  The common thread among students is that many wished to be onsite to interact with like-minded students and have a university experience.  Those working in the virtual environment also excelled in their research.  One former intern was just published in The Smithsonian Magazine with research.  Both onsite and virtual have strengths and weaknesses.  It is more difficult to "bond" with teams virtually but the research is outstanding.  Being onsite allows students to meet and learn about a broad range for projects and careers.  We are continuing this year with a hybrid experience.  We do see similar opportunities offered, mostly by universities.

  • Icon for: Janet Coffey

    Janet Coffey

    Facilitator
    Program Director, Science Learning
    May 13, 2022 | 02:50 a.m.

    Also, I'll keep my eyes out for partnership possibilities that arise from this work connecting with the Brainwaves project (per Cathryn Tuttle's post above).  It's an intriguing idea - how to bring these authentic experiences to where youth are, as well as bringing youth (either in person or virtually) to these exciting sites.  

  • Icon for: Margaret Baguio

    Margaret Baguio

    Lead Presenter
    Program Manager
    May 13, 2022 | 11:29 a.m.

    NASA Langley does have a program, My NASA Data, where teachers can use datasets and research to have their students conduct authentic research in the classroom.  The combination of these two aspects builds opportunities for students.  Challenges include having teachers realize the benefit and utilize the information as well as advertising to students, particularly those in Title 1 and inner-city schools, for participation in programs such as SEES.

  • Icon for: Janet Coffey

    Janet Coffey

    Facilitator
    Program Director, Science Learning
    May 15, 2022 | 02:13 p.m.

    Thank you for the responses. I appreciate the nuanced insights on the tradeoffs and affordances of the in-person and virtual models.  This is such an important area of work.  

  • Icon for: Margaret Baguio

    Margaret Baguio

    Lead Presenter
    Program Manager
    May 15, 2022 | 02:29 p.m.

    Thank you so much. These are amazing students with bright futures. 

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