1. John Ristvey
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-ristvey-aa4a09136/
  3. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
  4. STEM Career Connections: A Model for Preparing Economically-Disadvantaged Rural Youth for the Future Workforce
  5. https://www.colorado.edu/program/schoolwide-labs/nsf-itest
  6. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, University of Colorado Boulder, Utah State University
  1. Srinjita Bhaduri
  2. https://srinjitabhaduri.com/
  3. Institute of Cognitive Science
  4. STEM Career Connections: A Model for Preparing Economically-Disadvantaged Rural Youth for the Future Workforce
  5. https://www.colorado.edu/program/schoolwide-labs/nsf-itest
  6. University of Colorado Boulder
  1. Quentin Biddy
  2. https://www.colorado.edu/ics/quentin-biddy
  3. Assistant Research Professor
  4. STEM Career Connections: A Model for Preparing Economically-Disadvantaged Rural Youth for the Future Workforce
  5. https://www.colorado.edu/program/schoolwide-labs/nsf-itest
  6. University of Colorado Boulder
  1. Jeffrey Bush
  2. Research Scientist
  3. STEM Career Connections: A Model for Preparing Economically-Disadvantaged Rural Youth for the Future Workforce
  4. https://www.colorado.edu/program/schoolwide-labs/nsf-itest
  5. University of Colorado Boulder
  1. Colin Hennessy Elliott
  2. Researcher
  3. STEM Career Connections: A Model for Preparing Economically-Disadvantaged Rural Youth for the Future Workforce
  4. https://www.colorado.edu/program/schoolwide-labs/nsf-itest
  5. Utah State University, University of Colorado Boulder
  1. Mimi Recker
  2. http://mimirecker.usu.edu
  3. Professor
  4. STEM Career Connections: A Model for Preparing Economically-Disadvantaged Rural Youth for the Future Workforce
  5. https://www.colorado.edu/program/schoolwide-labs/nsf-itest
  6. Utah State University
  1. Melissa Rummel
  2. Education Designer
  3. STEM Career Connections: A Model for Preparing Economically-Disadvantaged Rural Youth for the Future Workforce
  4. https://www.colorado.edu/program/schoolwide-labs/nsf-itest
  5. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
  1. Emily Snode-Brenneman
  2. http://scied.ucar.edu
  3. Program Specialist
  4. STEM Career Connections: A Model for Preparing Economically-Disadvantaged Rural Youth for the Future Workforce
  5. https://www.colorado.edu/program/schoolwide-labs/nsf-itest
  6. University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Public Discussion

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  • Icon for: John Ristvey

    John Ristvey

    Lead Presenter
    University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
    May 9, 2022 | 04:10 p.m.

    Welcome to the STEM Career Connections video! We have worked with middle school youth in formal education classrooms, afterschool programs, and a summer camp as shown in this video. Our research team would enjoy discussing the following topics with you throughout the showcase:

    1. What are your thoughts about how the three integrated components shown in the video can work together for youth engagement: technology rich curriculum, integrated career experiences, and community (mentor) partnerships? 
    2. What are your thoughts about what the youth had to say about their experiences?
    3. What successes and challenges have you experienced with one or more of these components in your setting?
    4. How might the three components of the STEMCC model be adapted for different settings?
     
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    Lisa Phelps
  • Icon for: Lisa Phelps

    Lisa Phelps

    Informal Educator
    May 10, 2022 | 09:11 a.m.

    I really enjoyed the video and learning more about your program.I definitely agree that youth need more mentors in their lives so I really see that as a key component of your project. Mentors can make a difference for youth and can help them see themselves in different career possibilities and many of them they probably didn't even know existed.  Well done!

  • Icon for: John Ristvey

    John Ristvey

    Lead Presenter
    University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
    May 10, 2022 | 10:43 a.m.

    Thank you, Lisa for your comments about mentoring. We have found that mentors also derive benefits from interactions with young people. It is best when it is a win-win for the mentor/organization and the youth. I will definitely check out your video!

  • Icon for: Karen Hammerness

    Karen Hammerness

    May 10, 2022 | 12:18 p.m.

    What a lovely video! I really appreciated that you started with the students and their experiences; and this was such a thorough and clear overview of what you are doing. We are working on a very similar inquiry, about the impact of mentored research, but with high school students in an urban environment. It would be really interesting to compare some of the differences of the urban vs. rural setting. I agree with Lisa about the role of mentors; we are finding mentoring playing a key role in students' persistence in STEM over time. I was curious how mentors are prepared for working with youth in the program? Are they prepared specifically to work with youth in a rural setting? Excited to follow your work. 

  • Icon for: Quentin Biddy

    Quentin Biddy

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Research Professor
    May 10, 2022 | 02:41 p.m.

    Karen, thank you for your thoughts. Regarding the differences between rural and urban, the technology focused STEM curriculum, the Sensor Immersion (SI) curriculum has been used in both urban and rural settings and we see that students in both settings find the use of sensors to explore their local environments and phenomenon interesting and engaging. The curriculum empowers youth to answer personally relevant questions so it can support youth from very different backgrounds and demographics. One difference is that our other projects that use the SI curriculum doesn’t have a STEM career or mentoring focus. We have found that having STEM mentors, most of which are local to the community, the students are able to make specific application of the sensor system to problems and questions that are important to the students and their community. 

     

    In regards to preparing the mentors, our student population is largely immigrant families from Mexico and Central America, many who might be the first generation to attend college from their families, so we coach the mentors to talk about their backgrounds and experiences in school, and also to talk about their career path. We also find that our students have a hard time identifying STEM careers, and perhaps don’t see themselves as fitting into the STEM world, so we encourage mentors who didn’t always love math, or who didn’t know what they wanted to do until well after graduation, to share those kinds of experiences as well.

     

    We try to recruit mentors who either work directly with sensors or rely on data that is collected from sensors in their own work. Someone from our team works with each mentor individually to help them figure out how best to tell their story and to select examples of their work that connect to the work students are doing. We provide them with some reading resources about the value of mentoring, using inclusive language and open ended questioning, and general tips for engaging with middle schoolers. We also offered a virtual training that focused on logistics, coaching about connecting to middle schoolers, and served as a meet and greet for the mentors and teachers. Our first mentoring implementation started during COVID when all student-mentor interactions were virtual, so we had to provide some extra supports/training around engaging in a virtual setting. We found that the mentors benefitted from having a more structured agenda to follow in the virtual student meetings, whereas when they are in person their conversations can evolve more organically. 

  • Icon for: Rachel Dickler

    Rachel Dickler

    Researcher
    May 10, 2022 | 01:21 p.m.

    Hi John and team! It is so exciting to learn more about the STEM Career Connections Project! Listening to what the youth had to say about their experiences, it is powerful to hear the impact of the integrated career experiences. Do the same students return to participate in the after school programs/summer camps each year?  

  • Icon for: Quentin Biddy

    Quentin Biddy

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Research Professor
    May 10, 2022 | 02:03 p.m.

    Thanks Rachel, there are opportunities for students to engage with the project through their STEM classes and through a local afterschool club during the school year. In the summer we partner with a summer camp to integrate the STEMCC opportunities. Since it is a small rural community, there are many times when students engage with the project across the various opportunities. One of the things we are looking at is how students and parents engage in these opportunities over time and what pathways are they creating as they participate in multiple opportunities. 

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Rachel Dickler
  • Icon for: patrick honner

    patrick honner

    Facilitator
    Teacher
    May 10, 2022 | 05:02 p.m.

    I’m really impressed with the comprehensive effort to educate students about potential STEM careers as part of this program. Can you talk a little more about what that looks like? I assume the mentors are indirectly demonstrating this for students, but I’m curious as to how the counselors, researchers, and instructors work together toward this goal.

  • Icon for: Melissa Rummel

    Melissa Rummel

    Co-Presenter
    Education Designer
    May 10, 2022 | 06:49 p.m.

    Thanks for checking out our video, Patrick. The mentors were definitely a very visible connection to STEM careers - they were coached to show examples of their work and to share about their career paths, and instructors often prepared the students for their mentor meetings by brainstorming questions to ask about their jobs. In post-interviews when we asked questions about STEM careers in the community, students would almost always make connections to their mentors' work - we see this both with students from the in-school implementation and the summer program. But in addition, we have career connections lessons that are integrated throughout the Sensor Immersion curriculum. One teacher set aside a class period each week to focus on the career connections lessons. We worked with the school district's career and college readiness counselor (you meet him in the video!) to create lessons that integrate tools that counselors are already using with students to identify their strengths and skills (they use a software called Naviance) with a focus on researching STEM careers that utilize those skills, along with time to explore careers of interest. The teachers and counselors have started working together a bit to coordinate using the Naviance tools with students and we have heard that our lessons are allowing students to engage with their results more deeply than they had in the past.

    Other activities focus on helping students identify what STEM careers are. Students learn about the design thinking process as a way to create solutions to problems and connect that STEM careers engage in this process. They also do a card sort activity where they differentiate between STEM jobs and jobs that might use some STEM skills. Another activity has students search for STEM careers in their community and share what they have learned with their peers. 

    As researchers, we provided guidance and support for the creation and implementation of these career materials and have conducted teacher and student interviews to evaluate their success.

    I should add, that we are working with middle schoolers and thinking about careers isn't necessarily top on their list of interests, but we have been thrilled to notice the students getting excited about careers that they didn't know existed before and hope that this excitement carries through to high school and beyond!

     
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    patrick honner
  • Icon for: patrick honner

    patrick honner

    Facilitator
    Teacher
    May 10, 2022 | 07:24 p.m.

    Thanks for all the details! As a teacher I often share my prior work experiences with students, or share stories of others I know, but I wouldn't know how to elevate this beyond the informal and extemporaneous. You've clearly described a thoughtful and thorough approach to building this in to the very fabric of a program. It makes a lot of sense, even (especially?) for middle schoolers!

     
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    John Ristvey
  • Icon for: Melissa Rummel

    Melissa Rummel

    Co-Presenter
    Education Designer
    May 10, 2022 | 07:52 p.m.

    I think they really enjoy talking to people other than just us (their teachers!) so anytime you can get someone to visit your classroom, via Zoom or whatever, it's great. They really liked the freedom to just talk to their mentors and asked a lot of general questions too, like what's your favorite pizza topping. And it was great practice for the students to explain their thinking to their mentors, which is different than presenting to peers. Keep sharing about your work experience, that's so important! 

     
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    patrick honner
  • Icon for: Andrew Jackson

    Andrew Jackson

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 10, 2022 | 05:10 p.m.

    Did any of your students develop an interest in cartography?

  • Icon for: John Ristvey

    John Ristvey

    Lead Presenter
    University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
    May 10, 2022 | 06:25 p.m.

    HI Andrew, 

    Not that I recall, but I will let others on our team chime in.

  • Icon for: Melissa Rummel

    Melissa Rummel

    Co-Presenter
    Education Designer
    May 10, 2022 | 06:54 p.m.

    Hi Andrew, I'm not aware of any budding cartographers as a result of our program, but I am curious about your question! Did our video inspire connections to cartography for you? Please share!

  • Icon for: Andrew Jackson

    Andrew Jackson

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2022 | 05:19 p.m.

    Collecting data is a part of cartography. Cartography uses this skill along with computer technology to make maps.

  • May 10, 2022 | 06:04 p.m.

    This seems like such a neat program! Our group at CIRES Education & Outreach has worked with rural schools on a project but it's often difficult for those schools to find resources to support learning outside of school. Have you encountered any issues related to this for your after school program and if so, how did you handle it?

  • Icon for: John Ristvey

    John Ristvey

    Lead Presenter
    University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
    May 10, 2022 | 06:32 p.m.

    Hi Katie, Thanks for checking out our video and for your question! It's great to see you in this showcase!

    Before we reply, I have a clarifying question. Do you mean curricular resources or resources such as time/staff/infrastructure to have successful afterschool programs. If it's the latter, we partnered with the school district and with existing afterschool/summer providers such as a science center and a foundation that had existing programming in place. Our research team worked with these providers to determine how best our three components fit into their programming in order to add value to their offerings and fit in with their needs/objectives. For the former, we had STEM curricula from previous projects and worked with the district career counselor to revise/update/develop career activities that we integrated into the STEM experiences. I will definitely check out your video!

  • May 10, 2022 | 06:36 p.m.

    Thanks, John! I was more interested in the time/staff/infrastructure response, but good to know about the curriculum as well. Sounds like you developed a good program that used existing resources in many ways. Congrats!

  • Icon for: Marijke Visser

    Marijke Visser

    Section Supervisor
    May 11, 2022 | 08:27 a.m.

    Good morning team- I'm curious how you recruited the kids (and mentors, actually). Was the program an elective at  school so kids opted in? How did you specifically reach your target audiences both for the formal program and the summer camp? for the summer program did you find any challenges with things like transportation for kids to get there or other potential barriers to participation? I work with libraries and reaching kids that don't typically come to the library is sometimes a challenge, especially for our smaller libraries with fewer resources/staff.

    -Marijke

  • Icon for: John Ristvey

    John Ristvey

    Lead Presenter
    University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
    May 11, 2022 | 10:59 a.m.

    Good morning Marijke,

    Excellent questions. I will take a stab at some of these from my perspective, but let others on the team add to this as others were much more involved.

    Regarding student recruitment, we took a multi-prong approach that was very different than how we thought we would do this based on challenges due to COVID. In our original proposal, we partnered with an afterschool/summer learning provider that was interested in having more STEM in their programming. Their mission is to reach K-12 youth from marginalized backgrounds. They work closely with the school district to recruit students for their programming and offer financial assistance for those who cannot afford to participate. Right before March of 2020, our partner put us in touch with the superintendent of instruction at the local school district who reached out to district principals to determine need and interest. From there we were set for our initial testing in two middle school STEM classes. The STEM classes are not required for everyone, but the majority students are enrolled in them.

    Regarding mentor recruitment, we built on work done from another partner (an informal science center). This partner connected our staff with their contacts and then Melissa (one of our co-presenters and narrator of the video) built relationships with these STEM organizations with an interest in giving back to the community and working with youth. From their we matched their interest and availability with the needs of our programming at various opportunities (in-school, afterschool, summer).

    For our summer and afterschool programming, transportation was handled by our local partners as part of their normal offerings. Our local partners were great in working together to integrate our project research and implementation with the needs of the youth being our priority. 

    We have not (yet) worked with libraries in this community although it has come up in our partnership meetings. My suggestion would be to reach out to local providers (schools, afterschool STEM/non-stem groups, and informal science centers) and see if they might be able to find common cause with your goals. Best wishes!

  • Icon for: Shannon Schmoll

    Shannon Schmoll

    Informal Educator
    May 11, 2022 | 11:12 a.m.

    This is a great project and mentorship is always so important. Having meaningful projects that support their community is also going to give them pride and ownership. I am wondering what sorts of STEM careers were discussed with the kids. In other projects I am involved in we have been working toward showing all the careers that support major STEM facilities that aren't always the scientists or even engineers. So I am curious which ones are you emphasizing and have you seen any that the kids gravitate towards more (and why those ones?). Thanks!

  • Icon for: John Ristvey

    John Ristvey

    Lead Presenter
    University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
    May 11, 2022 | 03:01 p.m.

    Thank you Shannon for your comments and questions. Based on our post summer (2021) interviews and quotes based on the question, What STEM jobs are there in your community or town? responses fell in the following categories:

    Place-based - STEM jobs that are only available in a certain place or location in the community (19)

    Common jobs - common jobs that include STEM, according to students (32)

    Family connection - STEM jobs that students’ family members have (10)

    Outside community - STEM jobs that are not available in our County, but that students are aware of (10)

    Mentor connection - STEM jobs that students learn about through their mentors (5)

  • Icon for: Melissa Rummel

    Melissa Rummel

    Co-Presenter
    Education Designer
    May 11, 2022 | 08:07 p.m.

    Shannon, I love the idea of focusing on all the careers that support scientists and engineers! And to answer your question, I think those types of careers are more visible to our student population. For example, they will mention the construction workers/carpenters but not always the engineers/architects. And they will also include any jobs where you use math in their STEM job category - such as people who work in retail. So it's really been interesting! We're coming to realize that our students don't necessarily connect to the term 'STEM' and have a hard time picturing what a STEM job is. We're wondering if we instead talk about jobs where people are designing solutions to problems if that will connect with them.

    In terms of STEM careers that we have helped connect students to, we didn't necessarily look for particular job types. Since our curriculum has students programming sensors we focused on recruiting anyone who uses sensors, or data from sensors, or programming in their work. We wanted the students to have a real connection between the work they were doing in class and the work that the mentors do - and we found that the more tangible that connection was, the more engaged the students were. For example, we had some mentors who are engineers but work as project managers - this was challenging for the students to connect to. However, we had some mentors who work for the water/sanitation district who program sensors that help monitor water levels in tanks and such - this was a huge hit! We also connected students to a bunch of researchers and scientists (marine biologists, atmospheric scientists, wildlife biologists) who use sensors in their research. The students seemed to really enjoy anyone who works with animals or on topics that are relevant to their community - they live in a mountain area so lots of wildlife, lots of wildfire threat, lots of water conservation issues.

    Other examples of STEM professions within our mentor pool: veterinarian, mechanical engineer, data analyst, building technology specialist, mechanic, land steward, AI/robotics specialist, programmers, electron microscopist, soil scientist, park ranger, sustainability coordinator, medical technician, computer modelers, game warden, recycling/waste manager, and biomedical engineer. I did turn a few interested people down, but not many! 

  • Icon for: Sarah Chapman

    Sarah Chapman

    Researcher
    May 11, 2022 | 02:10 p.m.

    What a polished snapshot that really tells your successful story! It was great to hear such positive feedback from actual students particularly about the impact the mentors have on their experiences. We are also curious about the specific careers your mentors highlight for your students. I am part of a team also aiming to illuminate the path to STEM careers for middle schoolers. Our project is spearheaded at a local public community college that provides the content experts (enabling a technology rich curriculum) who partner with local middle school educators. The community college also provides excellent facilities for development and implementation, this environment provides integrated career exposure along with scheduled tours - we would be interested in your questions and feedback about ways we could learn from each other. See our video here: 

    https://stemforall2022.videohall.com/presentati...

  • Icon for: John Ristvey

    John Ristvey

    Lead Presenter
    University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
    May 11, 2022 | 05:18 p.m.

    Hi Sarah, Thanks for the comment. I will definitely check out your video. Here are some student quotes from our interviews that relate to STEM jobs that they learned from their mentors:

    • “Yeah. My STEM mentor he is ... a mechanic.”
    • “.. like the people that just came in (the park rangers).”
    • “Programing or what ...(Mentor) does. So working with sensors of the waste management system.” 
    • “The (mentor who works for ... Water and Sanitation) job, then in the creek (where I live), they have their own sensor.”

     

     

     

     

     

  • Icon for: Alexander Rudolph

    Alexander Rudolph

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 11, 2022 | 02:19 p.m.

    Great video and project! I really liked the way you connected the students with both hands-on learning about sensors and applications of their work to real STEM careers. I particularly liked that you used student interviews to hear how your work impacted them in their own words. I am curious what kind of long-term follow up you plan. Will you track whether the participants are more likely to take the types of courses needed for a STEM career or maintain their interest after your intervention? Overall, a great job!

  • Small default profile

    Colin Elliott

    Researcher
    May 11, 2022 | 02:45 p.m.

    Hi Alexander,
    Thanks for watching our video and your kind feedback. To answer your question, we are very interested in tracking this and working with our organizational partners to see how we can track such engagement, especially as youth enter high school. Happy to answer any more questions.

  • Icon for: John Ristvey

    John Ristvey

    Lead Presenter
    University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
    May 11, 2022 | 02:51 p.m.

    Thanks Colin!

    Alexander, I would also add that our project is working with our partners to sustain our efforts by involving the district technology coordinators and helping to build the local STEM ecosystem through a Community Partnership group (comprised of district leadership, career counselors, the high school PTECH program, STEM and afterschool organizations and local STEM businesses. These efforts are still in the early stages but are showing promise.

  • Icon for: Paul Adams

    Paul Adams

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 11, 2022 | 06:06 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing your project through this video.  You have answered many of my questions already in the comments.  I am curious about the enduring impact of the project on the students.  Have you looked at how the students are remaining engaged and developing their skills outside of the organized experiences? 

  • Icon for: John Ristvey

    John Ristvey

    Lead Presenter
    University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
    May 12, 2022 | 10:01 a.m.

    Hi Paul, It's good to hear from you. You may remember working with me 15+ years ago when I was at McREL. I hope you are well. Thank you for your comments and question. Here is a response from Srinjita on our team that answers your question: 

    Hi Paul, Thank you for the great question. So far we have not looked at participating students’ maintained engagement and skill development outside of the organized experiences. But, we are trying to track students who participate in similar experiences in the community. We are working with our organizational partners and community members to see how we can track such engagement. Given this is a small close-knit rural STEM Ecosystem, we anticipate being able to identify the different pathways students take.

  • Icon for: Paul Adams

    Paul Adams

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 13, 2022 | 12:27 a.m.

    I do remember you John.  Thanks Srinjita for the response.

  • Icon for: Rebecca Vieyra

    Rebecca Vieyra

    Facilitator
    Associate Director of Global Initiatives
    May 12, 2022 | 01:11 a.m.

    Hi, team!

    Thanks for the great video. It certainly takes a village, and it's clear you're making critical connections.

    I'm actually really curious about the impact on the teachers. I was touched by the one teacher in the video who said, "I was these kids," when she was younger. As a prior teacher myself, I think it's true that many teachers (especially newer teachers), might not always be aware of careers themselves. I wonder if you studied the teachers in the program, how their awareness of careers changed, and if you saw any consistent changes in how they interacted with students (akin to what I read about the teacher who has set aside time to explicitly focus on careers). Was that a single occurrence, or something you observed broadly?

  • Icon for: Melissa Rummel

    Melissa Rummel

    Co-Presenter
    Education Designer
    May 12, 2022 | 11:57 a.m.

    Hi Rebecca, thanks for that great question! Our data collection with the teachers has focused on their implementation, mostly centered around how the students are responding to the experiences and how they are modifying the activities to meet the needs of the students. But asking the teachers if/how their awareness of STEM careers has changed is a really interesting idea! We asked all of the teachers to implement the career lessons but gave them the freedom to decide how/when to do that, so they all did set aside time to focus on careers to some extent but I think there was differing levels of depth to those experiences - and to be honest, when there were disruptions to the school schedule (which seems to happen a lot these days) the career lessons were sometimes sacrificed. I am also a former classroom teacher and we are always looking for those activities that land well - that our students enjoy and engage with easily - and what we are hearing is that for the most part students are enjoying having time to explore careers that interest them, and so the teachers are encouraged by the positive response of their students and seem to feel that it is a valuable use of class time. One teacher shared that the mentors were really opening the world up to their students by exposing them to careers that they don't encounter in their daily lives, especially during the first year when Covid safety restrictions prohibited schools from hosting guests in the building or taking field trips (the mentor experiences were 100% virtual at that time). One of our teachers expressed that it was important to make sure that the career explorations were an inclusive experience for students who aren't necessarily interested in STEM careers, and really seemed to embrace spending class time for students to engage in personal discovery. While our interest is in exposure to STEM, of course, we love that that these middle schoolers are getting focus time to think about their futures and recognize their own interests! One final thing, definitely more anecdotal, but I have observed the teachers jumping in and asking the mentors questions about their jobs out of personal interest, and then sharing excitement about learning about the mentors' work or even learning about careers in their own community. Thanks!

  • Icon for: Rebecca Vieyra

    Rebecca Vieyra

    Facilitator
    Associate Director of Global Initiatives
    May 12, 2022 | 12:50 p.m.

    Melissa, thanks so much for sharing your own experiences and observations. And yes, I am not totally surprised that career lessons are often what gets axed.

    In terms of inclusive lessons, I wonder if you might take some inspiration from the STEP UP Physics program (https://engage.aps.org/stepup/home), which explicitly introduces high school physics students to a very wide diversity of careers, involves personal visualization, and also is an opportunity to discuss discrimination in careers and STEM-related experiences. It might not be at the right level at all, but the structure might be helpful.

    I wish you the best!

  • Icon for: Melissa Rummel

    Melissa Rummel

    Co-Presenter
    Education Designer
    May 12, 2022 | 01:22 p.m.

    I will definitely take a look at the STEP UP Physics Program - it sounds awesome! Thanks.

  • Icon for: Regina Ciphrah

    Regina Ciphrah

    Informal Educator
    May 13, 2022 | 10:01 a.m.

    What an intriguing project! I am particularly interested in the Smart garden project. How were students involved in the design process? Is this project on-going? Lastly, is curriculum available?

  • Icon for: Emily Snode-Brenneman

    Emily Snode-Brenneman

    Co-Presenter
    Program Specialist
    May 13, 2022 | 02:06 p.m.

    Thank you for your interest, Regina! I really enjoyed your video and love the cultural connection and historical context you wove into your STEM teacher professional development. “I never saw myself in STEM, and now I do.” This comment in your video really resonated with me and underscores the importance of considering the cultural and historical nature of STEM when educating students AND educators, to address imposter syndrome.

    In regards to your questions: First, yes, we are in year two of a three year project. Last summer the students didn’t get to actually implement their project ideas (the smart garden, for example) because the STEM focus was just over one week of a four week camp experience. So the students brainstormed their design and did some initial coding and wiring with the sensors to demonstrate how their ideas could be implemented with the technology. The students did have complete freedom to design a project that matched with their interests, and the mentors were there to guide them on practical applications of their ideas. 

    This summer we are excited to get the students involved with a community garden that we are partnering with. They will engage in STEM throughout the entire four weeks of camp, so there are more opportunities for them to use the sensors to collect data about the garden and then hopefully spend some time analyzing the data to figure out how this can help the garden.


    All of the curricula that we develop are co-designed directly with teachers and revised based on students’ engagement in the learning experiences in both in-school and out-of-school time settings. The STEM technology focused curricula is available here (https://www.colorado.edu/program/schoolwide-labs/computational-thinking-classroom-resources-ct-integrated-storyline-units). We are still revising the STEM career lessons and Mentor guidelines, both which are meant to be integrated into the STEM tech focused curricula, based on implementation from this past year so those are not available as of yet. But we hope to be able to make them publicly available through a creative commons license next year.

  • May 13, 2022 | 01:27 p.m.

    I really enjoyed your video and learning about your project! As others have mentioned, I love the idea the students having STEM mentors. I was wondering about what the next steps will be for students who have been involved in your project—will they continue? What other opportunities exist for them to continue learning?

  • Icon for: Emily Snode-Brenneman

    Emily Snode-Brenneman

    Co-Presenter
    Program Specialist
    May 13, 2022 | 02:47 p.m.

    Hi Kate, thanks for your comment. We hope that the youth in this program will continue engaging in STEM activities, either in an afterschool capacity, summer program, or in their coursework. We are very interested in tracking this information and are working with our partners to figure out the best way to accomplish this.

    Through a series of Community Partnership meetings, we are working with organizations, businesses, students, parents, and those in the school district to map and identify current and potential STEM opportunities. This collaborative process has been showing great progress that will hopefully lead to creating local STEM pathways and opportunities for youth within this community, ideally well beyond this 3-year project.

  • May 15, 2022 | 04:18 a.m.

    Fascinating combination of activities in your camp - something we can learn from for our own project, as we are planning to design and offer a summer camp focused on showing technology-rich careers connected with art as a follow up to our current project.

    Our current "Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier" planning grant has focused on exploring possible careers at the intersection of arts and technology, and what it would take to prepare for such careers - so I think it has potential connections with your project.  You may be interested in checking the website we put together, and especially the "Career" section.

  • Icon for: John Ristvey

    John Ristvey

    Lead Presenter
    University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
    May 15, 2022 | 10:49 p.m.

    Hi Raffaella, Thanks for sharing your website. I will definitely check out your video, too. Are you planning your camp for this summer? How are you hoping to connect your participants to the technology0reach careers?

  • May 15, 2022 | 03:26 p.m.

    So interesting and exciting to hear how students opinions on future careers they might like have changed. I appreciate the focus on youth voice in this video!

  • Icon for: John Ristvey

    John Ristvey

    Lead Presenter
    University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
    May 15, 2022 | 10:50 p.m.

    Thank you Elise! I appreciate your comments. We are fortunate to have good partners who have invested in youth K-12 in a rural mountain community! I will check out your video too.

     

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