1. Seung Lee
  2. Assistant Professor
  3. EAGER: Peering a generation into the future: NSF's Young Scholars Program and the nation’s STEM workforce
  4. Pepperdine University
  1. Racquel Charles
  2. Research Assistant
  3. EAGER: Peering a generation into the future: NSF's Young Scholars Program and the nation’s STEM workforce
  4. Pepperdine University
  1. Eric Hamilton
  2. http://ic4.site
  3. Professor and Principal Investigator
  4. EAGER: Peering a generation into the future: NSF's Young Scholars Program and the nation’s STEM workforce
  5. Pepperdine University
  1. Alice Jokodola
  2. Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  3. EAGER: Peering a generation into the future: NSF's Young Scholars Program and the nation’s STEM workforce
  4. Pepperdine University
  1. Kristina Lux
  2. Research Assistant
  3. EAGER: Peering a generation into the future: NSF's Young Scholars Program and the nation’s STEM workforce
  4. Pepperdine University
  1. Joelle Molloy
  2. Research Assistant
  3. EAGER: Peering a generation into the future: NSF's Young Scholars Program and the nation’s STEM workforce
  4. Pepperdine University
Public Discussion

Continue the discussion of this presentation on the Multiplex. Go to Multiplex

  • Icon for: Seung Lee

    Seung Lee

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 10, 2022 | 06:13 a.m.

    Welcome! Our video describes the ongoing research to examine the long-term impact of the Young Scholars Program (YSP), a nation-wide STEM enrichment initiative for middle and high school students that took place in the late 1980s and the 1990s. How has participation in the YSP influenced the academic and career trajectory of students? That is the central question we are seeking to address in this study. Through this effort, we are hoping to gain insights on how STEM pathway programs can better contribute to the development of a more inclusive STEM workforce. Please share any questions, comments, and suggestions you have about the project. We look forward to the conversation!

  • Icon for: Kristina Lux

    Kristina Lux

    Co-Presenter
    Research Assistant
    May 10, 2022 | 12:03 p.m.

    What an amazing project! In pursuit of understanding the impact YSP has had on our participants, our interviews with YSP alumni have been rich and insightful. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and comments.

  • Icon for: Karen Royer

    Karen Royer

    Graduate Student
    May 10, 2022 | 12:24 p.m.

    This was a powerful project. I remember hearing about this program in the 1990s as my younger sister attended middle school and high school. I am amazed to discover that the work continues. I love the engagement you mention with the YSP alumni, that must be quite rewarding. I wonder if you are collecting information about how many women entered STEM work and then subsequently left. Very interesting work. Thanks.

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Kristina Lux
  • Icon for: Kristina Lux

    Kristina Lux

    Co-Presenter
    Research Assistant
    May 10, 2022 | 04:35 p.m.

    How amazing! We are in the data collection phase and about to enter analysis. Your idea of looking into women who entered/left STEM is a good one -- possibly a future study for us! Thank you.

  • Icon for: Eric Hamilton

    Eric Hamilton

    Co-Presenter
    Professor and Principal Investigator
    May 15, 2022 | 06:52 a.m.

    Dr Tyene Houston, coincidentally in Houston, just completed a second doctorate and studied exit patterns for women in engineering.  She had some interesting results.  Perhaps she can share with you  her findings.  I will see her soon (PhD hooding!) and as her to contact you.

  • Icon for: Alice Jokodola

    Alice Jokodola

    Co-Presenter
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    May 10, 2022 | 07:50 p.m.

    It's amazing to think about the YSP project in its entirety. The fact that the program was able to reach and impact 18,000 students, in what I believe is a short amount of time, just blows my mind. 

    Being able to listen to YSP alumni reflect on an experience that they participated in well over 20 years ago has been amazing. It has also been great to see how participating in the program impacted them when it came to choosing their career path. Even the participants who chose not to pursue a career in STEM still attest to the fact that the program had a great impact on them. I believe that programs like YSP are vital on so many levels, particularly when it comes to enlightening students on the vast array of possibilities around them.

    I am excited to continue working on this project, with the hopes of being able to make connections that will help to inform modern-day STEM programs. 

  • Icon for: Karen Royer

    Karen Royer

    Graduate Student
    May 11, 2022 | 11:40 a.m.

    Your comment made me think about ripples in a pond. The experience that YSP alumni had impacts generations that follow them. In our work, we are looking at intergenerational impacts through quilting. It would be difficult to measure the true impact that YSP had through generations. Amazing work.

  • Icon for: Alice Jokodola

    Alice Jokodola

    Co-Presenter
    Postdoctoral Research Fellow
    May 12, 2022 | 06:16 p.m.

    Hi Karen! 

    Thanks for your comment. 

    This is a retrospective impact study, however, I agree knowing the impact a program like YSP has had through generations can be quite a challenge. We are working with the information and resources we have and thus far the impact has been great but has that impact truly trickled down to newer generations, I'm not sure that we have the answer for that yet. 

  • Icon for: Channa Comer

    Channa Comer

    Facilitator
    STEM Educator
    May 11, 2022 | 04:00 p.m.

    Hello and thank you for sharing your work. Retrospective impact studies like this one are so necessary as we continue to untangle the issue of how to encourage greater interest and inclusion in STEM careers. I am curious about how given the program's widespread reach, you will control for variability from one to another as you conduct your analysis.

    I look forward to seeing statistics on how many YSP alumni are in STEM fields today. I wonder how the data will be disaggregated to help you learn more about specific groups of participants. Finally, how do you see your research being used once it is completed?

  • Icon for: Sue Allen

    Sue Allen

    Facilitator
    Senior Research Scientist
    May 11, 2022 | 09:39 p.m.

    I really resonate with Channa's comments. This seems like a very rare opportunity to study in great detail the long-term impacts of a major federal STEM investment in broadening STEM participation.

    Could you elaborate on what were the "essential elements" of these programs, and what kinds of variations they had? That seems key to understanding the mechanism of the impacts. 

    Will you do some kind of regression analysis to identify influential factors in such a rich dataset? (e.g. does number of years in the program predict a lot of the variance in career paths?)

    Lastly, what was the overall cost of the program to taxpayers? If this was a model program, I'd be interested to know the cost per person as a benchmark for future investments. Thanks! 

  • Icon for: Seung Lee

    Seung Lee

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 13, 2022 | 03:55 p.m.

    Thank you Channa and Sue for your interest in our project as well as for your insightful comments and questions.

    Our approach in this retrospective study has been to examine the individual experiences and career paths of participants through surveys and in-depth interviews. The main reason for this approach has been the lack of a consolidated list of participants across the 300+ projects that were part of the YSP from 1988 to 1997.

    Given the 25+ years that has elapsed since the YSP, it has been challenging to not only identify the YSP participants but also to find their current information through public records and social media and then make contact with them. This has been a time-intensive process. While we hope to ultimately collect survey responses from enough participants to carry out statistical analyses, our analytical efforts thus far have focused on examining interview data collected from YSP participants.

    Applying epistemic network analysis to the interview data, we are seeking to identify key patterns and connections between their experiences in the YSP and their career-related choices. The “essential elements” refer to the constructs (codes) that we are using in this analysis, including some that have been derived from a grounded analysis of the interview data (e.g. STEM learning, exposure to diverse experiences) and others that have been adopted from theoretical frameworks such as the Social Cognitive Career Theory (e.g. self-efficacy, interest).

    You make a great point about the total and per person cost of the YSP to the tax payer. While this is not something that we have looked into thus far, I agree that it will need to be an important consideration for any policy insights or recommendations that result from this study. Thank you!

  • Small default profile

    Sonya Sharifi

    Researcher
    May 13, 2022 | 08:54 p.m.

    IC4 has helped me introduce this important work to students in my international and comparative education course. This is critical to the role of future generations and the impact they will have. Thank you to this community for their continued leadership!

  • Icon for: Eric Hamilton

    Eric Hamilton

    Co-Presenter
    Professor and Principal Investigator
    May 15, 2022 | 06:55 a.m.

    Sonya, thank you for your interest in this project and your kind words.  We hope that the study will help make design of future initiatives more effective and have lasting impact.

  • Icon for: Nickolay Hristov

    Nickolay Hristov

    Facilitator
    Senior Scientist, Associate Professor, Director
    May 14, 2022 | 11:16 a.m.

    I enjoyed watching the video and learning about the project! Fascinating work - the long-term vision, the retrospective and ethnographic approach.  In vision and scope, the project reminds me of NSF’s Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program in biology with all the benefits that come from such a framework.  Or rather, one way that the results of your work could be translated into a longitudinal design in STEM education.  Like others have pointed out, it is good to see the follow up with individuals and the use of critical analysis and statistical rigor to separate variables and tease out important relationships.  The references to quantitative ethnography and epistematic network analysis were helpful. As part of that, it would be useful to see where the program came short as well. Our presentations here naturally tend to focus on the positive outcomes as we celebrate, and in a way, “sell” our projects, but as empirical researchers we would benefit as much (if not more) from pointing out the limitations and challenges of both the original YSP program and your current work.  

  • Icon for: Eric Hamilton

    Eric Hamilton

    Co-Presenter
    Professor and Principal Investigator
    May 15, 2022 | 07:00 a.m.

    Nickolay, I agree vigorously.  It will be important in completing project reports to identify what is it that projects could have or should have done more effectively.  Much of the conversation today about diversifying and expanding the workforce uses language similar to that in use during the YSP.  What is it, beyond recognizing the problems, enables finding or implementing solutions to it?  We are constantly asking the question you are posing, about understanding what could have resulted in a stronger impact.

    Thank you for an excellent comment and inquiry.

  • Icon for: Sue Allen

    Sue Allen

    Facilitator
    Senior Research Scientist
    May 16, 2022 | 09:56 a.m.

    One other thought that struck me is that if this was part of a competitive grant program there may be some value in looking at the NSF abstracts (and outcomes reports, if they were in place then) to try to identify some key elements of the variation among projects. And the solicitation would be a useful guide to the fixed elements.

  • Icon for: Joelle Molloy

    Joelle Molloy

    Co-Presenter
    Research Assistant
    May 16, 2022 | 02:10 p.m.

    Great suggestion, Sue, thank you for this.

  • Small default profile

    Andy Hurford

    Researcher
    May 17, 2022 | 12:23 p.m.

    I’m ecstatic that someone is actually looking back and analyzing whether or not our well-intended dollars were successfully spent! As fast as time travels these days it can get pretty hard to stop, take a breath, and see if what we’re doing makes sense. The original YSP plans like inclusiveness, real people/learners actively engaged in science, and increased access to STEM educations sure seemed like promising goals… but it never hurts to take a little data. I’m glad someone is!

    Beyond this, a real mix of methods, quantitative and qualitative, and cutting edge ENA assessment and visualizations are splendidly suited for making accessible sense of the complex and complicated array of available data.

    Kudos! And more power to y’all, and especially to NSF and the people that continue to make it happen!

    —Andy Hurford

  • Small default profile

    Andy Hurford

    Researcher
    May 17, 2022 | 12:29 p.m.

    To begin with, the YSP, in the ‘80’s was definitely a project aimed at the future, and ahead of it’s time. The combination of inclusion, opportunities for all, collaborative learning, and authentic science “doing” with a mix of learners, teachers, and researchers (and the neat part is that each of these groups intermittently and spontaneously traded roles!) puts the YSP way ahead of it’s time. To this learning researcher, it had a lot going for it, and it seems like the program should have been a glowing success.

    But did it? How could we know? It seems like time is passing so fast these days that there’s really no time to do anything but keep up. It’s a challenge to actually stop running for a moment, take a deep breath, and look around to see if what we’re doing is making sense. Especially when we’re spending public dollars in pursuit of STEM education. As far as I’m concerned, we need more of those dollars and to spend them as wisely as we can. So was the YSP worth it? Well it never hurts to take a little data…

    The good news is that in this age of big data we can find a lot of information about a system with relative ease (hours and hours spent by researchers gathering it up not withstanding). With some new digital tools and visual representation capabilities, we are uniquely capable of analyzing mounds of data and turning it into mathematically rigorous and still widely accessible understandings. Like, for instance, ubiquitous text-based information forums, chat rooms, and social media posts. Lots of information, and epistemic network analysis (ENA) and quantitative ethnography (QE) to decipher it with! The right tools for the job…

    So to try and curtail my obvious verbosity, I’d just like to say thank you: to NSF, and to the far-sighted workers there that helped YSP to be, to the people that participated, to the researchers investigating the results, to the folks taking the time to tell us their YSP stories, and to all the people who are dedicated to furthering STEM education for all.

    In my native tongue, Aho! Thank you!

    —Andy Hurford.

  • Small default profile

    Andy Hurford

    Researcher
    May 17, 2022 | 01:54 p.m.

    And finally, I’d like to blow a great big raspberry to this “thread collection” app/software. I waited tons of time, almost gave up, then spent lots more time… and got to embarrass myself by posting, thinking it was lost, convincing myself to re-do it like a real grownup would, and now spouting off.

    I’m sorry about that.

    May I politely recommend looking at a more transparent data logging device? (Or am I just showing my age again?)

    tyvm—

  • May 17, 2022 | 07:16 p.m.

    Kudos to the awesome YSP study research team on your work examining the longitudinal impact of a youth program experience.  This will give us helpful insights on what is important to consider when developing such programs in the future.  Thank you for your efforts and putting such a well crafted video together to communicate the aims of this study :)  Congratulations!

  • Icon for: Seung Lee

    Seung Lee

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 17, 2022 | 07:58 p.m.

    Thank you all for your interest and support as well as for your insightful comments and suggestions!

  • To post to this discussion go to