To teach STEM content to K-12 students and to recruit talented and diverse K-12 students into STEM, many outreach programs at universities in the United States rely on STEM undergraduates. While the design of such outreach typically focuses on the K-12 students who are taught or recruited, an important but often overlooked consideration is the effect of the outreach on the professional development of the STEM undergraduates themselves. This proposed EAGER project seeks to determine which outreach programs in the United States provided the most transformative professional development of the participating STEM undergraduates. This project then seeks to capture the essence what practices in those programs provided transformative professional development. Next, the project seeks to disseminate these practices to a network of institutions doing outreach. Supporting this project is the NSF EArly-concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER) program.
In this first year of the project, we performed a systematic review of literature and university websites with follow-up survey data to identify outreach programs that may be transformative for STEM undergraduates. This review yielded a matrix of about 100 college-based outreach programs. We then invited these programs to attend one of the following workshops: a March workshop held at Tufts University in Boston or an April workshop held at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Nine institutions sent representatives to the Boston workshop, and five institutions sent representatives to the Lincoln workshop. In addition, we held conference calls to gather information from an additional six institutions. The purpose of the workshops and conference calls was two-fold: (1) determine best practices for outreach that used STEM undergraduates, and (2) determine what in those programs provided the most transformative development of the participating STEM undergraduates. This paper presents preliminary results from these workshops and conference calls.
Are you a researcher? Would you like to cite this paper?
Visit the ASEE document repository at
for more tools and easy citations.