Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Marcelo Worsley

    Marcelo Worsley

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 09:57 p.m.

    This program seems like a great way to engage students in pursuing STEM careers. I really like how you are drawing on networked improvement communities, and including primary schools and community organizations. Are elements of the program also helping encourage students to pursue graduate studies in STEM disciplines?

  • Icon for: Gregory Goins

    Gregory Goins

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 10:11 a.m.

    Thank you Marcelo. Yes, absolutely.  As a background, the HBCUs leading this work were traditionally focused on teaching and learning with a growing research agenda. Now, the implementation of this new vision involves shifting roles to expanded research and graduate education efforts while maintaining core values of quality pathways from K-12, undergraduate, and graduate education and access. We contend that this process of institutional change requires STEM programs to help students to successfully navigate the critical junctures related to: professional development; student support services; excellence in teaching, learning and research; and the development of interdisciplinary collaborations.

  • Icon for: Marcelo Worsley

    Marcelo Worsley

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 02:34 p.m.

    It looks like the project focuses on 5th-8th grade. Are you also working with high schools and elementary schools to ensure that students aren't lost before they hit middle school, or once they leave middle school?

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Lauren Amos
  • Icon for: Gregory Goins

    Gregory Goins

    Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 01:59 p.m.

    Indeed Marcelo, we are evaluating the effectiveness of sustainable socio-environmental networks for increasing the pool of students on a competitive trajectory for STEM career. The middle school years are a pivotal time in the development of student behaviors, attitudes, and work habits; therefore it is an inflection point for our approach to change the trajectory of the student towards STEM. As we scale up, yes, we have a vision to include elementary and high school aged learners. As you know, disadvantaged youth may have no or fewer positive adult role models in their lives.  The influence of family status variables (family income, parental education, and family structure), peer support, and neighborhood risk is a strong combined factor in predicting African American performance in middle and junior high school students. Minority populations, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress 2013 survey, have a performance gap in math as early as fourth grade.  Furthermore, 2013 Census Bureau data tell us that minorities are graduating from high school at a lesser rate, and those who do complete high school are less likely to immediately enroll in a two-year or four-year institution.

  • Icon for: Michael Lach

    Michael Lach

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 09:59 p.m.

    Very cool. I'm interested in the "glue" you're creating to hold the network together--I've found these sorts of partnerships are difficult to sustain, and from the video, you've got lots of interest and enthusiasm. What sort of goals or metrics do each of the partners have? How do you focus on these so that there's steady improvement over time in all of the efforts?

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Lauren Amos
  • Icon for: Gregory Goins

    Gregory Goins

    Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 01:31 p.m.

    Excellent post Michael.  The glue is the "ION"= [In and Out of Neighborhoods] part of the acronynm DISCUSSION.   The community and neighborhoods have strong existing ties to civic organizations, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, churches....where famailies and particpants have foundational trust and love.  This work was built on this principal from the commuicated words and needs for families who seek avenues for their children to be included on the competitive trajectory for STEM careers. Hence, we are uniquely positioned to help a key population overcome social and economic barriers that limit access to the STEM enterprise. We sought the views of the parents and stakeholders we serve. Our activities pay close attention to real-world circumstances that reinforce self-confidence while providing a real sense of empowerment. Goals and metrics include gaining a larger community of students with early aspirations in STEM showing enhanced interest and engagement.  Also we are tracking number of students with enhanced STEM identity, self-efficacy, social contexts clarity (spillover to parents, school factors, teachers, and in/out neighborhood peers).

  • Icon for: Lauren Amos

    Lauren Amos

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2017 | 05:59 p.m.

    I think it's great that you've prioritized the Piedmont counties (I'm biased by virtue of where I went to college)! What are some of the challenges and affordances you've encountered working in the Piedmont region that similar localities could learn from as they try to establish similar networks? Are the counties you are working with similar (e.g., demographically, economically, geographically) or does each present different needs?

  • Icon for: Gregory Goins

    Gregory Goins

    Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 01:39 p.m.

    Hi Lauren.  Thank you for your nice post.  If you come into the area please look us up at either NCA&T or NCCU.  As you are well aware, academic progress in STEM is often hampered by deficiencies in quantitative skills.  The population of students we serve often do not perceive scientific research as socially relevant to improving their neighborhood communities. At the same time, these students often do not have adequate opportunities to participate in culturally-relevant early research experience. The DISCUSSION Network has common ground aimed at positively impacting at-risk populations in Piedmont North Carolina’s high-poverty communities. The activities proposed are designed to secure a foundation for scaling from single institution and network entities to multiple institutions and network entities. Hence other regions can adapt our ideas, frameworks, tools, and documents to their local situations. We believe that through an ongoing collaborative effort, DISSUSION will be a powerful model for helping to realize the benefits of shared interests in STEM excellence, equal opportunity, diversity and inclusion. Our greater good model is our approach for scaling up to an Alliance by overlapping the DISCUSSION Network framework with mutually reinforcing socio-environmental problem-solving activities with trust, goodwill, cohesion, mutual shared credit amongst governance structure. 

  • Icon for: Janet Yowell

    Janet Yowell

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 19, 2017 | 12:12 p.m.

    Gregory,

     

    I too am wondering about the "glue" aspect (mentioned by Michael above). I ran an afterschool engineering program at CU Boulder for about 10 years, and it was a hefty undertaking, to say the least. Do you evaluate your program to ascertain if you're having am impact with your kiddos? I'm interested, as I found it so difficult to get middle school kids involved (such a crucial age), yet had a wait list for students in grades 3-5. Do you struggle to find mentors for your program (from a time perspective, not passion)?

     

    Also, lastly, I wanted to point you to www.teachengineering.org, an NSF-funded online digital library that houses hundreds of STEM activities (with shoestring budgets) for teaching kiddos. It's a free resource for use by anyone wanted to infuse hands-on STEM activities into K-12 learning. I was involved in the project for many years and think the curriculum is very good for STEM classroom integration. Just an FYI.

  • Icon for: Gregory Goins

    Gregory Goins

    Presenter
    May 19, 2017 | 01:54 p.m.

    Hi Janet, thank you for your excellent comments.  See the earlier post, but briefly.....This project's foundation is the glue. The glue is the "ION"= [In and Out of Neighborhoods] part of the acronym DISCUSSION.   The community and neighborhoods have strong existing ties to civic organizations, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, churches....where families and participants have foundational trust and love.  This work was built on this principal from the communicated words and needs for families who seek avenues for their children to be included on the competitive trajectory for STEM careers. The key is to seek out the needs of the parents and community advocates.  HBCUs are awesome institutions for promoting campus-wide research and mentoring..we have a spectrum of mentors community volunteers at the neighbor YMCA students and parents who love the real world applications we promote for STEM.  Thank you for the link to teach engineering.  I look forward to checking it out!

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.