1. April Marchetti
  2. Garnet-Lambert Professor of Chemistry; Director, Pathways to Science
  3. Caminos a la Ciencia - Pathways to Science
  4. http://www.pathwaystoscience.com
  5. Randolph-Macon College
  1. Robert Patterson
  2. Senior Director of Institutional Partnerships
  3. Caminos a la Ciencia - Pathways to Science
  4. http://www.pathwaystoscience.com
  5. Randolph-Macon College
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: April Marchetti

    April Marchetti

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 08:06 a.m.

    Hello, and welcome to our Pathways to Science/Caminos a la Ciencia video!  This is April Marchetti, PI of the project.  We are excited to present our program to you and I am happy to answer any questions you might have!

  • Icon for: Sarah Haavind

    Sarah Haavind

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 11:05 a.m.

    Hello April! Pathways to Science/ Caminos a la Ciencia looks like a brand new and very exciting opportunity for freshman and sophomore high school Hispanic girls interested in STEM. I have a few questions as I consider passing the opportunity along. When is the application deadline for this summer? Also, it looks like the motivation is to foster local growth in interest pursuing STEM fields in Virginia specifically. Is that the case or are you taking applications from around the US?

    Thank you for sharing this exciting project! Others may also have specific questions not answered on your website FAQ (http://pathwaystoscience.com/faq) or elsewhere. If so, hopefully they will jump right in. ~Sarah

  • Icon for: April Marchetti

    April Marchetti

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 08:25 a.m.

    Hi Sarah,

    Our project is aimed at the Central Virginia area; we would take applications from other areas of the US but the goal of the project is really bolstering the STEM workforce in our local MSA.  We are still accepting applications, but only for a few more days - we have received many more applications than we have spots for this summer, so our Selection Committee will meet soon to select our awardees.

     

  • Icon for: Sarah Haavind

    Sarah Haavind

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2017 | 07:38 p.m.

    Thank you April! This is a terrific model for others to emulate elsewhere. It makes sense that you are digging deeply within your region to build a local pipeline. Congratulations on a terrific effort! 

     

  • Icon for: Sarah Haavind

    Sarah Haavind

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 11:05 a.m.

     Hello April and visitors to this project! 

    It is delightful to see a project such as Pathways to Science/ Caminos a la Ciencia targeting young Hispanic high school women. Recently I spent a semester observing students in an Oregon middle school classroom conducting inquiry science (another NSF project!). The class was about 70% Hispanic. Generally, I found I was sitting with the Latina girls, scaffolding their scientific and mathematical thinking. They seemed to have the most difficulty taking their own thinking and ideas seriously – even as their ideas were good and their thinking was spot on. It makes me wonder how you are recruiting within your local Hispanic communities. Can you tell us more about those strategies? Visitors who have similarly conducted recruitment among Hispanic communities, will you share your challenges and successes as well?

    I have my ear to the ground...

    ~Sarah

  • Icon for: April Marchetti

    April Marchetti

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 08:29 a.m.

    Hi Sarah,

    I have been working mostly with guidance counselors in our local area - because of the large Hispanic population in our region, most schools have guidance counselors who work specifically with their school's Hispanic population, targeting those students who have recently arrived in the US, who have developing English skills, and for whom English is not spoken in the home.  Those counselors are the best liaisons to this population and have been working one-on-one with potential applicants to get applications complete and submitted on time.  

    Using these strategies we have received many more applications than spots for this summer's program, so we feel that this is an effective recruitment method for our local area. 

  • Icon for: Sarah Haavind

    Sarah Haavind

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2017 | 07:40 p.m.

    April, this sounds like an effective strategy that others would also find useful. Glad to understand better. Thanks!

  • Icon for: Breanne Litts

    Breanne Litts

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 02:38 p.m.

    Hi Everyone! This looks like such a great project and approach for getting more girls involved in STEM. We have a month-long residential STEM program here at USU where American Indian students from our 2-year extension campuses come up to experience STEM across a range of disciples. I'm wondering about what the specific structure of the program is, especially in regard to how you keep in touch with the girls on a monthly basis, as this seems like a key feature of the program. Moreover, I'm curious what sorts of STEM activities are included in the program. I noticed a lot of the activities in the video were fairly traditional ideas of STEM: white coats, formal labs, beakers, etc. I'd be interested to hear folks' ideas about what this might mean for our notions of science, engineering, and math as well as our conceptions and uses of technology. I'd also love to hear more about the findings and effectiveness of the program. 

     
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    Sarah Haavind
  • Icon for: April Marchetti

    April Marchetti

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 08:41 a.m.

    Hi Breanne,

    Our partner organizations are hosting the monthly cohort meetings, which will occur for 2-3 hours once a month during the academic year.   Some of our partners include the Science Museum of Virginia, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, CodeVA (which holds after school and in-school coding classes for youth), and Maymont Park - these partners already offer dynamic engaging programming aimed students in this age group, so they are adapting some of their activities into "exclusive" opportunities especially for Pathways participants.  We are keeping these activities short, free, and during times when parents are likely to be available to bring our Pathways participants to these activities.

    Lab activities for this summer include a "Chemistry and Crime" seminar, where participants will learn to lift latent prints, analyze ink from a ransom note, and make a cast of a bite mark,a trip to a local dental school, where there will learn about dentistry and take their own dental impressions, a trip to a local endangered waterway that research students at our college are working to remediate, a trip to find invasive plant species in our local area, and a robotics seminar run by a local robotics engineer.

    The footage in the video is footage from Randolph-Macon College research students in the laboratory - at our institution we pride ourselves in engaging undergraduates in original, publishable research projects from the beginning of their college education.  Our endowed Shapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowships allow our students to perform paid, original research with our faculty members - the results of their research have been presented at national and international conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.  As our program progresses we will engage our Pathways participants with these researchers to allow them to participate in an original project while still in high school.  

  • Icon for: Nancy Shapiro

    Nancy Shapiro

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 04:29 p.m.

    Thank you for communicating such an exciting project to our wider audience!  I'm assuming the numbers a small (any residential, lab-focused project is necessarily limited, I know).  I'm also assuming that you will have some strong positive evidence that the project really makes a difference for the students involved.  I have to ask the "scalability" question:  What does it take to scale up a project like this?  How much depends on the university faculty, the community engagement, in addition to the innovation funding coming from NSF?

  • Icon for: April Marchetti

    April Marchetti

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 08:48 a.m.

    Hi Nancy,

    We are actively seeking funding to endow this program so that it can continue indefinitely at our institution.  Our research indicates that we could accommodate 5x the number of students that we have funded through our pilot program this year, which would be approximately 50 students per year.  

    Our research also indicates that financial considerations are one of the main barriers to college attendance for this cohort, so an additional goal of the project is identifying funding to increase the amount of scholarship support we are able to provide to our Pathways participants.  We have been working both within our institution and with external funding agencies to identify funding sources for that piece of the program.  

    Successfully reaching these funding and sustainability goals will take significant work by our partnership, but we believe that we have assembled a team that is diverse enough to complete the task at hand.  Our team consists of higher education professionals, STEM-focused non-profits, Fortune-500 STEM-focused corporations, the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Office of the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  So we have a lot of support!

  • Icon for: Vivian Guilfoy

    Vivian Guilfoy

    Senior Advisor
    May 16, 2017 | 09:23 a.m.

    This is an excellent program in its design, intensity, and continuity with the participants and parents as well as the partners.  Agree that it would be great to scale up if resources can be identified over time.  What would you say are the most important outcomes of the program so far?  How are you measuring success?  

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.