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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Bernadette Sanchez
  • (312) 355-6755
Award Date:09/22/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 533,257
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 264,856
  • FY 2019=$145,672
  • FY 2021=$119,184
Start Date:09/15/2021
End Date:08/31/2024
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.076
Primary Program Source:040106 NSF Education & Human Resource
Award Title or Description:Collaborative Research: A Multi-level Investigation of STEM Mentoring - Outcomes for Middle School Youth, their Mentors, and Partner Organizations
Federal Award ID Number:2152564
DUNS ID:098987217
Parent DUNS ID:041544081
Program Officer:
  • Julie Johnson
  • (703) 292-8624

Awardee Location

Street:809 S. Marshfield Avenue
Awardee Cong. District:07

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Illinois at Chicago
Street:1040 W Harrison Street
Cong. District:07

Abstract at Time of Award

Mentoring is a widely accepted strategy for supporting positive socioemotional and cognitive development across a variety of sectors including education, workforce development, and the justice system. An estimated 2.5 million volunteer mentors support youth development in the United States each year. However, there is broad concern that practice has outpaced empirical testing, with significant gaps in the research literature on important modifiers of mentoring relationships and their impacts. This is especially true for mentoring youth ages 10-14 in STEM. Studying highly successful programs may be one way to better understand the role of mentoring and moderators of mentoring effectiveness. The Science Club, a community-based STEM mentoring program for middle-grade youth in the Chicago area, will provide multiple sites for a research study to examine three important issues for advancing theory and practice for STEM mentoring. These issues include (1) understanding STEM mentoring for youth in the middle grades, (2) identifying outcomes and motivations for scientist mentors to more fully participate in mentoring programs, and (3) examining a model of middle-school-focused STEM mentoring collaboration. Through a series of three studies, the team will investigate which elements of the mentoring relationships are associated with the demonstrated STEM identity gains in youth participants. The work will also contribute much-needed data on the impact of STEM mentoring relationships on the mentors themselves. Study 1 is designed as a retrospective study of program alumni, both youth and mentors, about the nature and extent of each their STEM identity shifts during their time in Science Club. A purposeful sample of 160+ youth and 100+ mentor alumni will participate. Study 2 is a prospective study of three consecutive cohorts of active Science Club participants, built on data and findings from Study 1. In Study 2, the team will design and implement a new Identity-Focused Mentoring Observation Instrument specifically aimed at exploring the nature and quality of mentoring relationships and their role in science identity development longitudinally. Three independent cohorts of 40 youth and 20 mentors each will participate. Study 3 is retrospective, examining how participating individuals and organizations perceive and are impacted by mentoring. The three studies employ a mixed methods approach utilizing surveys, observations, individual interviews, and document review. This proposal will fill critical gaps in the mentoring literature regarding the formative middle school years through novel, empirical research. Building on the current literature and practice, outcomes of the work will inform practice and enhance knowledge-building in the field on both mentoring relationships and the collective impact of university-school-OST partnerships. This project is funded by the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program, which seeks to advance new approaches to, and evidence-based understanding of, the design and development of STEM learning in informal environments. This includes providing multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences, advancing innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments, and developing understandings of deeper learning by participants. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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