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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Eastern Mennonite University
  • Tara L Kishbaugh
  • (540) 432-4665
  • Stephen Cessna
  • Jianghong Tian Dr
  • Daniel King
  • Daniel Showalter
Award Date:11/30/2017
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 649,998
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 649,998
  • FY 2018=$649,998
Start Date:01/01/2018
End Date:12/31/2022
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.076
Primary Program Source:045176 H-1B FUND, EHR, NSF
Award Title or Description:STEM Scholars Engaging in Local Problems
Federal Award ID Number:1741937
DUNS ID:066012956
Parent DUNS ID:066012956
Program Officer:
  • Rupa Iyer
  • (703) 292-4639

Awardee Location

Street:1200 Park Road
Awardee Cong. District:06

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Eastern Mennonite University

Abstract at Time of Award

The Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) STEM Scholars Engaging in Local Problems (SSELP) program will provide 14 scholarships to academically talented, low-income students who will pursue employment, service, or continued education in high-need STEM fields regionally and nationwide. This program will use the local community and the surrounding Shenandoah Valley as a rich resource to inspire and teach students STEM concepts in a hands-on, problem-to-solution based manner. Scholars will receive early and consistent exposure to inquiry- and problem-based learning through mini-research projects that are embedded in their courses and focused on real-world issues. In addition, EMU will offer a new Science and Engineering Practicum course for first year scholars.  This practicum will highlight the variety of STEM careers by providing interactions between students and STEM professionals across different careers followed by reflective writing on those experiences.  Scholarships, with several academic interventions and supports including tutoring, mentoring, career skill-building, encourage academically talented, low-income students to pursue and persist in STEM majors. These interventions are designed to heighten student commitment to serving as active, contributing citizens; build self-efficacy; engage them in their STEM studies; and help them to envision multiple STEM career pathways.  The SSELP program will 1) recruit two cohorts of seven academically talented, low-income students majoring in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, engineering, computer science, mathematics, or environmental science; 2) retain 93% (13/14) of SSELP scholars to Year 2; 3) graduate 14 SSELP scholars in four years and place 93% of them (within one year of graduation) in jobs, service programs, or graduate programs related to STEM; and 4) generate undergraduate STEM education knowledge by exploring the extent to which a place-based interdisciplinary project develops STEM students' level of motivation for their major. Student motivation for STEM studies will be assessed using validated surveys before and after their participation in the local-based, interdisciplinary, collaborative project. These quantitative data will be enhanced by qualitative information gathered from semi-structured interviews with the SSELP scholars. While the impact of place-based learning has been shown to improve engagement and motivation in primary and secondary students, there is a gap in scholarly work on this for higher education settings. Thus, the SSELP program will also contribute to the growing knowledge on student efficacy and motivation.

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