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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Utah State University
  • Mimi M Recker
  • (435) 797-2692
Award Date:01/16/2020
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 149,996
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 149,996
  • FY 2020=$149,996
Start Date:04/01/2020
End Date:03/31/2023
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:Collaborative Research: STEM Career Connections: A Model for Preparing Economically-Disadvantaged Rural Youth for the Future Workforce
Federal Award ID Number:1949299
DUNS ID:072983455
Parent DUNS ID:072983455
Program:ITEST-Inov Tech Exp Stu & Teac
Program Officer:
  • Bradley Barker
  • (703) 292-5183

Awardee Location

Street:Sponsored Programs Office
Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Utah State University
Street:2830 Old main hill
Cong. District:01

Abstract at Time of Award

This project will develop and study an innovative model to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) knowledge and career interests of rural, economically disadvantaged students. Students will work directly with STEM professionals and use science and engineering practices to investigate design challenges. The project will design a curriculum where youth use programmable sensor technologies for science and engineering investigations. The curriculum will be designed using a storyline technique whereby a coherent sequence of science investigations is driven by student questions. Storylines will also support student progress towards solving design challenges. This project is a collaborative effort involving scientists, practitioners, educational researchers, and instructional designers from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, University of Colorado Boulder, and Utah State University. The project team will work within an existing partnership in Eagle County, Colorado, consisting of a non-profit community foundation, YouthPower365, serving youth from economically disadvantaged families, the Eagle County Schools, and local Vail Valley businesses to collaboratively develop and study innovative out-of-school time (OST) learning experiences. This project will help prepare economically disadvantaged middle school youth to more fully participate in STEM and computing career pathways by engaging with sensor-integrated learning experiences around locally relevant design challenges in afterschool and summer programs. The research will examine how the project model can serve as a bridge between youth learning and career experiences, examining the degree to which youth are able to construct personally relevant connections. The team will use qualitative and quantitative research methods to answer three research questions. 1) What tools and practices enable a community partnership to support youth exploration of locally relevant STEM and computing pathways? 2) What learning experiences enable middle school youth to create personally relevant connections with STEM and computing careers? 3) To what extent does participating in STEM Career Connections stimulate disadvantaged youth interest and learning in STEM and computing careers? Research data to be collected include student interviews, surveys, and artifacts created by youth during OST activities. Changes in students' interests in STEM and computing careers will be determined through content analyses of participating students' Individual College and Career Plans (ICAP). Project evaluation will examine the degree to which projects goals are being met, partners are effectively engaging, and youth are making productive STEM and computing career connections. This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase middle school youth motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). 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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