ENGAGING DIVERSE YOUTH IN EXPERIENTIAL STEM LEARNING: A UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT PARTNERSHIP

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Norma Boakes

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a partnership between a New Jersey school district and four-year university seeking to enhance STEM programming for the district’s diverse student population. The project utilized a STEM-focused experiential unit integrated into existing ninth grade school non-science classes (social studies and career readiness courses). A quasi-experimental double pre- and post-test design was used to gauge feeling towards and interest in STEM study among the diverse sample population over a two- year period. Data from Year One was used to refine and adjust the Year Two structure. Results offer credence to the use of focused STEM units with general population students to influence interest in science and STEM-related careers. The experiential component of the unit was most well-received with students supporting its integration into a non-science classroom.
Keywords: STEM, robotics, diverse, experiential learning

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Author Biography

Norma Boakes, Stockton University

Associate Professor of Education for the School of Education