Title

Afterschool STEM Mentoring Programs Helping to Develop K-12 Students for the STEM Workforce

Location

Plimsoll

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

The proposal relates to the Academic Achievement and School leadership strand as well as the Social and Emotional Skills strand. The proposal, Afterschool STEM mentoring Programs Helping to Develop K-12 students for the STEM Workforce meets the Academic strand because it extends the learning of middle school students to out of school time and helping them to achieve in school as well as helping to prepare a STEM literate workforce. The mentoring aspect of the proposal puts in line to meet the standards of the Social and Emotional strand.

Brief Program Description

Many companies are now faced with a huge engineering challenge. It has less to do with STEM, but more to do with creating the passion, drive and innovation in our future STEM workforce. STARBASE 2.0 Afterschool STEM Mentoring Clubs, that target middle school students, help to develop our future STEM workforce. We will demonstrate the mechanics of starting an afterschool STEM mentoring club.

Summary

Many companies are now faced with a huge engineering challenge. It has less to do with STEM, but more to do with creating the passion, drive and innovation in our future STEM workforce. We acknowledge a STEM pipeline, however that pipeline must be constantly supplied and maintained to get a good production and product. The projected demands for STEM workers in the near future is very high which is accompanied by a very high earning potential for these workers. Afterschool programs, such as, STARBASE 2.0 Afterschool STEM Mentoring Clubs, that target middle school students helps to develop our future STEM workforce. STEM Mentor programs such as these, not only present real world challenges to students to help mold and sharpen their STEM skills, but also allows students to experience and put into practice strong soft skills that organizations say they look for, such as written communication, team-building, and leadership abilities. STARBASE 2.0 also helps to increase the diversity within the pipeline and allows diverse students to interact with someone that looks like them that is already in the STEM field, through the mentoring aspect of the program. The afterschool or out of school time setting has allowed students to be more focused on challenges and allows for time to be creative and innovative. Our presentation will define the mechanics of setting up a team mentoring based STEM club and look at some of the activities that work in driving home the engineering design process as well as a couple of hands on activities that are used in the afterschool club. We will look at the demographics of the clubs and the mentors and how this may effect change within the STEM pipeline.

Evidence

This proposal is rooted in many evidence based studies. In a paper written by the Afterschool Alliance titled "STEM and Afterschool" (September 2011), it stated that afterschool programming is key in increasing access to STEM learning and closing the opportunity gap that exist for minorities and women. This is further evidenced by David L. Dubois et al. in their paper "How Effective Are Mentoring Programs for Youth? A Systematic Assessment of the Evidence" which shows that even the group format of mentoring, which is used by the STARBASE 2.0 STEM Afterschool Clubs, are effective.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Wesley Fondal, Jr. is the Executive Director of DoD STARBASE ROBINS. DoD STARBASE is a premiere science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) educational program. He has helped to expose youth to the technological environments and positive role models found on military bases and installations and helped in making sure that students get exemplary instruction using a common core curriculum that meets or exceeds the National Standards. He has also helped in nurturing a winning network of collaborators and building mutual loyalty. In his sixteen years as Director, he has increased funding to the program as well as increased the number of students from area school districts attending the program. STARBASE ROBINS has programming that increases the knowledge and interest in STEM careers and fields of study to students in grades 4th – 8th grade. It is the only program in the Middle Georgia Area that offers computer aided design and three dimensional modeling with 4th and 5th graders. He was instrumental in having STARBASE ROBINS and the Museum of Aviation become the host site for the Middle Georgia FIRST Lego League Super Regional Competition and Peachtree Regional Mid-season FIRST Robotics Competition. He has been PI / co-PI on two major NASA grants.

He is a member of several science organizations and also servers on the board of the Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology Education, an advocacy organization whose Mission is to bring together the voices of government, business, and education to improve the quality and outcome of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

Mr. Fondal is a graduate of Dillard University where he received his B.S. in Biology. He received his Master’s Degree in Cell Biology from the University of Incarnate Word in San Antonio, TX and attended the University of Missouri for graduate studies and research in the field of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. Wesley Fondal also served in the U.S. Army Reserves and has a short teaching history in public education.

Keyword Descriptors

STEM, afterschool, mentoring

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 8:30 AM

End Date

3-3-2015 9:45 AM

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Mar 3rd, 8:30 AM Mar 3rd, 9:45 AM

Afterschool STEM Mentoring Programs Helping to Develop K-12 Students for the STEM Workforce

Plimsoll

Many companies are now faced with a huge engineering challenge. It has less to do with STEM, but more to do with creating the passion, drive and innovation in our future STEM workforce. STARBASE 2.0 Afterschool STEM Mentoring Clubs, that target middle school students, help to develop our future STEM workforce. We will demonstrate the mechanics of starting an afterschool STEM mentoring club.