Title

Operation STEM: Afterschool / Out of School Time Prime Students for STEM Academic and Career Success

Location

Seguin

Focused Area

Improving School Climate for Youth-At-Risk

Relevance to Focused Area

The proposal relates to the Improving School Climate for Youth at Risk focused area. The proposal, Operation STEM: Afterschool / Out of School Time Prime Students for STEM Academic and Career Success meets the Improving School Climate focus area because it extends the learning of middle school students to out of school time and helps them to achieve in school as well as makes students aware of STEM careers.

Primary Strand

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance to Primary Strand

The proposal relates to the Academic Achievement and School leadership strand as well as the Social and Emotional Skills strand.The proposal, Operation STEM: Afterschool / Out of School Time Prime Students for STEM Academic and Career Success meets the Improving School Climate focus area because it extends the learning of middle school students to out of school time and helps them to achieve in school as well as makes students aware of STEM careers. The mentoring aspect of the proposal puts in line to meet the standards of the Social and Emotional strand.

Brief Program Description

STARBASE ROBINS participates in a NASA funded project called Operation STEM providing afterschool and out of school time STEM activities that seeks to increase students understanding of STEM disciplines. The curriculum is designed to increase middle school students STEM Career awareness by utilizing college students, professionals and teacher mentors.

Summary

Operation STEM proposes to provide school day educational outreach in Title I schools, teacher education, afterschool programs, summer camps, STEM career days, family events (Invention Convention) and STEM special events in partnership with 4 school systems in middle Georgia (6 schools). College student mentors, from underrepresented groups, worked with middle school youth in a STEM-focused afterschool program, STARBASE 2.0 STEM Clubs. 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. Operation STEM provided NASA themed programming to approximately 1,300 students annually in grades 6-8 and to at least 60 educators annually in grades 6-8. Operation STEM has strategic partnerships with 4 educational school districts to provide STEM education for historically underrepresented audiences, including rural school systems, minority students, females, and students with disabilities. Using evidence-based practices, supported by a quasi-experimental evaluation design, Operation STEM programs directly address CoSTEM priorities to improve STEM instruction; increase and sustain youth and public engagement in STEM; and better serve groups historically underrepresented in STEM. Afterschool programing focused on STEM content, team building, and career exploration. FIRST Lego League, NASA Engineering Design Challenges, Rocketry Challenges, and Robotics Challenges supporting hands-on, experiential learning. Operation STEM focuses on three objectives:

1. Increase interest in and understanding of STEM disciplines with underrepresented groups by providing classroom and afterschool programs in low-income schools in four school systems (six schools).

2. Increase student knowledge of STEM content by providing classroom and afterschool programs in low-income schools in four school systems.

3. Connect NASA resources to underserved communities and underrepresented groups including girls, minorities, and educational partners in rural areas.

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 and summer programming.

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.

Frehill, Lisa M., Di Fabio, Nicole M., Hill, Susan T. Authored under contract to the Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology, (2008). National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Confronting the “New” American Dilemma

Salend, Spencer J. (November 1998). Intervention in School and Clinic, Using an Activities-Based Approach to Teach Science to Students with Disabilities, vol. 34 no. 2 67-72

Nagel, David. (May 2008). The Journal, Report: STEM Gap Widens for Underrepresented Minorities

Lantz, Hays Blaine Jr., Ed.D. (2009). Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education What Form? What Function?

American Association of University Women, (2004). Washington DC: AAUW Educational Foundation, Under the Microscope: A Decade of Gender Equity Projects in the Sciences,

National Science Foundation, Division of Science Resources Statistics, Arlington, VA: (2007) Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: NSF 07-315

(2007) Back to School: Five Myths about Girls and Science, Press Release 07-108

Friedman, A. (Ed.). (March 12, 2008). Framework for Evaluating Impacts of Informal Science Education Projects [[On-line]. (Available at: http://insci.org/resources/Eval_Framework.pdf)

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.

Start Date

10-27-2017 2:00 PM

End Date

10-27-2017 3:15 PM

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Oct 27th, 2:00 PM Oct 27th, 3:15 PM

Operation STEM: Afterschool / Out of School Time Prime Students for STEM Academic and Career Success

Seguin

STARBASE ROBINS participates in a NASA funded project called Operation STEM providing afterschool and out of school time STEM activities that seeks to increase students understanding of STEM disciplines. The curriculum is designed to increase middle school students STEM Career awareness by utilizing college students, professionals and teacher mentors.