Staying in Science: Examining the Pathways of Underrepresented Youth in Mentored Research main content.

Staying in Science: Examining the Pathways of Underrepresented Youth in Mentored Research

New York City High School students at lab table with DNA samples testing in an American Museum of Natural History classroom.

This longitudinal research study will contribute to a broader understanding of the pathways of STEM-interested high school students from underrepresented groups who plan to pursue or complete science studies in their post-high school endeavors. The project will investigate the ways that formative authentic science experiences may support youth's persistence in STEM. The study focuses on approximately 460 urban youth who are high interest, high potential STEM students who participate in, or are alumni of, the Science Research Mentoring Program. This program provides intensive mentoring for high school youth from groups underrepresented in STEM careers. It takes place at 22 sites around New York City, including American Museum of Natural History, which is the original program site. Identifying key supports and obstacles in the pathways of high-interest, under-represented youth towards STEM careers can help practitioners design more inclusive and equitable STEM learning experiences and supports. In this way, the project will capitalize on student interest so that students with potential continue to persist.

NSF grant award: #1561637

NSF grant link: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=1561637





Social Networks as Critical Features for Sustained Science Engagement of Youth

Citation:
Podkul, T., Gupta, P., and Hammerness, K., Chaffee, R., (June 15, 2018). Social Networks as Critical Features for Sustained Science Engagement of Youth. International School and Conference on Network Science. Paris, France.

Description:
Social network analysis revealed that youth develop a wide array of social networks consisting of a variety of STEM role models and cultural brokers from different spheres of youths’ lives during their time in the program. Preliminary findings suggest that some youth possess dense networks of support made up of highly connected individuals that provide opportunities for mutual reinforcement of support of science as a pursuit, while other youth report highly fragmented networks, consisting of individuals that rarely interact with each other, suggesting that opportunities for mutual support of experiences in and pursuit of science are less reinforced by the youths’ network. All networks reported did consist of at least one parent as a social support. For youth who have transitioned to college, we saw strong relationships of social support develop in that setting, though not necessarily as a replacement to ties developed prior to attending post-secondary education. These findings serve as baseline for these participants for the longitudinal study and each year of the study, we will collect data from these participants to see how their network maps evolve as they move along their pathways.

Poster presentation:

Poster overview of Social Networks as Critical Features research
 


Staying in science: An examination of youth pathways using social network theory and analysis

Citation:
Podkul, T., Gupta, P., Chaffee, R., and Hammerness, K. (March 12, 2018). Staying in science: An examination of youth pathways using social network theory and analysis. National Association of Research in Science Teaching Annual Conference. Atlanta, GA.

Description:
This presentation conceptualized the potential affordances and limitations of using both community of practice and social network theory to deepen our understanding of students’ relationships with their science research mentors and the individuals they identify as influencing their pathways in STEM.




Staying in science: An examination of pathways of youth who participate in immersive science research activities

Citation:
Gupta, P., Hammerness, K., Podkul, T., and Chaffee, R. (April 24, 2017). Staying in science: An examination of pathways of youth who participate in immersive science research activities. National Association of Research in Science Teaching Annual Conference. San Antonio, TX.

Description:
This analysis drew on a data from student and alumni surveys administered to students who participated in mentored science research in order to construct a baseline understanding of the unique features of the student participant pool.




Innovations in Examining Pathways of Youth Who Stay in Science

Citation:
Hammerness, K., Podkul, T., Gupta, P. and Chaffee, R. (April 29, 2017). Innovations in Examining Pathways of Youth Who Stay in Science. American Education Research Association Annual Conference. San Antonio, TX.

Description:
This presentation provides an overview the the Staying in Science longitudinal study examining the science pathways of NYC underrepresented youth. Drawing on longitudinal social network and survey data with analysis of matched student data from the New York City Public Schools records, this study draws on a ecosystems approach to examine how youths’ social networks develop through their participation in mentored research and the potential impact of these mentored research experiences on their college and career pathways.




ESSENTIAL INFORMATION

For more information about Staying in Science, please contact any of the PIs or our research fellow:

Preeti Gupta, Ph.D.
Director of Youth Learning and Research
American Museum of Natural History
pgupta@amnh.org

Karen Hammerness, Ph.D.
Director of Educational Research and Evaluation
American Museum of Natural History
khammerness@amnh.org

Tim Podkul, Ph.D
Senior Research Scientist
SRI International Center for Technology in Learning
timothy.podkul@sri.com

Rachel Chaffee, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
American Museum of Natural History
rchaffee@amnh.org