Social Networks as Critical Features for Sustained Science Engagement of Youth

Poster overview of Social Networks as Critical Features research

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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.

Poster 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.