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Abstract Title: Mapping the STEM Pipeline for successful underrepresented students in a high-needs school district
Abstract: Much has been written about the leaky STEM pipeline. During the middle school years, interest in STEM falls off, especially among Black and Latinx students and women. In underserved districts, a very small percentage graduate prepared for college, fewer still take math and science courses that prepare them for undergraduate STEM coursework. Beginning in the 2011-12 academic year, we implemented an informal STEM program for upper elementary and middle school students from a nearby underserved district to support them in and through the STEM Pipeline. Students choose from STEM offerings including hands-on engineering and computer technology courses, coding courses, and physics courses taught through hands-on activities and video games. We found that participants are similar in ethnicity, poverty, and residency, but outperform nonparticipants in a variety of NYS standardized measures of achievement while participating in the program ((e.g. Middle School ELA and Math Assessments) and years after leaving. For example program participants outperform nonparticipants in high school assessments in physics, chemistry, and algebra 2. They are also over-represented in advanced science classes, and in receiving diplomas with advanced designation - a key indicator of preparedness for success in a STEM-based-college major.
Abstract Type: Symposium Poster
Parallel Session: Wonderful Ideas Deserve Wonderful Research: Techniques for Studying Informal Physics Programs
Parallel Session: Parallel Sessions Cluster III
Contributed Paper Record: Contributed Paper Information
Contributed Paper Download: Download Contributed Paper

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Michele W. McColgan
Siena College
Department of Physics & Astronomy
515 Loudon Road
Loudonville, NY 12211
and Co-Presenter(s)
Robert J. Colesante
Kenneth Robin