Science Curriculum Delivered to Rural Classrooms via Video Conferencing Technology
AspirnautTM students become rural scientists engaging in hands-on, inquiry based STEM labs led by university faculty, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students. Turning rural classrooms into science labs is done during school or as an after-school program. Onsite at the rural school, a teacher or teacher’s aide, sometimes with the help of AspirnautTM high school research intern alumni, will facilitate the onsite lab session by assisting students, troubleshooting, and ensuring student safety.
Weekly Labs Revolve Around A Scientific Theme
Hands-on STEM lab activities developed by Aspirnaut™ staff are supplied to schools. The weekly labs revolve around a scientific theme that continues for several weeks, is linked to the teacher’s curriculum, and culminates with projects designed to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. There is an emphasis on exploring how science impacts the student’s life on a day-to-day basis.
Get to Know STEM College Students and Professionals
The videoconference format provides the student with an opportunity to explore scientific concepts with the guidance of university STEM students and faculty. Furthermore, the strategy showcases real-world science and allows students to engage in science discourse, failures, argument, debate and crafting questions. This concept is similar to what undergraduate and graduate STEM students experience while pursuing a higher degree.
Mentorship by High School Summer Research Program Participants To Younger Students
Participants in our summer program return to their community and school district to assist teachers with Beaming STEM Labs at their home sites where these rural high school students serve as mentors to their younger counterparts in elementary and middle school.
Early pilot data suggests that there is an impact on individual student growth in science. The data also suggest that professional development of teachers occurs over the course of a semester. Surveys assessing motivation show that at least half of students have a more detailed understanding of STEM professions and opportunities over the course of the academic school year.
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