STEM Central

A Community of Practice for NSF STEM Projects

STEP Central Webinar: Introductory Undergraduate Research Experiences: Connecting Rising Sophomores to STEM

Abstract: Can an undergraduate research experience for rising sophomores help them succeed in their chosen STEM major?  Does it work if the students are considered “at-risk” for not remaining in their chosen STEM major?  Research by Schwarts, et al. (2008) indicates that students who cover one science topic in-depth during high school have greater success in all college science courses.  Middle Tennessee State University’s (MTSU’s) FirstSTEP project incorporates a three-week, introductory, research experience for students at the end of their freshman year.  This guided research experience is team-based and faculty-led.  Upper-division students serve as mentors and research assistants.  The student participants self-reported strong gains in enthusiasm for the STEM subject of their research, confidence in their understanding of the concepts, and confidence in their ability to learn STEM subjects.  They also self-reported improvements in their problem-solving abilities and their research skills.  An unexpected bonus is that some of the research projects have led to publications of original research.  This webinar will describe this MTSU research experience in detail and encourage sharing information about other successful approaches for early engagement of undergraduates in research.


Register HERE for this on line event

Date: Wednesday, September 26th, 2012,

Time: 1:00 – 1:30 PM Central Time