Targeted Infusion Project: Integrative Makers Course and Laboratory for STEM Undergraduates
The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) through Targeted Infusion Projects supports the development, implementation, and study of evidence-based innovative models and approaches for improving the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduate students so that they may pursue STEM graduate programs and/or careers. To make STEM learning purposeful and fulfilling, this HBCU-UP TIP project aims to provide STEM juniors and seniors at Tuskegee University with experiences that are aligned with industry practices through a new and novel Makers Course and associated Makers Laboratory (MC&ML) called "Conducting Integrative STEM Research in a Makerspace". The MC&ML is designed to provide students with industry-like experiences needed STEM workforce readiness or graduate school preparation.
The novelty of the MC&ML lies in its framework of the "Makerspace", a dedicated physical area where students from different STEM disciplines will convene for work on collaborative hands-on research projects in advanced multidisciplinary fields such as nanocomposites, biomaterials, smart materials, and computation modeling. The program interventions include: (1) the establishment of the MC&ML, (2) the use of "Learning through lectures and making" whereby teams of multidisciplinary faculty will lecture, mentor students and supervise projects on dedicated MSE-focused topics, (3) increased summer research internships opportunities, (4) Graduate Record Examination (GRE) preparation, and (5) Workshops for the Graduate Research Fellowship Programs and STEM-Related Workforce. As an HBCU, Tuskegee is a leader in educating and preparing minority students for STEM careers. The success of the MC&ML will contribute to increasing diversity in the STEM technology workforce.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.