STEM Central

A Community of Practice for NSF STEM Projects

STEP WEBINAR: Why wait? Using Early Undergraduate Research to Improve the STEM Educational Experience and Retain Talented Students

Note: The main presentation starts at minute 3:12.

Abstriact: The first year of a university experience should provide a new stimulus for intellectual growth and a firm grounding in inquiry-based learning. It is in the first year that new students begin to match their aspirations with the learning opportunities and resources of the institution. After a very brief review of some programs that have effectively used early research in the first year, we will immediately invite participants to discuss the use of early research at their institutions from bridge research programs through research experiences in the sophomore year. Participants will discuss and reflect upon the feasibility of implementing early research at their institution. Roadblocks like funding, faculty buy-in, and appropriate reward structures will be discussed. Types of data they would need to determine whether this strategy might be most effective and then how they would assess the impact of strategies once implemented will also be discussed.  At the end of this interactive webinar, participants should understand the value of early research and have sufficient information to consider implementing it at their institution.

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