SSC-9353162 Purdue University West Lafayette, IN Todd-Hicks, Regina and Vanable, Joseph The primary objective of this project is to stimulate minority Middle School students to develop an interest in and a facility for science, and as a result, to choose science as a career. A secondary objective (whose achievement should help with attaining the first) is to stimulate Middle School teachers to reinvigorate their teaching efforts in their home institutions. To achieve these objectives, 50 under-represented minority students from major Indiana cities and eight of their teachers will be selected for a summer program on the West Lafayette campus of Purdue University. The students will have finished the 7th grade and must show promise for achievement in science and mathematics. The program will be held for four weeks, and will progress through a three-year cycle, each successive year building on the previous one. At the end of the cycle (assuming the program continues to be supported), a new cohort of students will be recruited. To replace those lost by attrition during a cycle, new students will be recruited for the 2nd and 3rd years from students who have completed the 8th and 9th grades, respectively. Parents will be an integral part of the program; they will attend workshops at the beginning and at the mid-point of the program that focus on their role in helping their sons and daughters to choose a career, and in sustaining their educational efforts. The summer program will use several approaches: (1) Inquiry-based lecture/discussion/laboratory experiences that focus on interesting aspects of four areas of science: Biology, chemistry, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, and Physics (one per week each year). Although there will be no Mathematics or computer Sciences per se. These disciplines will permeate the four subjects chosen. These experiences should increase the students' knowledge of these areas, but more importantly, they should engender a sense that doing science is a quest, rather than merely memorizing "facts." We very much hope that this point would be reinforced in the Middle school teachers of these students, as well, as they participate in the lectures, laboratories, and discussions. (2) Opportunities for careers in science will be identified during the daytime lecture/ laboratory/discussion sessions, and by visits to laboraties on and off campus. Career exploration and evaluation will also be an important part of evening sessions held in the dormitories, both with University staff and with representatives from industry. Particular emphasis will be given to pointing out the issue of under- representation of minority persons in science, and highlighting the contributions of minority scientists, both past and present. (3) Help to encourage analytical thinking and help to develop strategies for academic success not only in the lectures, lab activities, and discussions during the day, but also by various means in the evening sessions (e.g., sharpening reasoning powers in the context of enjoyable games; exploring test-taking skills; emphasizing the value of studying in groups).

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Human Resource Development (HRD)
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Alexandra King
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Purdue University
West Lafayette
United States
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