The Network Science project is a three year ITEST strategies project designed to engage 120 disadvantaged high school students (grades 10-11) and up to 30 high school STEM teachers from Boston and New York urban schools in a network science research based program, using cutting edge computer modeling research technology. Working with graduate student mentors, Network Science students and teachers will: (a) learn about the emerging discipline of network science, (b) construct and analyze science networks using computations and data visualizations, (c) use networks to solve problems across STEM domains (e.g., energy, communications, and diseases) through collaborative research projects and integrated technology, and (d) present their research at an annual Network Science research conference. Three cohorts of students and teachers will participate in a two week residential summer camp at Boston University, an intensive summer research experience (4 weeks), an academic yearlong program (continued research, industry lab tours, workshops, virtual visits), and an annual Network Science Research conference. Student participants will also receive internship opportunities by industry partners after the culminating conference.
Boston University and the New York Hall of Science will work collaboratively to implement all phases of the project. Advisors from ten partner research laboratories will play an integral role in the development and implementation of the program. In addition, formative and summative evaluations will be conducted using a mixed method approach by an experienced external evaluator. The ultimate goal of the project is to attract disadvantaged youth to careers in IT and STEM through positive IT research experiences, internships and mentoring.