ITEAMS: An Out-Of-School Time Project to Promote Gain in Fundamental Science Content and Enhance Interest in STEM Careers for Middle School Students
Jaimie L. Miller, R. Bruce Ward, Frank Sienkiewicz, Paul Antonucci
We report preliminarily on the efficacy of an innovative, STEM education project for middle-school youth participating in outof-
school-time programs, targeting girls and students from underrepresented communities. Participating students attend urban schools in Eastern Massachusetts. The two main goals for the technology-based project are to inspire the participants to consider STEM careers and increase the student mastery of fundamental STEM subject matter. The students control robotic telescopes – either from school or home – to acquire and then process images of solar system and deep space objects. Project teachers attend workshops to become adept at using the robotic telescopes, meet weekly with the students, pilot project curricula, collaborate with staff to plan and supervise field trips and star parties, and assist in all project evaluation. There are both academic and non-academic partners; the latter include amateur astronomers and retired engineers. We use an online system to evaluate teacher and student subject matter knowledge and survey students and parents about STEM careers.