Discipline: Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Subcategory: Social Sciences/Psychology/Economics
Room: Exhibit Hall A
Kaela Jackson - Spelman College
Co-Author(s): Eden Harrison, Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia
There is a high demand for individuals to be scientifically literate as it relates to the progression and technological advancement of the nation. Osborne (2000) and Hodson (2003) note that scientific literacy can be perceived in a democratic, economic, and utilitarian way. Utilitarian scientific literacy involves having the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are essential for a career within science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions (Osborne, 2000; Hodson, 2003). When individuals are scientifically literate, they are able to contribute to a democratic society and make well-informed decisions. To that end, academic interventions have been implemented across STEM disciplines in order to cultivate scientific literacy in early adolescent learners, yet results concerning the effectiveness of these methods are often ambiguous (Wolter, Ehrtmann, Seidel, Drechsel, 2019). In response to this, the current study examines the effectiveness of an online utilitarian scientific literacy curriculum amongst African American males at a historically black college or university (HBCU). Incoming students were identified as STEM majors and asked to participate in the course during the summer, before officially enrolling in the university. The course required students to work through twelve chapter/modules. In addition to the modules, students had access to video lectures for each module with power-point slides, active-learning activities and a quiz. Students had the opportunity to search the web portal?s databases which included information about STEM careers and organizations, video links, student research and internship opportunities and access to research articles and publications. Preliminary analysis will involve comparing students who both participated and did not participate in the program.Three years of institutional data will be examined to assess the grades of students who participated in the program in comparison to the cohort who did not. We speculate that students who participated in the program will receive higher grades (i.e., A?s and B?s) in foundational science courses (i.e., general biology, chemistry, college algebra, pre-calculus and calculus) than those who did not participate. Furthermore, implications will be discussed concerning the accessibility and feasibility of implementing an online summer bridge program as residential summer bridge programs are more expensive for the university. Online summer bridge programs have the potential to reach a greater number and are more accessible to a greater percentage of students which could have a positive effect on increases in STEM persistence.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): I would like to thank the HBCU STEM-US center and my mentors M. Newell and B. Chambers for supporting me in my research. I would also like to thank Dr. Muldrow for the opportunity to work within the center. This funding was provided by MSEIP and a grant was awarded to Lycurgus Muldrow PhD, Executive Director of STEM-US, Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA.
Faculty Advisor: Lycurgus Muldrow, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: For this research study I was responsible for the study's construction, the literature review, and analyzing/coding the data.