Informal technology-rich learning can have a transformative impact on students’ self-efficacy and ambition to pursue a career in STEM. A few key challenges are: enabling students access to participate, making the impact of such experiences endure, integrating them with other school efforts, and purposely engaging underrepresented students.
CISTEME365 hypothesizes that experiences with cutting-edge technology must exist all year-round to effect significant improvement. Thus, the fundamental project goal is to enable Underrepresented Students in STEM (female, underrepresented minority, and/or low-income) middle and high school students to participate in sustained, intensive, hands-on STEM learning experiences that build technical knowledge and ability and that offer insights into different STEM careers. The CISTEME365 project will investigate the synergistic effects of school-year STEM clubs, university-hosted summer camps, and a summer learning institute combined with a school-year networked improvement community (NIC) for school counselors and teachers.