Keywords: pre-college, faculty, race/ethnicity, socio-economic status
A STEM outreach center within an R1 university has developed a successful process for collaborating with faculty who desire to do K-12 outreach as part of their NSF grant proposal’s broader impacts section.
Over time the center has developed elementary, middle and high school programming that includes one day events and multi-day programs that serve students from the local school district.
The leadership of the center has made a point of attending all new faculty orientations and introducing themselves as the center to contact if faculty want to do K-12 STEM outreach. They’ve established protocols for advance notice, letters of collaboration and budgets. And they’ve had enough success with faculty that have won NSF awards, that partner faculty are telling other faculty about the center, in particular for CAREER grant proposals.
Additionally, the center tracks faculty and student participation and regularly make the rounds of the department faculty meetings to provide updates to the faculty on their impact on K-12 students and involvement of faculty and student volunteers.
The benefits to faculty are that they do not have to re-invent the wheel, because the center has already developed the infrastructure for K-12 outreach in the local school district. Also, their broader impacts K-12 outreach proposals will be more realistic and feasible because the center knows what to include in the budget and because they are collaborating with experienced staff at the center. Lastly, because the local school district enrolls large percentages of both underserved and underrepresented groups, the center’s proposals are attractive to NSF and make the faculty feel good about contributing to the pipeline of underrepresented STEM students.
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