Creating Authentic GLOBE-Infused STEM Experiences in Formal and Informal Educational Settings Through Community Partnerships, STEM Professionals, Instructional Resources, Professional Development, and Student-lead Research Projects to Meet the Challenges Facing Our Planet

Friday, 11 December 2020
Tracy Ostrom, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, United States and Svetlana Darche, WestEd, San Francisco, CA, United States
This poster emphasizes the key components of implementing two student programs that provide underserved urban youth authentic STEM experiences that focus on meeting the challenges facing our planet. The first program is held in an informal setting. In this program, students in grades 10-12 apply and are selected to participate in an after school internship program centered on climate literacy. Local community agencies and STEM professionals support students in developing environmentally-centered research questions and carrying out field investigations. This program’s facilitators create authentic learning experiences and equip students with the knowledge and skills to collect, analyze, and evaluate scientific data using the GLOBE Program. Students communicate their learning through outreach activities including poster presentations to the local and global communities.

The second program is held in formal K-12 classrooms. Called GLOBE Mission EARTH (GME), the program is implemented through a partnership of multiple institutions across the United States formed to improve STEM education for underserved youth using GLOBE and NASA resources. Students and citizen scientists collect data from their local environments and upload the data to the GLOBE website where it is accessible by participants and NASA scientists. Students work in teams to develop their own research questions, carry out field investigations, and present their findings in regional and/or international student research symposia in professional settings. They also work with STEM scientists in their area of research and receive professional feedback on their efforts. As a result, students develop data collection and data literacy skills as well as the 21st century skills of critical thinking, collaboration, and communication.

Though implemented in different settings, both informal and formal programs use the GLOBE Program as a platform for student engagement in authentic STEM experiences. Both programs also use key components such as community partnerships, STEM professionals, authentic instructional resources, teacher and facilitator professional development and support in order to generate student-lead research projects focused on meeting the challenges facing our planet.