Creating Effective STEM Outreach Experiences for High School Students: Development of a Molecular Modeling Workshop Series
TimeTuesday, July 306:30pm - 8:30pm
LocationCrystal Foyer and Crystal B
DescriptionSTEM-based careers are growing exponentially, which drives an increased need for students to pursue degrees in this field. While student interest in the STEM field is increasing, studies support that high school students are not prepared for college-level science and mathematics courses. Coding and computation skills are in-demand and require further training and experience. This motivates investigation into effective methods for high school level STEM development and outreach activities that integrate these domains. To meet these STEM and workforce-based needs, we have created the summer experience, Experience in Molecule Modeling and Informatics (EMMI), to combine interests in STEM and computation into a hands-on, applied environment. It is necessary to combine the experimental learning theory (ELT) and problem-based learning (PBL) methods to provide strategic and reflective programming. We hypothesize that utilizing students personalized system for learning will be enhanced in scientific and computer science education by employing ELT and PBL techniques. Framework and assessment designs will be shared, as well as processes used to introduce coding, computational biology, and bioinformatics, to high school students. The significance of this study will show how learning in a research-based environment employing computational techniques can enrich learning about STEM topics. Results will be used to develop a better outreach program for high school students based on experimental and PBL techniques. This allows for outreach assessment and strategic PBL design for a more meaningful program, in addition to providing students with domain-specific projects that will enhance their skills in data and computation-heavy processes.