The STEM Center within the College of Education offers undergraduate students an opportunity to gain research experience on faculty projects that focus on various aspects of K-12 STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. The apprenticeship-based research experiences are designed to provide a unique opportunity for students to learn relevant research practices, skills, and habits of mind; to learn to work collaboratively, think critically and problem-solve creatively as part of a team; and to learn more about teaching and learning in STEM disciplines.
Undergraduate students in all areas will be welcome to apply to the program, however, College of Education teacher education students with interests in K-12 STEM education, in particular, will be specifically recruited. For these latter students, the research experience will provide a unique and complementary opportunity to connect their teacher education course work and field experiences to cutting-edge research focused on K-12 student learning and evidence-based teaching practices in STEM disciplines.
A critical aspect of teacher professional development is for teachers to view their classrooms as sites for learning, and the research experience will provide students with ways of thinking about their classrooms as well as the tools for making sense of their classrooms as sites for learning. In addition, it often takes time for the results of research to find its way into practice, yet through the research experience, the students (as future teachers) will gain first-hand experience with the latest research on STEM teaching and learning.