Lynn Dierking

The Synergies Project: Preliminary Results and Insights from Two Years of Longitudinal Survey Research

Our study seeks to improve understanding of how STEM interest develops during adolescence, and how a variety of community resources and out-of-school activities support that development. Our 4-year, Synergies project is a longitudinal study that documents STEM interest and participation trajectories of a cohort of middle school-aged youth as they progress from 5th through 8th grade.


The Synergies Research–Practice Partnership Project: A 2020 Vision Case Study

This paper, describes Synergies, an on-going longitudinal study and design effort, being conducted in a diverse, under-resourced community in Portland, Oregon, with the goal of measurably improving STEM learning, interest and participation by early adolescents, both in school and out of school.


Motivating Youth Through Authentic, Meaningful and Purposeful Activities: An Examination Through the Lens of Transformative Activist Stance

An ongoing and at times seemingly intractable issue in science education and STEM fields is the underperformance and underrepresentation of marginalized youth. This is often attributed to disconnect between school in general, school science specifically and the cultures that youth enact and experience in their daily lives. Although research demonstrates that youth become engaged in STEM when it is relevant to their well-being and that of their community, the question of what motivates underrepresented youth to pursue STEM interests is still not fully understood.