Michael Barnett

Journal of Science Education and Technology Special Issue - Stories from ITEST: Inspiring Young People to Pursue STEM Careers

The ITEST program has enabled creativity, experimentation, and cultural responsiveness in STEM education and workforce development and broadened participation in STEM initiatives to Native American communities, underresourced urban communities, girls, and populations underrepresented in STEM fields. By approaching research and evaluation with flexibility and resourcefulness, the authors provide empirical evidence for the value of innovative approaches to STEM education that promote STEM interest and career-related outcomes and that build the foundational skills of the scientific and engineering workforce of the future.

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How High School Students Envision Their STEM Career Pathways

Given that many urban students exclude Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics careers from their career choices, the present study focuses on urban high school students and adopts the social-cultural approach to understand the following questions: how do students envision their careers? What are the experiences that shape students’ self-reflections? And how do students’ self-reflections influence the way they envision their future careers? Five students were interviewed and data were coded in two ways: by topic domains and confidence levels.

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Learning about Urban Ecology Through the use of Visualization and Geospatial Technologies

During the past three years we have been designing and implementing a technology enhanced urban ecology program using geographic information systems (GIS) coupled with technology. Our initial work focused on professional development for in-service teachers and implementation in K-12 classrooms. However, upon reflection and analysis of the challenges that our in-service teachers faced while implementing our projects in their classrooms, we began to infuse our National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded ITEST work into our pre-service teacher preparation program.

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The Urban Tree Project: Using Geographic Information Systems to Determine the Ecological Value of Neighborhood Trees

Geospatial technologies have emerged over the last 15 years as one of the key tools used by environmental scientists (NRC 2006). In fact, educators have recognized that coupling geospatial technologies with environmental science topics and scientific datasets opens the door to local and regional scientific investigations (McInerney 2006). Over the last three years, we have been working to provide tools, curriculum, and resources that allow students to learn science through authentic inquiries using their own scientific data.

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