Seventh Annual NSF ITEST Summit: STEM Career Development: Nurturing Interest, Persistence, and STEM Self-efficacy


In addition to an NSF cross-program panel and keynote addresses, this Summit featured numerous breakout sessions hosted by ITEST project PIs and evaluators in 4 strands: Shaping educational pathways to STEM careers, Embedding research and assessment into project work, Evaluation, and Topics of general interest.

Embedding Research and Assessment into Project Work

A Multi-Pronged Approach to Embedded Assessment: Research and Evaluation in the GRADUATE Project
Presenters/Project: Len Annetta, Karen Peterman - GRADUATE (Games Requiring Advanced Developmental Understanding and Achievement in Technological Endeavors)
Session: This session has three goals: (1) to share the details of the GRADUATE project, research, and evaluation with the ITEST community, (2) to provide examples of how traditional evaluation and research results will be supplemented by embedded assessment data, (3) to gather feedback from the ITEST community about the project and evaluation plans, as well as the work conducted to date.

Evidence of Success: Embedded Assessments in Photonics Leaders II (PL2)
Presenters/Project: Pam Van Dyk, Dr. Joyce Hilliard-Clark, Pamela Gilchrist - Photonics Leaders II
Session: This presentation will use PL2 project objectives as a framework for discussing the rational, successes and challenges of using embedded assessments, or formative assessments that are integrated into programming for students and teachers, to generate evidence of program impact over time. The session goals are to: share the implications and challenges of embedding assessments into program activities; share program successes as evidenced by the data collected through embedded assessments; and to discuss the importance of using an embedded or formative assessment model in addition to summative assessments.

Examining the Depth Dimension of Scale for the GEAR-Tech-21 Project
Presenters/Project: Dr. Bradley Barker, Dr. Neal Grandgenett, and Dr. Gwen Nugent, National Robotics in 4-H: Workforce Skills for the 21st Century
Session: The GEARTech-21 project provided an overview of the depth dimension of scale, shared current research results, and identified future directions for documenting project depth. The session goals: In this session participants learned about the GEARTech-21 project (Geospatial and Robotics Technology for the 21st Century) and the overall plan to scale the project from a regional to a national level. Participants explored the dimension of depth, and consider the research and evaluation plan proposed for the GEARTech-21 project. Current research results from the project was presented and reviewed. Finally, future research and evaluation strategies intended to capture the project depth was presented and discussed.

Gathering Longitudinal Data on ITEST
Presenters: Emeritus Principal Investigators
Session/Projects: Randall August (Robotics: Fundamentals of Information Technology and Engineering), Margaret Tucker (Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program/DAPCEP – Cohort 1 and 3), Travis Southworth-Neumeyer (Salmon Camp Research Team, Cohorts 1 and 5), Carolyn Staudt (Probes and Models Across the Curriculum, Cohort 4 and 7) Michelle Masucci (Building IT Skills among Inner City Youth in North Philadelphia – Cohort 3), Laura O’Dwyer (SOBRO Tech, Cohort 3) and other ITEST Emeritus PIs described their ongoing activities to collect data on ITEST participants in cohort 1-4 projects and their interest in collaboration in following ITEST participants over the long term. They identified and discuss issues and challenges related to longitudinal data collection. They discussed their data collection instruments and systems and what data they are continuing to collect on ITEST participants. Emeritus PIs engaged in a dialog on what might be the common data elements that should be collected on ITEST participants over the long term and answer questions.

Using Embedded Assessment for Increasing Student Motivation and Teacher Engagement
Presenter/Project: Dan Damelin, Rhode Island Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers
Session: The presenter will explore a model of embedded assessment in computer-based activities and how those assessments increase student STEM self-efficacy and teacher buy-in. The session goals are to: demonstrate an effective system of embedded assessment; get feedback regarding our system; and disseminate a platform that might be utilized by other researchers and projects for embedding assessment and collecting data.


Changing Horses Midstream: Tools for Managing Evaluator Transitions
Presenters/Projects: Ginger Fitzhugh, TechREACH and Mary Aleta White, CompuGirls
Session: This work session is designed to draft a toolkit for ITEST PIs and evaluators who need to share a succinct project overview and evaluation plan in the event of an evaluator transition. This kit could be useful for evaluators who are transitioning into or out of a project, or evaluators new to ITEST projects. The work session is to brainstorm and create a draft product for use by ITEST evaluators, PIs, and other stakeholders. At the end of the work sessions, the data will be synthesized and reviewed by interested parties then submitted as a conference product of interest to others.

Collective Thinking on the Evaluation of ITEST Projects 
Presenters: David Reider and Karen Peterman, ITEST Evaluators on multiple projects
Session: Two program evaluators with more than eight ITEST evaluations between them invited PIs and evaluators to a conversation sharing what they've collectively learned about the evaluation process. The presenters identified four strands of the evaluation process relevant to ITEST projects. Through a guided discussion, PIs and program evaluators will share successes and challenges related to each strand: 1) Working with teachers, 2) the PI/Evaluator relationship, 3) the Evaluator's job, 4) Reporting.

COMPUGIRLS, Culture, and Formative Evaluation Results: Lessons Learned
Presenters/Project: Kimberly Scott, and Mary White, COMPUGIRLS
Session: Throughout the COMPUGIRLS program, computing tools and abilities are introduced and learned not as ends in themselves, but as tools for addressing the social conditions that may inhibit participants' own development. Our belief is that girls need to see IT-related learning as integral to the transformation of their own lives as well as the local and global communities around them. As a result of their participation in the program, it is hypothesized that the COMPUGIRLS participants will demonstrate a greater increase in change in the domains of technological, social and academic self than a comparison group. The presenters discussed the formative evaluation results from the first two COMPUGIRLS’ courses at the ASU site.

General Interest Strand

An Online Assessment Submission System to Collect Participant Deliverables

Presenters/Project: Kyle Lutes and Alka Harriger, SPIRIT (Surprising Possibilities Imagined and Realized through Information Technology)

Session: Providing participants with a convenient and easy to use tool for submitting deliverables is important. This session will show how to use such a system. The session goals are to: 1) share the challenges in getting deliverables from project participants. 2) demonstrate how to use an online submission system to receive participant deliverables. 3) share the minimal information project participants will need in order to use the system successfully. 4) Collect input/feedback from session attendees regarding the types of features they would like in an online submission system for consideration in future upgrades to essignments.com.

Cyberlearning Tools for STEM Education Conference Invites Participation from ITEST Researchers
Presenters/Project: Kemi Jona, Cyberlearning Tools for STEM Education (CyTSE) Conference
Session: Opportunity for ITEST community PIs to present their work on cyberlearning at our conference to a broad range of teachers and colleagues, share projects through interactive sessions, and conduct teacher focus groups and professional development workshops. Provide overview of conference: goals, theme, issues that will be addressed, agenda, panelists/speakers, participants, format (types of sessions, focus groups, etc.), outcomes, products. Explain opportunities for ITEST project participation and benefits that accrue to researchers who participate in conference. Session goals: Build awareness within, and solicit input from, ITEST community working on cyberlearning tools to help shape our cyberlearning conference agenda.

Editors Panel Session
Presenters: Abbie Brown, Editor-in-Chief, Tech Trends, (East Carolina University); Glen Bull, Editor, Contemporary Issues in Technology & Teacher Education (CITE Journal) (University of Virginia); Philip Harris, Executive Director, Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT); Cleborne Maddux, Editor, Computers in the Schools (CIS) (University of Nevada, Reno); Lynne Schrum, Editor, Journal of Research on Technology in Education (JRTE) (George Mason University); Debra Sprague, Editor, Journal of Technology and Teacher Education (JTATE) (George Mason University); Kendall Starkweather, Executive Director/CEO, International Technology Education Association (ITEA); Michael Spector, Editor, Educational Technology Research & Development (ETR&D) (Florida State University)
Session: Editors from eight journals talked about the focus of the journals they edit, what they are looking for from authors, and opportunities for ITEST project PIs and evaluators to publish in these journals.

Learning Science through the Innovative Use of Geospatial Technologies: Designing Effective Learning Tools and Programs for K-16 settings
Presenters/Projects: Michael Barnett, IT and College Pathways through application of Technology to explore Urban Ecological Challenges; Jim MaKinster and Nancy Trautmann, Crossing Boundaries and Exploring Biodiversity Conservation Using Information Technologies
Session: This session is designed to engage the ITEST community in identifying and discussing what is working, has worked, and what are the outstanding issues in the use and implementation of geospatial technologies in educational settings. The session goals: The major goals for this session are: (1) Invite participants to work on a book for Springer on geospatial education, (2) indentify the outstanding issues in the use of geospatial technologies in education settings, (3) share what projects have had success with geospatial technologies and where projects have struggled with the use such technologies.

MarineTech STEM Careers in Marine Industry
Presenter/Project: Alok Verma, MarineTech: STEM Preparation through Marine Engineering, Science and Technology Experiences
Session: The session started with a 15 min presentation on the MarineTech project. Discussion followed on the experience with various strategies adopted. The session goals: to present strategies for engaging students in STEM areas to attendees and initiate a discussion on other strategies and supporting research. Attendees will learn about strategies that work.

Use of 3-D Virtual World Technology for STEM Learning
Presenters/Project: Nita Matzen and Sean Williams, STEM and ICT Instructional Worlds: The 3D Experience (STEM-ICT 3D)
Session: Explore the potential and the issues of using 3D immersive virtual technology for STEM learning in middle schools. The session goals: 1) Introduce participants to the STEM learning potential of 3D immersive virtual environments; 2) Provide examples of 3D virtual worlds collaboratively built by students and teachers that integrate STEM learning; 3) Share relevant formative evaluation data and changes to the program as a result of the findings; 4) Discuss some of the issues that have to be dealt with when implementing the instructional use of 3D immersive virtual environments in schools.



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Additional Disciplines
Computer Science - gaming and simulations
Environmental Science - GIS/GPS
Participant Recruitment and Retention
Partnerships and Collaboration
STEM Career Opportunities and Workforce Development
Sustainability and Scale-Up
Washington, D. C.
Renaissance Washington D.C. Hotel