Scaling Up Success: Using MATE's ROV Competitions to Build a Collaborative Learning Community that Fuels the Ocean STEM Workforce Pipeline
The Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center at the Monterey Community College in collaboration with Washington State University is engaging in a scale-up study of the remote operated vehicle (ROV) program to new audiences of middle and high school students and teachers. Using a train the trainers approach, the MATE ROV project is conducting at least 45 regional professional development workshops in 15 regions for a total of 500 teachers. Scaling-up the project also includes the development of regional teacher leaders who have the resources developed from previous funding and the support from MATE through materials, administrative processes, and professional development to expand the implementation of the MATE ROV competitions. The project outcomes include increased student interest in STEM and STEM careers as well as increasing their knowledge of STEM content and how engineering and science work together to solve real-world problems. Additional outcomes include increasing parental involvement to support and encourage students to continue with STEM studies and careers and the implementation of professional development, instructional resources and mentoring to increase teacher capacity to engage students in the MATE ROV competitions.
The project is expanding the focus of the MATE ROV from an after school program to connect the robotics focus of the program to the Next Generation Science Standards and create a series of curricula experiences across the middle grades complete with instructional videos. An online resource for parents is one mechanism that the project is developing to support parental involvement, and the structuring of regional parental advisory boards is a second. The project is conducting a longitudinal study of the students who participate in the MATE ROV competitions. The project is connecting the MATE ROV AlumniWeb to the National Student Clearinghouse to track students from the secondary experiences with the program into their college majors and matriculation. The project is also studying the ways that the variation of the MATE ROV professional development is evident throughout the 15 regional hubs of the project to provide a better understanding of how a technology-rich program moves to scale.