Preparing African American Males for Energy & Education (PAAMEE)
This project will advance efforts of the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program to better understand and promote practices that increase students' motivations and capacities to pursue careers in fields of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) by engaging in hands-on field experience, laboratory/project-based entrepreneurship tasks and mentorship experiences.
The proposed project, Preparing African American Males for Energy and Education (PAAMEE), is an ITEST Strategies project designed to expose, motivate and prepare African American males for technical careers and post-secondary education in the Power Generation and Renewable Energy industries. The project will engage 240 Metropolitan Detroit African American males, grades 10-12, in project based out-of-school time science and engineering activities that teach concepts related to the production and storage of energy. Using a cohort model, students will engage in STEM educational programming, college readiness and youth mentoring over a 15 month period. In addition to technical concept mastery, students will be meeting business professionals, entrepreneurs and university students pursing degrees in science and engineering.
The major content areas of the program includes project based engineering and leadership courses, career exploration activities, and a community service opportunity. Each course will be structured to meet the learning needs of high school students. Courses will rotate throughout the campuses of Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program with partners located in the Detroit Metropolitan Area, Michigan State University (Lansing, MI) and Michigan Technological University (Houghton, MI) A key aspect of the program is to provide the opportunity for student participants to engage in academic and technical work in the university environment. The program will conduct a mixed methods research study to directly address three guiding research questions: 1) What coherent sets of experiences effectively and efficiently support student competency, motivation and persistence for productive participation in the STEM-related workforce today or in the future. 2) What roles might business and industry workforce members play in motivating students to become aware of, interested in, and prepared for careers in the STEM-related workforce? 3) Given the shifting demographics reflected in our current classrooms and in our country, what are effective and productive ways to ensure broadening participation by engaging divers underrepresented populations in STEM programs and careers?