Project Profile

Innovative Science, Technology Engineering, & Mathematics Explore Project


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.

Morehouse College will engage 36 students from underrepresented groups in grades 6 through 10 in a 3-year STEM technology program that will include a four-week summer program, hands-on field experience, and Saturday academy during the academic year. The program utilizes a project-based framework designed to provide underrepresented minority students with challenging technological learning experiences. Specifically, the project will expose students to innovation and creativity in STEM disciplines within the context of real-world problem-solving scenarios utilizing entrepreneurial concepts in to promote academic success in middle school and high school and prepare students academically to attend a college or university. The goals of the project are: 1) Increase student awareness and knowledge of educational opportunities and STEM careers. 2) Increase student knowledge, skills and practices represented in STEM and/ or STEM workforce.  3) Increase broadening participation of underrepresented populations in STEM.

This project is a collaboration of the Division of Science & Mathematics and the Morehouse College Entrepreneurship Center with local school districts and local industry partners. The project is a global model for higher education and industry collaborations with programs that connect education with student leadership development, and community-focused resources. This project provides: (1) supplemental STEM education; 2) hands-on laboratory project-based entrepreneurial experiences; 3) role models from academia and industry; and 4) parental involvement.  The research questions will address the following: (a) What factors and key experiences effectively promote awareness of STEM careers, motivation to pursue a STEM career, and persistence in undertaking education pathways to those careers, particularly among students from underrepresented populations? (b) In what roles and in what ways do parents, mentors, caregivers, and other community members motivate students to become aware of, interested in, and prepared for STEM careers?  Research questions will be answered with both descriptive statistics and outcome analysis. Qualitative and quantitative measures will be used. Techniques will include surveys, interviews, focus groups, document analysis, and measures of participation.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.


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Co-Principal Investigator(s)


Award Number
Project Duration
2018 - 2022
Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA
Project Status