Volume IV: What works, what matters, what lasts

What Works: Motivating Students to Pursue STEM Careers

Faculty:

  • serve as good role models of what it means to be professional in a STEM field
  • are informed about post-graduate opportunities for students, including baccalaureate level careers, graduate school
  • have broad life experiences that inform their engagement with students
  • are strong mentors and advisors, understanding that student engagement in research is a key motivator to pursue a STEM career
  • are intellectually energetic, with interests beyond a specific discipline, supportive of multi-disciplinary work and colleagues in other disciplines
  • have visible connections to the world beyond the campus
  • are aware of how new directions in how science is practiced are shaping how science is learned.

Curriculum:

  • is relevant, connecting in-class experiences to the world beyond the classroom and the campus
  • is inquiry-based and interdisciplinary from the first courses for entering students through learning opportunities for senior majors
  • has introductory level courses designed to introduce students to and socialize them into the community of science (STEM) professionals
  • features early faculty-student interactions that reduce the "expert-novice" distinction.

Institution:

  • ensures that teaching loads facilitate and enable student/faculty interaction
  • recognizes the impact of lower level courses on student interest and persistence in the study of STEM fields
  • recognizes the value of mentoring, supervising internships and service learning opportunities
  • provides resources for faculty to work across disciplinary boundaries and to connect to stakeholders beyond the campus
  • provides resources for faculty to stay current in their research and to engage students as partners in that research
  • ensures that students have easy access to the tools of 21st century science and technology
  • has formal connections to stakeholders (potential employers, graduate schools, etc.).

Facilities:

  • are centrally located– open, inviting, accessible
  • are transparent– reflecting that "doing science" is a human activity
  • accommodate the technologies and tools used by 21st century practitioners in STEM fields
  • encourage interactions between students, students and faculty in a research-rich environment
  • have social spaces in which students can connect with each other and to the world beyond the campus (with technologies)