IMPRESS-Ed

Overview
Program Element / Activity Title:
IMPRESS-Ed
E/PO Project Name:
IMPRESS-Ed
Program Element / Activity Website:
Short Description:

IMPRESS-Ed provides an enriching STEM-oriented summer research experience in the space, earth, and atmospheric sciences for pre-service K-12 educators. This project is designed to give future teachers specialized training in research techniques in the physical sciences, in pedagogical techniques for teaching science, and to provide participants with an authentic research experience. Students participate in a two-week common module composed of interactive lectures and activities followed by a mentored research experience with physics faculty conducting research related to NASA missions.

Audience Metrics
Who is the primary audience of your program element / activity?:
Who is the secondary audience of your program element / activity?:
Evaluation
National Priorities and Coordination Approaches as Articulated in CoSTEM:
  • Improve STEM Instruction
What are the main impacts of your effort to date and how do they correlate to the project's goals and objectives:
Year 2



Executive Summary



The second year of the IMPRESS-ED program was reported as a success by all six students and four professors who participated this year. Evaluation interviews were conducted by the external evaluator at the end of July following both the two-week common module and the six week mentored research program. On a ten-point scale students ranked the overall experience at 8.8 (vs. 9.4 last year), while professors ranked the experience at 8.5 (vs. 8.25 last year). Each of the six students created posters describing their projects for the MUSE program. Summative evaluation interviews with both students and professors found that all would repeat the experience if they could. Five of the students’ research posters were accepted for presentation at nationally recognized scientific conferences. Four of the students hoped to continue their research with their mentors during the fall 2012 or spring 2013 semester, noting that with their student teaching requirements the logistics would be challenging. All six students said they would like to participate in the program again next summer if they could, and that they would definitely recommend the program to a friend in teacher preparation. They unanimously cited the lesson plans utilizing the various databases and the hands-on outdoor activities as the best things about the common modules. 


Year 1




The IMPRESS-ED program was reported as a success by both students and professors when interviewed by the external evaluator. Formative evaluation interviews were conducted after the initial two-week program which concentrated on the common modules—an overview of astronomy, meteorology,
astrophysics and geophysics. On a ten-point scale students ranked the experience at 8.4, while professors ranked the experience at 8.5. Both groups agreed that sending out content information ahead of time would improve the program. The initial two-weeks were followed by six weeks of
mentored research projects with the physics professors. Each of the students created posters describing their projects for the MUSE program. Summative evaluation interviews with both students and professors found that both would repeat the experience if they could. On a ten point scale, ratings of the overall experience for the five students averaged 9.4, while the average for the four professors was 8.25. Three of the students’ research posters were accepted for presentation at nationally recognized scientific conferences. Four of the students continued their research with their mentors during the fall 2011 semester. All five students said they would like to do it again next summer if they could and that they would definitely recommend the program to a friend in teacher preparation.