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“A SySTEMs Approach to STEM Education”. Christine Barrow, John McClure, Kameswari Tekumalla, Raymond Vavrek Prince George’s Community College, Largo, MD NSF STEP DUE Grant - 0431648. STEM. Project Objectives & Approach. Increase STEM Graduates and Transfers Our Approach

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a systems approach to stem education
“A SySTEMs Approach to STEM Education”

Christine Barrow, John McClure, Kameswari Tekumalla, Raymond Vavrek

Prince George’s Community College, Largo, MD

NSF STEP DUE Grant - 0431648


project objectives approach
Project Objectives & Approach
  • Increase STEM Graduates and Transfers
  • Our Approach
    • Support STEM Collegian Center to provide a mentored, co-curricular learning community
    • An interdisciplinary approach to STEM, to improve depth and breadth of learning
    • Integration of research and education to promote student understanding and excitement
the project features
The Project Features
  • Support for the STEM Collegian Center
    • Performance awards for successful STEM course completion
    • Stipend for 15 hours of Civic Engagement (volunteer)
    • Stipend for “outside class” capstone/research project
    • Funds for “Identity Building” items (shirts, caps, etc.)
    • Funds for conference travel
the project features1
The Project Features
  • Curriculum Development
    • Development of Interdisciplinary modules
    • Development of Linked Courses
  • Faculty Stipend for supporting student research
  • Faculty Enrichment opportunities
    • Annual Conference - “Crossing the Line”
    • Focus on Interdisciplinary research – “Discipline Days”
stem collegian center event highlights
Spring 2005/Fall 2005

STEM Collegian/Division Mixer

Mark Matties & Bowie State Supercomputer

Theresa Francis & Coding Theory

James York & Chaos Theory

Partnerships with Nutrition, Bio, other Coll. Ctrs., & Honors

Osprey Banding

Community Service (Stream clean-up, etc.)

Peer Tutoring

STEM Website Design

Transfer Workshop

Resume/CV Workshop

Spring 2006

Digital music behind the scenes

More with Supercomputers

Valerie Nelson & the NSA

Collegian Center Quiz Bowl

AMHPS in Texas

START conference

Build Your Own Computer

STEM Collegian Center – Event Highlights

Collegian, Ivy Phaire with Dr. Ben Carson at AMHPS 2006

stem collegian center event highlights spring 2005
STEM Collegian Center – Event Highlights, Spring 2005

Collegians at Koshland Science Museum, Washington, DC, 2005

stem collegian center performance awards
STEM Collegian Center – Performance Awards
  • Award for “success” in STEM courses
  • 1st course (A=$220, B=$200, C=$180)
  • Additional courses subtract $30, $60, $90, etc.
  • Full award for active members
  • Award reduced 25% based on activities, mentor rating, and civic engagement
stem collegian center research and civic engagements
Research Projects

Students receive $400

Supplies = $80/student

Faculty receive $500/student

6 projects

11 students

3 faculty

Bio, Chem, and Eng. Tech.

To be submitted

Joint STEM/high school project in biology

Civic Engagements

On and Off Campus

Peer tutoring in p shop & individuals

CH science labs

Computer labs


52/165 = 32% participation

Increased from 21% in Sp05

Some do several activities

Receive $150 for 15 hours

STEM Collegian Center – Research and Civic Engagements
participants overview successes
Participants (Fall 2005)

165 students

42 mentors

27 alumni


Grads & Transfers

Howard Univ., UMBC, UMCP, Towson, Capital

International Scholar Laureate Program

Civic engagement leads to employment

3 selected for AMHPS symposium in Houston

Participants - Overview & Successes

Collegian, Lelia Slade with Dr. Greg Kearns, Osprey Banding Field Trip

participants by major
Participants by Major

Collegian, Dale Banks with Vice Admiral and Surgeon General, Richard Carmona, NSF Community College Day 2005

assessment and evaluation spring 2005
Assessment and Evaluation (Spring 2005)
  • Lengthy Blackboard Survey, N = 71 students, 87% of the active participants
  • Over 80% (80.9%) felt that participation in Collegian Center activities made them more confident about their ability to succeed in their science and math studies.
  • Over three-fourths (76.2%) felt that participation in Collegian Center activities made them more likely to consider a career in a STEM occupation.
  • Participants were very optimistic about completing their studies in science and math; 85.7% believed that they would complete their studies at PGCC.
  • Fully 97.6% of those who participated in one or more STEM activities agreed that they were very likely to pursue a STEM career.
assessment and evaluation fall 2005
Assessment and Evaluation (Fall 2005)
  • Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) website http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/salgains/instructor/
  • N = 64, 54% of active participants (reported early, before survey closed)
  • How much of the following do you think you will remember and carry with you into other classes or aspects of your life:
    • a desire to build a career in a STEM discipline or field 4.53/5.00 (S.D.=0.75)
    • an ability to handle problems logically and methodically 4.37/5.00 (S.D.=0.80)
    • Scale (1 = not at all; 2 = a little; 3 = somewhat; 4 = a lot; 5 = a great deal)
  • Which was the most important factor in joining?
    • 61% my career interests
    • 9% possible stipend
  • To what extent has your interest in a STEM career been increased by your participation?
    • 73% a great deal
other project components
Other Project Components
  • Interdisciplinary Curriculum
    • Reproductive Biology and Statistics Spring 2007
  • p-Shop “Grand Opening” 09/16/2005
    • Freddie Sanford
    • Tutoring by 6 STEM Collegians
  • Build Your Own Computer – working on logistics
  • Planning Phase:
    • Interdisciplinary Modules
    • Crossing the Line Conference
    • Discipline Days
project conclusions year 1
Project Conclusions (Year 1)
  • Collegian Center concept is a big hit!
  • Career interests rather than money are the motivator for participation.
  • STEM enrollments and successes have increased.
  • Mentoring and research enrich academic and professional preparation.
  • Leadership and volunteer opportunities lead to personal and professional exploration.
  • Great faculty and institutional support means sustainability.
contact us
Contact Us
  • Christine Barrow, Coordinator and PI
    • Phone: 301-341-3086 Email: cbarrow@pgcc.edu
  • Kameswari Tekumalla, Mentor Coordinator and Co-PI
    • Phone: 301-322-0425 Email: tekumakx@pgcc.edu
  • John McClure, Research Coordinator and Co-PI
    • Phone: 301-322-0605 Email: mcclurjl@pgcc.edu
  • Ray Vavrek, Civic Engagement Coordinator and Co-PI
    • Phone: 301-322-0145 Email: vavrekrx@pgcc.edu
  • Website - http://academic.pgcc.edu/scc/