Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Sam Johnston

    Sam Johnston

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 11:32 a.m.

    Welcome to the discussion!

    We'd love to hear your ideas about this project and would especially love to hear about any work or thoughts about identifying and describing STEM and work-based learning competencies?

    Thanks for any help!

  • Icon for: Sarah Wille

    Sarah Wille

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 12:05 p.m.

    This project is addressing such a huge opportunity gap, and in such a real-world way. Excited to see the application of design thinking techniques with this segment of youth. What have been some of the biggest challenges with getting youth to initially engage in the various aspects of the work? As the project has progressed, what are some of the most surprising/unexpected ways young people have chosen to demonstrate their skills?

     
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    Sam Johnston
  • Icon for: Sam Johnston

    Sam Johnston

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 03:33 p.m.

    We are still in the process of building the CEE-STEM ePortfolio, but we are working with young people from seven different YouthBuild sites to design the tool to really help them recognize and demonstrate their STEM skills. The YouthBuild young people have enthusiastically participated in design activities to help make decisions about visual and UX design, multimedia content and competencies. Students appreciate it when adults really listen to their opinions.

    One of the most surprising discoveries for us has been how many more STEM competencies YouthBuild students are able to demonstrate in work-related situations than in classroom environments. We hope to close that gap by supporting them in articulating those competencies using video, images and text in the tool.

  • Icon for: Mayra Mendez-Pinero

    Mayra Mendez-Pinero

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 14, 2018 | 12:57 p.m.

    How many students have participated so far in the project or how have been impacted? Sounds like a very interesting project.

     
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    Sam Johnston
  • Icon for: Sam Johnston

    Sam Johnston

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 03:46 p.m.

    We are still designing and building the tool, with the help of the YouthBuild students and staff. YouthBuild is doing excellent work and they are a great partner. The pilot doesn't start until January 2019 and we'll have 12-15 sites participating. It has been interesting to see how simply working with the young people on the problem has raised their awareness of their own STEM competencies.

  • Icon for: Christopher Atchison

    Christopher Atchison

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 08:41 a.m.

    Sam and team, Excellent project!  Who are your partners, who do you still need at the table, and how will you work to help get these wonderful ePortfolios out to potential employers?  One of the biggest barriers for students is the limited access they have to a network.  I see this project integrating this network development along the way, which will be a huge boost for them.  What types of supports do you have in place to help students continue to network and build their social capital?  

     
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    Sam Johnston
  • Icon for: Sam Johnston

    Sam Johnston

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 04:55 p.m.

    Thanks Christopher for your questions and encouragement.  One group we still need at the table are more people with successful STEM careers that are historically underrepresented in STEM.  This includes STEM professionals that are African American or Latino as well as STEM professionals that have come from low-income communities. We especially need these professionals for our case role models and this ties to your point about a lack of access to a network, especially a network that opportunity youth can relate to, which makes it challenging to contemplate or access STEM careers. 

    At this point a key support to help students build their social capital is to have them learn to show evidence of their STEM competencies through the eportfolio and get feedback on that from adults currently working with them in the youth build context. 

    Within this study, we want the young people to build this skill of talking about STEM skills they have with evidence to back that up and also to begin to see themselves as having a STEM identity. Ultimately, what we we want is for the young people in our study and other opportunity youth like them to be able to demonstrate their STEM skills and interests using this tool within an internship or job application process or when engaging with a college admissions officer to have prior learning recognized. We are in lots of conversations about real world applications for this CEE STEM tool.  We will definitely need to seek additional funding for testing it out across multiple employment contexts as that isn't within the scope here.

     

  • Icon for: Christopher Atchison

    Christopher Atchison

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2018 | 08:50 a.m.

    Thanks for your response, Sam.  I agree, role models within their representative identities would be a huge boost for their social capital development.  Have you reached out to any of the STEM professional societies?  Most all of them have a focus on diversity and broadening participation, and might make a good connection for your students.  

     
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    Sam Johnston
  • Icon for: Sam Johnston

    Sam Johnston

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 03:17 p.m.

    That's a great suggestion, are there any in particular you recommend?

  • Icon for: Christopher Atchison

    Christopher Atchison

    Facilitator
    May 18, 2018 | 07:54 a.m.

    Sam, You could reach out to any of them to make a connection with their diversity programs.  I work with the Geology societies - to name a few: Geological Society of America, American Geophysical Union, American Geoscience Institute.  I am the Executive Director of the International Association for Geoscience Diversity (focused on students, faculty, and practitioners with disabilities).  I know Physics, Chem, and Bio, Engineering, Computing, all have a focus on diversity in some way.  I'd be happy to speak with you more about making connections if you and your team are interested [christopher.atchison@uc.edu].  

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    Heather Francis

    May 15, 2018 | 02:29 p.m.

    This is such an interesting project and partnership! I see strong connections to work I've recently observed in Career and Technical Education programs in some New Hampshire high schools. In one example of a Program Competency Profile for Architecture & Construction, the rubric shows how carpentry competencies align to the New Hampshire Common Core State Standards in ELA, Math, Science, and Art. 

     
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    Sam Johnston
  • Icon for: Sam Johnston

    Sam Johnston

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 04:56 p.m.

    This is such a helpful model Healther.  This type of feedback is great for us.  Sam

  • Icon for: Pati Ruiz

    Pati Ruiz

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2018 | 08:37 p.m.

    Hi! You describe this tool being used by those not in school nor working, but I wonder how early exposure to the tool might work. I am a high school teacher and I know my students could add their volunteer experiences and high school job experiences to their portfolios. I wonder how students might begin to develop their portfolios in this tool earlier. Have you considered using this as a long-term portfolio tool that they could start using or be exposed to when they enter high school?

  • Icon for: Sam Johnston

    Sam Johnston

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 01:42 p.m.

    We like the way you think Pati. We too have been thinking about applications for the tool in secondary and post secondary settings. We are just getting started with the development of this tool and will begin our research with Opportunity Youth. However, we do hope to try out this concept with a range of youth. We appreciate your thoughts about the appropriateness of this concept for high school also. Regarding long term use, we do hope that young people may use this digital portfolio concept  beyond the formal setting of school or training.

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