High School Students' Experience with Near-peer Mentorship and Laboratory-based Learning: In their own words

  • Laura S Tenenbaum Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Science Education and Strategic Communications 503 Robert Grant Ave. / Rm 1A22 Silver Spring, MD 20910
  • Margery K Anderson Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Science Education and Strategic Communications 503 Robert Grant Ave. / Rm 1A22 Silver Spring, MD 20910
  • Swati B Ramadorai Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Science Education and Strategic Communications 503 Robert Grant Ave. / Rm 1A22 Silver Spring, MD 20910
  • Debra L Yourick Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Science Education and Strategic Communications 503 Robert Grant Ave. / Rm 1A22 Silver Spring, MD 20910
Keywords: internships, STEM, high school, qualitative,

Abstract

Designed to bring experiential learning and mentoring to middle and high school students from diverse populations in the MNOP area, the ABC program has provided thousands of community students a one-week internship in a fully equipped teaching laboratory at the XXX Institute. Pre-college ‘interns’ participate in laboratory-based scientific investigations and explore their unique interests through projects that mirror current research. The program is guided by near-peer mentors, college STEM majors in a combined laboratory and mentoring internship. This study examines the experiences of ABC students through their own words. Over three years, free-response surveys were administered to 222 ABC students in eleventh and twelfth grades. The research questions focused on: 1) how relationships with near-peer mentors’ impacted them; 2) their involvement with the inquiry-based approaches; and 3) any increased and/or continued interest in pursuing STEM as an extension of their experience. Students reported significant benefits from near-peer mentorship, particularly guidance in the areas of science learning, educational planning, and life lessons. Students indicated that the ABC program allowed them to learn important life skills and that they wanted to pursuit scientific education and careers.

Author Biographies

Laura S Tenenbaum, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Science Education and Strategic Communications 503 Robert Grant Ave. / Rm 1A22 Silver Spring, MD 20910
National Research Council Fellow
Margery K Anderson, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Science Education and Strategic Communications 503 Robert Grant Ave. / Rm 1A22 Silver Spring, MD 20910
National Research Council Fellow
Swati B Ramadorai, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Science Education and Strategic Communications 503 Robert Grant Ave. / Rm 1A22 Silver Spring, MD 20910
Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellow
Debra L Yourick, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research Science Education and Strategic Communications 503 Robert Grant Ave. / Rm 1A22 Silver Spring, MD 20910
Director, Science Education and Strategic Communications
Published
2017-10-03
Section
Articles