Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Psychiatry & Neurosciences-Blast Induced Neurotrauma Branch
|Yourick, Debra Lynn
The Gains in the Education of Math and Science (GEMS) program was developed at WRAIR as an educational initiative designed to provide hands-on scientific training, in the Federal laboratory, to young scientists with the goal of increasing their interest in and awareness about the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Current research takes this concept and transitions it to the formal educational environment, the classroom. The range of projects include (1) developing evaluation tools for research proposals for the implementation of this program within Maryland and DC public school districts and during the summer program at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research’s (WRAIR) learning annex; (2) collaborating with educational stakeholders, including teachers, parents, and administrators, to implement the GEMS program within local public schools; (3) developing and implementing assessment tools to measure the acceptability, integrity, and efficacy of the GEMS program, including teacher, student, near-peer mentor, and overall program measures; (4) writing and publishing scholarly research articles detailing the acceptability, integrity, and efficacy outcomes of the GEMS educational initiative in the school-based and summer programs; and (5) creating and evaluating a program-wide near-peer mentor professional development program, including training materials and scientific modules, to help support the GEMS initiative to increase the integrity of program implementation. The GEMS program is currently being implemented in 12 Army sites during the summer months and 8 schools in the Washington, DC metro area. This research aims to determine the efficacy of the program at schools and over the summer with regard to student attitudes toward STEM education/careers and student learning of scientific material. We will also be examining near-peer mentor growth and development and career trajectory. Furthermore, the researchers are interested in determining the acceptability of the intervention for stakeholders (students, teachers, administrators, parents, near-peer mentors) and obtaining their feedback to aid in the continued improvement of the program.
Bliss TJ, Yourick D, et al: The Science Teacher 74 (7): 34, 2007
Rossetti F, Yourick, D, et al: Neurotoxicology 33(3): 500, 2012
STEM education; Program evaluation; Teaching efficacy; School-based intervention; Education; Public schools; Charter schools; Near-peer mentor;