1. Cynthia Trawick, EdD
  2. Director
  4. Morehouse College
  1. Georgene Bess Montgomery
  3. Clark Atlanta University
  1. Tiffany Bussey
  2. http://www.trbussey.com
  3. Director
  5. Morehouse College
  1. Tarchell Caruthers
  2. iSTEM
  4. Morehouse College
  1. Melissa Demetrikopoulos
  2. iSTEM
  4. Morehouse College
  1. Ruquanda Epps-Primas
  2. iSTEM
  4. Morehouse College
  1. Lawrence Harris
  2. iSTEM
  4. Morehouse College
  1. Dwayne Joseph
  2. ISTEM
  4. Morehouse College
  2. iSTEM
  4. Morehouse College
  1. Ebony Perro
  2. iSTEM
  4. Morehouse College
  1. Willie Rockward
  2. Chair and Professor
  4. Morehouse College
  1. Art Williams
  2. iSTEM
  4. Morehouse College
  1. Hajj Womack
  2. iSTEM
  4. Morehouse College

Innovative Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathmatics Strategy Project (...

NSF Awards: 1512957

2018 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

The successful Innovative Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Strategy Project (iSTEM) at Morehouse college, designed to increase the number underrepresented individuals in STEM careers, has recruited committed middle school and high school students who have been participating in the program over the course of the 3 year project. This video will give a culmination of the 3 yrs and accent the work the students have explored in STEM career opportunities.

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Original Discussion from the 2018 STEM for All Video Showcase
  • May 13, 2018 | 08:26 p.m.

    iSTEM began with students in 6th-8th grade.  The students and the program made a three year commitment which  supported their development. The students have been engaged in a long-term (3 year) STEM technology program that includes 5-week summer programs, Saturday academies during the academic year, hands-on  field experience, laboratory/project-based entrepreneurship tasks,  mentorship, and parental involvement.  The parents reported during focus groups that the three year commitment has been an important component of the program design and was one of the things that attracted them to iSTEM.  There was 100% retention over the course of the first year and over the three years the overall retention rate has been 69.4%.  I would like to ask other presenters in this forum and other individuals who are involved in youth STEM education....do you think a long-term commitment by students, families and/or the project is a helpful aspect of the program design?  How could you integrate a similar long-term intervention into projects that you are involved with?

  • May 13, 2018 | 08:30 p.m.

    iSTEM leverages and extends NSF funded DR K-12 and Noyce programs by having DRK-12 and Noyce scholars  (who are pre-service STEM educators) serving as near peer educators for  iSTEM participants.   This provides additional teaching experience for the pre-service teachers and provides an additional level of support to the iSTEM students.  

  • Icon for: George Hein

    George Hein

    May 14, 2018 | 10:51 a.m.

    Congratulations on your program and, especially, the high retention rate over three years.  My experience as been that it is hard to keep students engaged in multi-year out of school programs as they begin (or are pushed by social pressure or parents) into other activities.  What have you found to be most useful ways to keep the students in the program?

  • May 14, 2018 | 11:35 a.m.

    Building relationships within the partnership is critical for the development of a strong program that organically leads to high levels of retention.  It is critical for the faculty involved with the program to function as a working team.  During faculty focus groups it was clear that they were invested with student outcomes and that they worked together when presented with challenges.  The working team meet regularly outside of the time that they were working with students and specifically meet each week prior to a Saturday Academy to ensure that all aspects that needed to be coordinated across the components of iSTEM had been clarified.  In addition, making it clear to the parents and students that it needs to be the student's decision to attend is essential since the participants that are present have made a choice to be there leading to a better experience.  

    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Marilu Lopez Fretts
    Sarah Hampton
  • May 14, 2018 | 10:53 a.m.

    Hello everyone, 

    Thank you so much for your interest in our project. We are attending the ITEST summit in Alexandria today and tomorrow presenting some of our findings.   One of our presentations today is on collaborations.   We are interested to know how you encourage collaborations both within your institution as well as across institutions.   We have built upon long standing inter-institutional collaborations with educators from local area schools that began as part of the DRK-12 project.  These collaborations have developed into a learning community such that the pre-college educators are able to enlighten the group as to where their students are and what their students' needs are while the college level educators are able to enlighten the group as to college level expectations.  iSTEM has broadened the collaborations to include STEM professionals from the community and industry to provide opportunities to interact with and learn from working STEM professionals. 

  • Icon for: Shabnam Brady

    Shabnam Brady

    Graduate Student
    May 14, 2018 | 01:16 p.m.

    I love the reciprocal learning process here. How do you choose the STEM projects to engage the students? How do you choose the sites/schools? 


    thanks great work!

  • May 16, 2018 | 07:51 a.m.

    One of the co-PI's, Dr Rockward  commented....

    The best way to select engaging STEM projects is to (1) select a current STEM topic and (2) make sure it has several sub-topics that easily lead to hands-on, interesting, age-appropriate, practical, low-cost experiments/activities.


  • May 15, 2018 | 02:35 p.m.

    Thanks for the Questions Shabnam.  

    The site for the program is Morehouse College which is where the PI, Dr. Trawick is located.   The pre-college teachers involved in iSTEM are from the local school districts including Atlanta Public Schools, Fayette County, and Fulton County and are long-term collaborators with Dr. Trawick. The students that participate in the program come from a variety of schools in the greater Atlanta area. 

    The Overall Theme  of iSTEM is  Colonization of Earth’s Moon and all of the instructors utilized Project Based Learning pedagogy with each year focusing on a different aspect of this process such as transportation or growing food. 

  • Icon for: Rachel Shefner

    Rachel Shefner

    May 15, 2018 | 03:22 p.m.

    Great work! I am wondering how many students you have served so far, and are you following them into high school? Are you collecting any longitudinal data that can speak to the impact the program has on students after the 3 years are up?

  • May 15, 2018 | 04:06 p.m.

    Thanks for your interest Rachel.  

    • 42 students began in year one with 100% retention of program participants though the end of the full first year
    • 67 committed middle and high school students from underrepresented populations have participated over the course of 3 years. Overall retention rate equals 69.4%.

    As with many projects, there is no funding to follow the students to collect longitudinal data.  However, several of the students are currently in high school as the started in 6th-8th grade. 

  • Icon for: Sarah Hampton

    Sarah Hampton

    May 15, 2018 | 11:52 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your work! What made you decide on 6th to 8th grade students?

  • May 16, 2018 | 06:21 a.m.

    It has become apparent that early recruitment of students is critical for the integration of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields.  Early recruitment has been demonstrated to have a plethora of benefits including:  prevention of early attrition from available student pools, remedial assistance while academic problems are relatively minor, increased advisement for course selection, enhanced access to supplemental STEM opportunities, enhanced mentoring and advisement for college admissions, increased access to positive role models; enhancement of content knowledge, etc (eg Davis & Davidson, 1982; George et al 2001; Kimmel & Cano, 2001; Manton et al 2000; Shawna et al 2001 Kardash, 2000; McNally, 2006;  Chen & Weko, 2009; Anderson et al, 1994; Campbell et al 2000; Denes et al 1998; Maton et al 2000; Matyas et al 1991).   

    In addition to the literature, the working team for iSTEM had previously worked with high school students from the area and felt that reaching back to the middle school would be advantageous.  

  • Icon for: Sarah Hampton

    Sarah Hampton

    May 16, 2018 | 06:57 a.m.

    Thank you for the literature! I had heard similar arguments and was actually wondering why middle grades instead of younger students?

  • May 16, 2018 | 07:29 a.m.

    This project followed a prior project and reaching back to middle school was the next logical step based on the evaluation of the prior project.   

  • May 16, 2018 | 07:37 a.m.

    Middle school is typically the point where students begin to be tracked into STEM in a meaningful way.  For example, it is helpful if students take Algebra 1 by 8th grade if they want to be a STEM major in college so that they will enter college ready to take College level Calculus.  In other words, they will have had the time to take algebra 1 and 2, geometry, trigonometry/pre-calculus, statistics and possibly high school calculus prior to entering college.  This makes middle school course selection and course preparation critical for college STEM success.  

    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Sarah Hampton
  • May 16, 2018 | 06:39 a.m.

    Good morning everyone.  In case you are interested, here are the links to our prior video showcase videos



  • Small default profile

    Deedra Smith

    May 18, 2018 | 07:38 a.m.

    Thank you so much for the links. This way I will have these for my and his future reference. He has really showed so much improvement since starting the Stem program here at Morehouse. We can’t thank you enough??.

  • May 18, 2018 | 08:00 a.m.

    Thanks Deedra! 

    This site will be up indefinably but will only be open for comments and votes until  8 PM EDT, Monday, May 21.  

  • May 19, 2018 | 03:14 p.m.

    Great project!  I understand there is no longitudinal data being collected as of yet, but I am wondering whether you have any informal/anecdotal information regarding student's confidence while selecting STEM courses once they enter high school.  

  • May 20, 2018 | 06:59 p.m.

    Thanks for the question Susanne,

    Some of the students will be in high school for part of the project since they enter in 6th, 7th and 8th grade and are in the program for 3 years.  For these students, we will be able to see some of their high school STEM course selections.

  • May 21, 2018 | 04:50 p.m.

    Thank you to everyone for taking the time to learn more about iSTEM at Morehouse College.  

    Additional information, videos and photos can be found on the program website.  



    Additional information about the Institute for Biomedical Philosophy and our evaluation can be found at www.BioPhi.org

    Have a fantastic summer! 



  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.

Multiplex Discussion
  • Icon for: Kimberly Descoteaux

    Kimberly Descoteaux

    Project Staff
    July 15, 2020 | 10:00 p.m.

    This video is included in the curated playlist for the Multiplex's July 2020 Theme of the Month, HBCUs as a Strategic Resource to Advance Diversity in STEM. Please feel free to post a message to the presenter here and also to participate to the theme of the month discussion, which will begin following the webinar panel.

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  • July 20, 2020 | 02:26 p.m.

    Thanks for choosing two of our our projects with Morehouse College (iSTEM and iSTEM-Xe) to be part of this presentation!  I look forward to the webinar and discussion.    

    This is the original iSTEM project and the link to iSTEM-Xe is 


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