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STEM Pathways Project

Summary

The primary goals for this project are:

  • Help students in the 13-county region where WFU is situated build a strong foundation in STEM fields, thereby expanding their eventual career opportunities.
  • Guide and prepare students for careers in health care, biotechnology, and other STEM-related fields.
  • Provide parents, mentors, and teachers with reliable information about STEM-related careers

Project Goals

This project aims to create a collaboration and data-sharing network for STEM and Health Careers education and enrichment programs in Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, and adjacent counties. It’s first goal would be to improve communication, data capture, and resource sharing between programs. This can aid and empower the individual participating programs many ways, but particularly by:

  • Providing access to marketing and evaluation resources shared by other programs
  • Collecting and sharing data on outcomes and impact that would not otherwise be available to them.
  • Helping programs identify unmet needs that can be targeted in the future.
  • Supporting efforts to pursue outside funding.

The network would be positioned to look beyond individual enrichment for a series of activities that develop students’ STEM knowledge and abilities long-term. As such it could become a valuable “go-to” resource for teachers and parents.

Finally, the network could better assess the impact of programs by tracking participants longitudinally.

Target Audience

This project to take a cohort-centered approach, tracking progress of individuals as they participate in institutionally sponsored STEM enrichment programs. Priority will be given to Grades 5/6 through college. However, some tracked enrichment programs may reach down to children as young as kindergarten. Others at the graduate and post-graduate level are likely to be recruited and trained as part of programs targeting the primary audience.

The project does not target high-achievers and self-directed learners such as those recruited for current HAG school programs, nor focus only on the lowest performing students. Rather it aims to increase the knowledge and pursuit of STEM-related career paths by the large “middle band” of students in the 13-county target region. The senior planning group believes this is the most efficient way to increase STEM attainment across a larger population.

Planning Partners

  • WFU Biology
  • WakeHealth Office of Medical Education
  • Wake Forest Institute of Regenerative Medicine
  • Maya Angelou Center for Health Equity
  • Center of Excellence and Research in Teaching and Learning
  • Translational Science Institute of WakeHealth
  • WakeHealth Human Resources

Status

Awaiting budgetary support & administrative approval. (Last updated 8/1/16)