ERIC Number: EJ1141075
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Abstractor: As Provided
BASE (Broadening Access to Science Education): A Research and Mentoring Focused Summer STEM Camp Serving Underrepresented High School Girls
Phelan, Shelley A.; Harding, Shannon M.; Harper-Leatherman, Amanda S.
Journal of STEM Education: Innovations and Research, v18 n1 p65-72 Jan-Mar 2017
BASE (Broadening Access to Science Education) Camp is a hands-on, two-week residential summer science experience on the Fairfield University campus in Fairfield CT, USA. The annual program targets 24 young women who attend high school in the neighboring city of Bridgeport, CT, the most economically depressed city in CT. The camp, which is free to students, includes three components. The first is the week-long Research Immersion Experience, which engages students in faculty-mentored science research projects assisted by current undergraduate STEM majors. The second component is Career Exploration, which allows students to explore a variety of careers in science, technology, and healthcare, as well as the academic paths required to get there. The third component is College Admissions Counseling, which links campers with Fairfield University's undergraduate admissions staff for guidance on the college application process. This program is particularly unique in that it rests entirely on a female staff, engaging Fairfield University's women STEM faculty and undergraduate STEM majors. BASE Camp was founded and developed through funding from several organizations, most recently through a five-year R25 grant from the NIMHD (National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities), National Institutes of Health. After four years in this format, the program engaged close to 100 young women, and pre/post-camp survey data showed a significant increase in camper self-perceived confidence in science, understanding of the scientific process and science skills, awareness of STEM and health career paths, and understanding of the college admissions process. A follow-up survey showed 95% of respondents had applied to, or planned to apply to, college, and 87% stated an interest in pursuing a STEM or health-related career. The close mentorship of these young women by female role models at the faculty and undergraduate levels has greatly contributed to the success and efficacy of this experience. The authors hope this program can be used as a model for others to create programming in an effort to promote and support underrepresented women in the pursuit of STEM careers.
Descriptors: Access to Education, Science Education, Resident Camp Programs, Summer Programs, High School Students, Females, Low Income Groups, Mentors, Student Projects, Scientific Research, Undergraduate Students, STEM Education, Career Exploration, Counseling, College Admission, College Faculty, Pretests Posttests, Surveys, Program Effectiveness, Attitude Measures, Role Models
Institute for STEM Education and Research. P.O. Box 4001, Auburn, AL 36831. Tel: 334-844-3360; Web site: http://www.jstem.org
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Sponsor: National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) (DHHS/NIH)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut
Grant or Contract Numbers: R25MD00683604