Event Title

Effect of the EnvironMentors Program on Increasing Students’ Interest in Pursuing Science-Related College Majors and Careers

Location

Research Meeting Room

Event Website

http://uenr.warnercnr.colostate.edu/

Start Date

23-3-2012 9:30 AM

End Date

23-3-2012 10:00 AM

Description

EnvironMentors is a national mentoring program in eight states and Washington, DC that prepares high school students from under-represented backgrounds for college majors in environmental and related science disciplines. The students, with the help of their mentor(s), conduct environmentally-related research projects over the course of the academic year at their local EnvironMentors chapter. Students then compete in chapter-level EnvironMentors science fairs for an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC. The top three students from each chapter earn the trip to Washington, DC and compete for college scholarships at the National Fair in May 2010 and May 2011. To examine whether Environmentors was preparing high school students for majors in environmental and related science disciplines, focus groups were conducted with National Fair participants in both 2010 and 2011 to capture their reflections on program process, particularly as it relates to their program expectations and future plans. In both years, students reported that the mentoring relationship experience, positive/rewarding program experiences, and project experiences and skill development contributed greatly to their success in EnvironMentors. Furthermore, students reported independent learning experiences, improved self-efficacy, enhanced college preparation, and increased awareness of graduate school. These student growth factors led some students to change their college/career plans to a science-related track as a result of EnvironMentors while others clarified their current college/career plans (whether those plans were science-related or not). Conversely, several students reported no change in their career plans, regardless of the influence of EnvironMentors. Given the varied results of the EnvironMentors program’s impact on influencing students’ attitudes toward pursuing environmental- and science-related college majors and careers, further emphasis is needed on presenting these disciplines to the students as desirable options.

Comments

Citation: Gates, B, Bruyere, B, Broadfoot, K. 2012. Effect of the EnvironMentors Program on Increasing Students’ Interest in Pursuing Science-Related College Majors and Careers. UENR 9th Biennial Conference http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/9thBiennial/Sessions/6/

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Mar 23rd, 9:30 AM Mar 23rd, 10:00 AM

Effect of the EnvironMentors Program on Increasing Students’ Interest in Pursuing Science-Related College Majors and Careers

Research Meeting Room

EnvironMentors is a national mentoring program in eight states and Washington, DC that prepares high school students from under-represented backgrounds for college majors in environmental and related science disciplines. The students, with the help of their mentor(s), conduct environmentally-related research projects over the course of the academic year at their local EnvironMentors chapter. Students then compete in chapter-level EnvironMentors science fairs for an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, DC. The top three students from each chapter earn the trip to Washington, DC and compete for college scholarships at the National Fair in May 2010 and May 2011. To examine whether Environmentors was preparing high school students for majors in environmental and related science disciplines, focus groups were conducted with National Fair participants in both 2010 and 2011 to capture their reflections on program process, particularly as it relates to their program expectations and future plans. In both years, students reported that the mentoring relationship experience, positive/rewarding program experiences, and project experiences and skill development contributed greatly to their success in EnvironMentors. Furthermore, students reported independent learning experiences, improved self-efficacy, enhanced college preparation, and increased awareness of graduate school. These student growth factors led some students to change their college/career plans to a science-related track as a result of EnvironMentors while others clarified their current college/career plans (whether those plans were science-related or not). Conversely, several students reported no change in their career plans, regardless of the influence of EnvironMentors. Given the varied results of the EnvironMentors program’s impact on influencing students’ attitudes toward pursuing environmental- and science-related college majors and careers, further emphasis is needed on presenting these disciplines to the students as desirable options.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/9thBiennial/Sessions/6