Paper No. 12
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM
GRADUATE STUDENTS CONNECTING WITH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS THROUGH SF-ROCKS
SF-ROCKS, Reaching Out to Communities and Kids with Science in San Francisco, is a program at San Francisco State University (SFSU) funded by a National Science Foundation Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences grant. Starting in 2001, our program has continually evolved and we now recognize the importance of building strong mentoring relationships for the high school students targeted by our project. Our Approach to mentoring changed as we: 1) recruited and better utilized graduate students for the program, and 2) instituted research experiences that required more of a long-term commitment. We found that the graduate students helped to bridge the gap between high school students and professors. Our summer institute program is among the most successful ways to engage high school students in research activities with geoscience faculty at SFSU.
The connection between high school and graduate students has been such an important outcome of the summer institute that we redesigned this aspect of the program to ensure this positive partnership. The restructuring of the research groups now matches at least one graduate student with the lead professor and 3 to 4 high school students. In some cases these student research groups work on a project closely related to the graduate students research. The increased role of graduate students not only improved the research group structure but strengthened the role of graduate students leading to additional field experiences during visits to western region national parks