ARKANSAS SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING FAIR INSTITUTE: PROVIDING A NETWORK OF MIDDLE SCHOOL TO GRADUATE SCHOOL STUDENT AND FACULTY DEVELOPMENT THROUGH RESEARCH MENTORING EXPERIENCES
ASEFI activities guide students to learn about scientific methodology, develop research plans coupled with selection of a mentor, perform research on and off campuses, and to gain an in-depth understanding of career opportunities in science, mathematics, medicine, and engineering. Our partnership includes the strengths of TRIO. This allows for shared resources in recruiting students who would be first-generation college attendees or graduates in their families, and those that fall into low-income categories. A subset of the over 200 students applied for funded mentorship (~ 25% this past year) from which 30 were selected to work with faculty in university labs and receive funding (up to $500) to help cover the cost of supplies needed for their projects.
Earth, space, and environmental categories were selected by several students from projects ranging across a number of fields in 14 categories of the Intel ISEF-affiliated fairs. Several students achieved at regional- and state-levels and to also participate in the Intel-Portland competition Spring 2004. We have conducted a Summer 2004 workshop for 25 students with the goal of having them "ready to go" before the start of the 2004-2005 school year. The summer format allowed us to take the children to NASA-MSFC and to additional science-related and cultural events during a 3-day trip; for many, this was a first step out-of-state and also a big step toward personal growth and exploration of college and careers.