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Paper No. 11
Presentation Time: 4:25 PM


PICKERING, Jane1, BRIGGS, Derek E.G.2, ALONZO, Jamie1 and ERICKSON, Joy3, (1)Peabody Museum, Yale University, 170 Whitney Ave, New Haven, CT 06511, (2)Department of Geology and Geophysics, Yale University, Kline Geology Laboratory, 210 Whitney Avenue, New Haven, CT 06511, (3)LSAMP Co-ordinator, Department of Chemistry, University of Connecticut, 55 North Eagleville Road, Storrs, CT 06529,

Out-of-school time provides a valuable opportunity to engage high school students in the earth sciences and promote interest in earth science careers. GeoCORPS is a two-year partnership between the Peabody Museum’s after school program ‘Evolutions’, Yale geoscience faculty, and the LSAMP program and faculty at the University of Connecticut. This academically rigorous initiative provides a diverse group of high school students with a pipeline that includes multiple opportunities to explore the geosciences and geoscience careers together with access to the skills and support needed for college matriculation. Geoscience research and learning experiences are combined with the college and career-focused curriculum of an established after school program and the opportunity for employment training and experience. Students participate in classroom activities, internships, college visits, events with LSAMP students, and a ‘career ladder’ program. GeoCORPS is designed to address factors that particularly influence the college and career choices of underrepresented groups.

Results from the first year, assessed using quantitative and qualitative methods, showed that the program significantly improved students’ knowledge and understanding of college and college preparation. In addition, 70% of the 64 respondents agreed that the program had impacted their view of science positively. Interestingly, these changes were more dramatic for women (~80% saw an increase) than men (~50%). Eighty per cent (on average) of students showed an increase in knowledge of earth science fields (e.g., ocean science, geology, environmental science) as well as of specific topics (e.g., global climate change, renewable resources). These changes were statistically significant for about 30% of students. However, evaluation of previous programs has demonstrated that increasing high-schoolers’ interest in the earth sciences is more challenging than increasing their knowledge of them. The results of the present study confirmed this observation. While most students showed an increased interest in earth science related fields, fewer (20%) students showed a significant increase. Aspects of the program that address interest (e.g., internships, career ladder) will be investigated more closely in the second year of the program.

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