NASA EARTH SYSTEMS, TECHNOLOGY AND ENERGY EDUCATION FOR MINORITY UNIVERSITY AND RESEARCH EDUCATION PROGRAM PROMOTES CLIMATE LITERACY BY ENGAGING STUDENTS AT MINORITY SERVING INSTITUTIONS IN STEM
ESTEEM engages a multi-faceted approach to address economic and cultural challenges facing MSI communities. PIs (Principal Investigators) receive support from a management team at NASA, and are supported by a larger network, the ESTEEM Cohort which connects regularly through video calls, virtual video series, and in-person annual meetings. The cohort acts as a collective unit to foster interconnectivity and knowledge sharing, in both physical and virtual settings. ESTEEM partners with NASA’s Digital Learning Network (DLNTM) in a unique, non-traditional model to support PIs. DLN services over 10,000 participants each year through interactive, web-based, synchronous and asynchronous connections. These connections allow for cost effective (no travel) engagement of multiple geographically dispersed audiences to share local experiences with one another. PIs grow their networks, technical base, professional connections and develop a sense of community, encouraging expansion into larger and broader interactions. A total of 256 individual connections, beyond the 76 members, currently exist within the cohort. PIs report significant improvement in student retention and increased interest in STEM coursework. This presentation will delve into specifics of these metrics, provide details of various successes and explore future opportunities for expanding the impact of large-scale culturally relevant collaborative networks.