- High school,
Summer research experiences are an increasingly popular means of increasing awareness of, and developing interest in, the geosciences and other science, technology, engineering, and math programs. We describe and report the preliminary results of a 1-wk Geosciences Exploration Summer Program in the College of Geosciences at Texas A&M University to introduce high-school students to opportunities and careers in the geosciences. Short-term indicators in the form of preprogram and postprogram surveys of participants and their parents suggest that there is an increase in participant understanding of geosciences and interest in pursuing a degree in the geosciences. The participants and their parents had relatively limited knowledge of the geosciences at the start of the program, and very few had a friend or acquaintance employed in the geosciences, despite the importance of geosciences to the state economy. Postprogram survey results suggest that the students had an improved and nuanced understanding of the geosciences and the career opportunities within the field. A survey of the parents several months after the program had ended suggests that the parents had greater awareness of the geosciences through conversations with the participants or their own research. Although the influence of the parents on a students’ decision to study geoscience is unclear and merits further investigation, it is concluded that future offerings of this and similar programs should engage the parents to ensure that the geosciences are recognized as a potential academic and career path. © 2015 National Association of Geoscience Teachers.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/chris-houser/30/