Think Tank STEM Project

This year the Norman C. & Barbara Tanner Think Tank Fund supported a collaborative project that involved WSU students, faculty, and staff from the College of EAST and students, faculty, and staff from Mount Ogden Junior High and the Ogden School District. Organized by Dana Dellinger, Director of the Center for Technology Outreach, in partnership with Mt. Ogden Jr. High 7th-grade teacher, Jessica Baxter, and two OSD district STEM Specialists, Vincent Ardizzone and Cayme Olsen.

Project Primary Focus

Exposing underrepresented student populations to career opportunities & advancement in STEM fields.

How they met their goals

  1. Four WSU students were hired as STEM Mentors. They engaged themselves in Ms. Baxter's class, interacting with students, presenting about their own degree paths and career goals, teaching STEM lessons, and acting as teaching assistants.
  2. Four WSU faculty taught lessons to the 7th-grade students while also exposing them to higher education opportunities and careers. Kim Murphy, Joe Thomas, Brock Adams, and John Sohl participated in both trimesters, teaching 175 students in six different classes.
  3. Two "Air Quality Expos" were organized for parents to come to Mt. Ogden to see their students projects and have pizza together. WSU displays and information were included at both.
  4. Underrepresented populations: Mt. Ogden Jr. high is 52% minority enrollment (majority Hispanic), with an evenly matched male/female population. Hispanics and women are underrepresented in STEM professions in Utah and nationwide.

Results

The OSD personnel and STEM mentors were surveyed after the project ended. Eighty percent felt the project as a whole was successful in increasing the exposure of the targeted Mt. Ogden classes to career opportunities and education options available in STEM fields.

Get a sense of the people involved, the family nights and the student projects.