To provide generalized insight into how to combine engineering expertise with outreach programs to provide a more robust approach to learning; (2) to better understand systemic barriers faced by under resourced and underrepresented students in becoming leaders in STEM; (3) to discuss scalable, assessment-based solutions to overcome intervention limitations.
Our team has developed the CIRCUIT program over the past 7 years to serve diverse, passionate, highly capable trailblazing students who have had limited opportunities to convert their high potential to kinetic energy. We have developed eight pillars including: holistic recruiting, mission-driven research, targeted technical training, leadership development, high-resolution assessment, diverse mentorship, academic partnerships, and career empowerment. In this workshop, we will explain our program vision and the key elements that inspire and allow us to successfully achieve our program goals. We will discuss how to identify and help students to overcome structural barriers, and leverage engineering and assessment methods to create a high-quality and scalable approach. We hope that attendees can meet new collaborators and learn principles that can be distilled and leveraged in their own work with students, whether on an individual or program level.
Our framework combines our scientific and engineering expertise with mentoring and training to deliver a high-quality program that serves student cohorts through a year-long research program. Students begin with structured activities and project-oriented classes, progressing to cohort-based independent research and discovery, as part of a diverse team of mentors (from new hires to subject matter experts). Student endpoints include peer-reviewed conference and journal publications, along with a variety of quantitative and qualitative knowledge, longitudinal success, and program satisfaction metrics. Critically, our approach aligns STEM pipeline development with a model that rewards industry, government, and academic partners interested in recruiting high-achieving staff, creating a sustainable approach.
Dr. William Gray-Roncal, Martha Cervantes, Katy-Ann Carr, Jorge Rivera, Jackie Sharp, Danilo Symonette, Aishwarya Jayabharathi, Dr. Erik Johnson