The University of Kentucky College of Education’s STEM Education Department was recently a host site for the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program.
Principal investigator associate professor and director of graduate studies Molly Fisher and co-PI professor and department chair Jennifer Wilhelm received funding for the project to help undergraduates explore and participate in research projects in STEM Education.
As an REU site, the STEM Education Department hosts a cohort of undergraduates who work in its research projects. Each student is associated with a specific research project and works closely with faculty mentors and other researchers throughout the academic year.
As one of their culminating projects for this year’s cohort, Fisher recently took the students to the National Council of Undergraduate Research (NCUR) Conference in Asheville, North Carolina, where each undergraduate research team presented their work from this past year.
“Being involved in undergrad research has helped me not only add great experience to my resume, but also given me an opportunity to see what graduate work could be like so I can plan my future,” said student Meredith Davis, a special education major. “Getting an early start on resume building experiences and research has helped me get a step ahead of my peers, and I believe it will pay off in the long run. Also, having a mentor there to critique you and assist you with the low-stakes environment this opportunity provides will give me the experience I need to one day conduct my own research confidently.”
STEM Education undergraduate research fellows presenting at the conference included:
A Summer in STEM: Increasing Middle School Students’ Interest and Engagement in STEM Through a One-week Summer Camp
- Shelby Albers and Mollie Williams
- Faculty Mentor: Margaret Mohr-Schroeder
- Graduate Student Mentor: Maureen Cavalcanti
Correlating Professional Noticing and Attitudes Towards Mathematics
- Mallory Bickett and Meredith Davis
- Faculty Mentors: Molly Fisher, Jonathan Thomas, Cindy Jong
Professional Noticing of Middle and Secondary Science Teachers
- Fallon Olexa and Kelly Corrigan
- Faculty Mentors: Rebecca Krall and Brett Criswell
Sixth-grade Students’ Chemistry Understandings Prior to Formal Instruction
- Dakota Yates and Brittany Guido
- Faculty Mentor: Jennifer Wilhelm
- Graduate Student Mentor: Merryn Cole