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Exploring STEM Careers with Opportunity Youth

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Photo of young people working on a construction site

Project Name
Career Exploration and Readiness Environment for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (CEE-STEM)

Project Description

Nearly 6.7 million US youth ages 16-24 are out of work or out of school.

We plan to seamlessly embed a new STEM career exploration and engagement tool (CEE-STEM) within the YouthBuild program in order to help build learners’ foundational STEM knowledge, skills, and dispositions while also supporting opportunity youth in connecting their interests, readiness, skills, and aptitudes toward relevant STEM career pathways.

CEE-STEM will provide young people who have often struggled in traditional schools with a personalized, universally designed way to build foundational knowledge, demonstrate their learning, explore and engage in potential STEM career pathways of interest.

The tool will have four major components:

  1. Scaffolds and supports for access and assistance embedded in both the case and e-portfolio areas based on the framework of Universal Design for Learning.
  2. Multimedia STEM cases that profile relevant role models pursuing careers in STEM fields with opportunities to understand and discuss the pathway to this STEM career.
  3. An e-portfolio for each student in which they can collect information, reflect and record information regarding STEM careers of interest, chronicle their STEM learning in both classroom and job sites related to those careers, and take actions to connect with STEM postsecondary and employment opportunities.
  4. Rubrics that teachers can use to evaluate students’ understanding of various science careers in STEM and the quality of materials in student e-portfolios for a given STEM career pathway.

Timeline

2017–2021

Funded by

National Science Foundation

Partners

University of Massachusetts Amherst
YouthBuild USA

Principal Investigators

Tracey E. Hall, CAST
Sam Johnston, CAST (Co-PI)
Michael Krezmien, UMass Amherst (Co-PI)
Martina Nieswandt, UMass Amherst (Co-PI)